It's the Girl Scout mission to build courage, confidence, and character, so when it comes time to reward these young girls for their service, what better way than with "nail wraps," a jewelry box, or a spatula?
Those are just a selection of the sexist prizes Girl Scout troops in Colorado were able to choose from in a survey of 2017 cookie reward options. Of the 20 products listed, the only ones related in any way to physical activity were a kickball and a water bottle.
"We are Scouts — why can't the incentives for participation have at least a balance of camping, outdoors or activity-themed prizes," Jennifer Rotar asked in a petition on Change.org. "Why must girls be offered a majority of items that emphasize traditional feminine appearance, fashion, cooking . . .? Please stop pigeonholing girls into traditional roles and give them choices that reflect their wide range of interests that have nothing to do with gender."
Instead of stuffed animals and bracelets, Rotar suggests binoculars, pocket knives, star charts, Legos, compasses, or card games.
The petition — which will be delivered to the CEO of the Girl Scouts organization, Anna Maria Chavez — has already received more than 2,500 signatures toward its goal of 5,000 since it was posted last week.
The comments from supporters, ranging from Girl Scout juniors and cadettes to organization volunteers and concerned parents, proved that the prize structure has been a longtime issue and that a need for more scout-oriented incentives was overdue:
Tired of "made in China" landfill-destined prizes. Let's practice what we preach here and make the prizes more experience based . . . admissions to local museums and such.
How about First Aid kits, travel kits, sewing kits, STEM kits, chemistry sets, a nice flashlight, a mess kit and I go on and on. My daughter sells a ton of cookies and this year one of her incentives was a FitBit. Please explain to me why a 9 year old needs a Fitbit? Are we creating body issues?
I don't want to have to choose between earrings or a coffee mug for a 5-year-old who loves science, art, and the outdoors. We need more and better options. Yes, they love stuffed animals and girly stuff, but those shouldn't be the ONLY choices.
Girl Scouts need their own brand of affordable camping essentials, and offering it would be awesome! Even bug jars or ant farms or worm boxes. The opportunities are endless for fun – educational, scientific, physical, Girl Scout fun!
What do you think of the prizes currently being offered to girls?