Why my Daughter will NOT be Selling Girl Scouts Cookies


Why my daughter will NOT be selling Girl Scout Cookies // Once Upon a Time in a Bed of Wildflowers 

It’s Girl Scout Cookie time here for the Girl Scouts of Western New York… and I have to tell my adorable little brand-new Daisy Scout that she will not be participating in this time-honored Girl Scout tradition.

There will be disappointment.

There may even be tears.

But I believe that to participate in this year’s Girl Scout Cookie sale would be a fundamental violation of the Girl Scout Promise, and the Girl Scout Law.

Girl Scout Promise // Why my daughter will NOT be selling Girl Scout Cookies // Once Upon a Time in a Bed of Wildflowers


Because every single Girl Scout Cookie available for sale this year contains GMOs (or Genetically Modified Organisms)… with the possible exception of the Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Shortbread. And, what’s worse, the Girl Scout’s official policy seems to be that so long as people continue to buy the cookies, they don’t care. Indeed, the Girl Scouts provide this almost flippant response to the question: Are their GMOs in Girl Scout Cookies?


Girl Scouts of the USA listens to our customers and we work with our trusted bakers, who are industry leaders, to develop recipes using ingredients that will produce the best-tasting and highest-quality cookies while simultaneously addressing industry trends, scientific trends, and of course, consumer preference. As an organization, we continue to defer to required Federal guidelines as they relate to our products.

At the current time, there are genetically modified agricultural crops (GMOs) in Girl Scout Cookies. Our bakers determine whether to use GMOs in Girl Scout Cookies based on a range of market-related factors and depending on the specific cookie recipe.


(From the Girl Scouts’ Website); emphasis mine

Furthermore, the bakers licensed by the Girl Scouts to provide the cookies (for the Western New York Council this year), ABC Bakers state:

Yes.  We embrace quality manufacturing processes and ingredients.  ABC Bakers uses conventional ingredients in the production of all our products, including Girl Scout Cookies and other nationally and regionally branded cookies and crackers. However, since we do not control all phases of ingredients productions (farming, processing and delivery) it is not possible for us to guarantee that any products produced are free of Genetically Modified materials. 

(From the ABC Bakers Website)

Little Brownie Bakers, which is the other licensed Girl Scout Cookie manufacturer also uses GMOs in their cookies. It should be noted that Little Brownie Bakers are a subsidiary of Keebler, which is owned by Kelloggs. Kelloggs is a leader in the campaign against labeling GMOs.

GMOs are dangerous

Despite the claims of the Girl Scouts and other invested GMO producers and sellers, GMOs, are dangerous. GMOs do not belong in any food, and especially not Girl Scout Cookies. Children are some of the most susceptible to the hazards caused by GMOs, and yet our daughters, the most adorable and innocent of salespeople, are supposed to peddle these cookies to their friends, family, and neighbors.

Not my little Daisy Scout, thank you very much!

Girl Scout Law // Why my daughter will NOT be selling Girl Scout Cookies via Once Upon a Time in a Bed of Wildflowers

GMOs have never been proven safe. Indeed, before they were approved for use in food the FDA’s own scientists warned that GM foods can create unpredictable, hard-to-detect side effects, including allergies, toxins, new diseases, and nutritional problems.

Studies show alarming and dangerous consequences to eating GMOs including, among others:

    • Thousands of sheep, buffalo, and goats in India died after grazing on Bt cotton plants
    • By the third generation, most GM-fed hamsters had lost the ability to have babies
    • Soy allergies skyrocketed by 50% in the UK soon after GM soy was introduced

There is no way that selling cookies made with ingredients like these can possibly be considered “honest.”

GMOs also pose extreme dangers to the environment.

