The study interviewed over 1,000 girls age 8-17. Another troubling statistic that came up was nearly half the girls agreed that debt was “a normal part of life.”

Unfortunately, I think these statistics say a lot about our whole country. Our young girls are not financially literate or confident. And it’s not for lack of trying on the part of the Scouts. In 2011, the Girl Scouts introduced a new set of personal finance-themed patches to help the young women handle their financial futures. The badges include “Good Credit,” “Money Manager” and “Budgeter.” That is a great start. And the real-world experience the Scouts provides with the cookie business is also wonderful.

What if your daughter isn’t a Girl Scout or you have sons?

Increasing financial literacy is my mission. And when we’re talking about young people, it starts at home—because for some crazy reason unbeknownst to me, we STILL don’t teach anything money-management related in school. The onus is on parents to start a dialogue with their kids, to help them to save and learn about how to make smart financial decisions.

When it comes to the Girl Scouts, sometimes their experiences are all too real world. Get this, a troupe in Oregon learned a hard lesson in business ethics when a corporate order for 6,000 boxes of cookies turned out to be a hoax. At $4 a pop, that was $24,000 of sugary goodness they were left with, because it was too late to cancel the order. It was so sad! In interviews, the girls said things like, “I don’t know what we’re going to do. That’s…a lot of cookies.” Luckily, the town rallied behind the troupe and purchased the cookies, box by box.

Is it too late to order cookies?

You can’t pre-order but you can download the Girl Scout Cookie app to find out when a troupe might be selling near you!

The Way the Cookie Crumbles: The Girl Scouts Teach Money and Business Skills  was originally published on

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