    • Pesticide producing plants (like Bt corn and Bt cotton) contaminate streams and rivers, possibly harming aquatic life
    • Many GMOs can cross pollinate and destroy other farmers’ crops. Almost all heritage varieties of corn in Mexico show some contamination
    • GMOs that are “Roundup Ready” are linked to the development of superweeds and GMOs may be responsible for the deaths of millions of bees and butterflies (and other beneficial insects), as well as the development of some antibiotic-resistant bacteria

Furthermore, there are the dangers of Roundup, and other herbicides and pesticides, which are used with the GMO crops. The active ingredient in Roundup (glyphosate) is known to kill human cells (especially embryonic cells, leading to birth defects), it is a hormone disruptor, carcinogenic, and can cause toxicity of the liver and kidneys. Roundup is sprayed directly on our food, and it can be found in air and water samples, and in the blood and urine of people, anywhere “Roundup Ready” crops are grown.

Growing these crops–and providing a market for them by selling products containing them–can hardly be considered to be “using resources wisely.”

The Girl Scout’s Parents Guide to Cookies asks:

What can a girl do?

The answer is:

Change the World

I had assumed that they meant change the world for the better. But, given their stance on GMOs, maybe I am wrong.

The Girl Scouts are in a unique position to make a stand about GMOs in our food and on our planet. Instead they have chosen to teach their little entrepreneurs to place profits above principles.

That is not something I want my little Daisy Scout to learn. Ever.

So she will not be selling Girl Scout Cookies this year. Or next year, unless the Girl Scouts change their stance on GMOs.

And she will probably cry when the other girls are getting their cookie sale badges and their cute little “Change the World” red panda stuffed animals. (I might cry, too.) But I want her to learn that “courageous and strong” and “be responsible for what I say and do” are not just random words recited at Girl Scout Meetings. They are part of the way I want her to live.

Maybe I’ll get her a patch that say “conscientious objector” or one with Gandi’s famous words: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

How can you help?

    • Do not participate in selling or purchasing Girl Scout Cookies. And tell the Girl Scouts why. You can contact the Girl Scouts HERE.
    • Sign the Girl Scouts: Please make cookies without GMOs Change.org Petition HERE.
    • If you wish to support the Girl Scouts, consider making a monetary donation to your local troop instead of purchasing cookies.

Learn more about the dangers of GMOs 

Update 2-3-14: Do you want to know what the Girl Scout’s response has been? Click here.

Update for the 2015 Cookie Season:

Girl Scout Cookies still contain GMOs and the Girl Scouts seem to be firmly committed to keeping them there. Their response to the question, “Do Girl Scout Cookies contain GMOs?” has changed slightly and the new wording is reflected in the article above.

Young Girl Scout, Alicia Serratos’s Girl Scouts: Please make cookies without GMOs Change. org Petition has collected over 35,000 signatures and in September 2014, Alicia traveled from California to New York to deliver the petition in person. The Girl Scouts canceled the scheduled a meeting, refused to allow her entry into the building, and she was forced stand on a New York City sidewalk to hand over her petition to a Girl Scouts representative.  (Be sure to support Alicia through her Facebook Page, and the GMO Free Girl Scout Cookies website.

The Pixie misses being a Girl Scout, and wishes she could do fun activities with her friends. But she does not wish to remain silent on her views about GMOs — a condition of her returning to Girl Scouting. 

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Save the World | Once Upon a Time in a Bed of Wildflowers

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This post was FEATURED by Real Food Renegade on Sunday Snippets and by Natural Living Monday! And by Urban Naturale in the Healthy, Happy, Green & Natural Blog Hop! And on Real Food Fridays! And Tuesdays with a Twist!
This post has been shared at Simply Natural Saturdays. And, also, at Gratitude Sundays, and Clever Chicks Blog Hop. And the Homestead Barn Hop, Thank Goodness It’s Monday, Mostly Homemade Mondays, and Natural Living Monday. This post has also been shared on Tuesday GreensFat Tuesday, Healthy, Happy Green & Natural Blog PartyThe Backyard Farming Connection, and The Gathering Spot. And Mountain Woman Rendezvous, Raising Homemakers, Fresh Foods Wednesday, Wellness Wednesday, Wildcrafting WednesdayWhimsy Wednesday, and the Down Home Blog Hop. And, also, The HomeAcre Hop, Thank Your Body Thursday, Simple Lives Thursday, and Fabulously Frugal Thursday. And Real Food Friday, Simple Meals Friday, Fight Back FridaySmall Footprint Friday, and Fantastic Friday.This post has also been shared at Frugal Days, Sustainable WaysTeach Me TuesdayList it Tuesday, Tuesdays with a Twist, and Babies & Beyond. And Healing With Food Friday, Old-Fashioned Friday, and Unprocessed Fridays. And on Simple Saturdays. And Tuned-in Tuesdays. And the Hearth & Soul Hop, Real Food Wednesdays, and Thriving on Thursday.



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66 Responses to Why my Daughter will NOT be Selling Girl Scouts Cookies

  1. I love that you want to instill the actual Girl Scout motto in your daughter. They should not just be words that are recited with no meaning. It is sad that Girl Scout cookies are full of GMO’s and worse that they seem to embrace that idea but I’m glad you will encourage your daughter to stand up for what is honest.

  2. Besides the GMO ingredients they’re also full of processed sugar and refined wheat. Even if GMO’s weren’t used, they’re full of all sorts of toxins. Maybe you can have something fun for your daughter to do as a substitute for selling the cookies so she doesn’t feel so left out 🙂

    • onceuponatimeinabedofwildflowers says:

      You make an excellent point!
      Though truth be told, if it was just normal “bad” ingredients, I would probably let her sell them… and even eat a few! 😉

      I’m sure we’ll think of something fun to do instead!

  3. Jenny says:

    Awesome!!! I have given money but will NOT purchase girl scout cookies until they are “cleaned” up. I haven’t purchased them in years. If my granddaughter chooses to be a girl scout, I will be teaching her exactly what u r teaching ur daughter (my daughter agrees also….her mother) Thanks again and keep on even.
    when ur looked at like there is something wrong with u, or ur an idiot, or everyone has to die sometime, or whatever else will b said because most don’t care. Ur daughter’s lucky.

  4. CelloMom says:

    You know, we never buy girl scout cookies anyway, because we’re gluten free. I usually give some money but ask them not to bring the cookies. Next time I’ll bring up the GMO issue as well. And I signed the petition.

    • Kimberly says:

      The Girl Scouts have sold gluten free cookies for a few years now. They have also ensured some varieties are vegan.
      If you choose not to eat them yourself, you can also donate a box to our troops. Thank you for continuing to support this organization that does so much for our young women.

  5. Pingback: My Week on Wednesday… January 15 » Once Upon a Time in a Bed of Wildflowers

  6. onceuponatimeinabedofwildflowers says:

    Thanks! 🙂

  7. Vickie says:

    Hmmmm…… I never thought of it this way. You are right, however. This gives me a lot to think about! Thanks

  8. Melissa says:

    Great post and discussion. Thank you for linking up to the Down Home Blog Hop this week.~Melissa

  9. Deanna says:

    I sent them an e-mail AND signed the petition! Good job on this enlightening piece of information!

  10. Hi Christine,
    “I, too, want GMOs out of our cookies so they will be safer for my friends and everyone to eat.” And I have signed the petition as well. Thank you for sharing your story so eloquently. As a former Girl Scout and I alarmed and deeply disappointed in the organization, but sadly I am not surprised. Too often, organizations, corporations–and our government and regulatory agencies–put profit above the safety of people. I will not be buying Girl Scout cookies at the office, when the moms pass around the GS cookie sheets this year. We must say no to GMOs and fight back with the power of the purse. Thank you for sharing this with us at the Happy, Healthy, Green and Natural Hop! All the best, Deb

    • onceuponatimeinabedofwildflowers says:

      Thank you! And I’m always happy to be at the Happy, Healthy, Green and Natural Hop!!! 🙂

  11. Good for you, I agree with the other post about founding something else for her to do. Maybe you can set up a stand with organic cookies and sell them. I commend you for standing up for what is right, and more over teaching your daughter what is right. Sent an email, signed the petition, shared your post, and spreading the word to sign the petition, and not to buy Girl Scout cookies.

    We all need to spread the word.

    • onceuponatimeinabedofwildflowers says:

      Thank you! And thank you for sharing the word! I really want people to know about this issue… because SO many people do not!

  12. Marla says:

    I applaud you for standing by what you believe. I used to be a Girl Scout and I totally disagree that the Girl Scouts and accepting that its okay to sell GMO’s cookies. More people need to be standing up and fighting back by just saying No I will not. I signed the petition. thanks so much for sharing all this – very good article. Visiting from Real Food Fridays LInk up

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  14. trisha says:

    I was a cookie mom for 4 years and my biggest beef was they considered $3.50 a box and true troops got $.51 per box……a crime! Also, when we were selling hydrogenated oils were in them. THANK you so much for more info-rumor has it they also donate to planned parenthood- big no no in my book.

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  16. CelloMom says:

    It appears that something happened as a result of the petition: I got this Email today from Alicia Serratos mail@change.org

    “Thank you everyone for your support! In less than a week Girl Scout cookies go on sale in Orange County. Alicia has just finished her cookbook and she will be selling that instead of cookies this year. It has over 40 recipes made with organic, Non-GMO ingredients, are gluten free and there are lots of dairy free options as well. All the recipes are food that kids will love. You can visit her site here: http://rickyrosie.wordpress.com/2014/01/20/recipes-to-grow-recipes-to-get-organic-gardens-in-schools/ and click on the link to purchase either a print book or ebook. Thank you all again for your support!”

  17. Jenny says:

    Kudos to you and your daisy scout for taking a stand. I hope that you might inspire others to do the same. Thanks for sharing this info with us at the HomeAcre Hop! We hope you’ll come back and share with us again tomorrow!

  18. Pingback: My Week on Wednesday… January 22 » Once Upon a Time in a Bed of Wildflowers

  19. Joanna says:

    Ugh. I usually like to pick up a box or two when I see them, just because I was once a girl scout (even though the cookies are not actually very tasty), but now I will have to resist. I’ve signed the petition, and hopefully by next year they will have changed their stance. Thanks for pointing this out! It isn’t all that surprising that they are made with GMO’s, but I hadn’t thought of it.

    • onceuponatimeinabedofwildflowers says:

      I hope so, too! My poor Pixie would *really* like to join her friends selling Girl Scout Cookies! :/

  20. THANK YOU for sharing @ Tuesdays with a Twist. You’ve been Featured @ Back to the Basics this morning.

    THANK YOU for fighting the Non-GMO fight!!!

  21. Patti says:

    Thanks for sharing this. I always buy Girl Scout cookies…it’s hard to disappoint those little girls…but I am so opposed to GMOs in our food, the highly financed fight against labeling, and Monsanto in general, that I will not buy Girl Scout cookies until they at least offer some of their cookies GMO free. I emailed the organization, detailing my stance and the reasons behind it. I applaud you for teaching your daughter that there are causes worth fighting for and that we can make a difference.

    • onceuponatimeinabedofwildflowers says:

      Thank you for saying that! And thank you for e-mailing the Girl Scouts! I do believe that if enough people do this we CAN make a change!

  22. n2truth says:

    As a former Girl Scout, I don’t understand why you’re targeting Girl Scouts and not the bakers of Girl Scout cookies. Start petitions and send to the parties who govern what goes into foods today. Targeting an organization that tries to help girls build leadership skills is not the answer.

    • onceuponatimeinabedofwildflowers says:

      Thank you for your comment.

      Ultimately the Girl Scouts as an organization — and each member of that organization, including individual troop leaders and the girls — are responsible for the safety and integrity of the product they sell. They could insist that their bakers use only non-GM ingredients… but they do not. And, essentially, they have said that they *will* not so long as people keep buying their cookies. So we must stop.

      Claiming that the Girl Scouts do good–and I am not arguing that point–does not give them a free pass!

      An important part of leadership skills is the ability to stand up for what is right… even if it is uncomfortable.

      ~ Christine

  23. Pingback: My Week on Wednesday… January 29 » Once Upon a Time in a Bed of Wildflowers

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  25. Kristin says:

    I think its kind of funny that you have these strong beliefs but yet you allowed your daughter to taste all the cookies at one of her meetings, knowing what was in the cookies, and you didnt say anything about how you thought the cookies were poison at that time.

  26. Lauren says:

    I was blown away by this post. I had no idea that the Girl Scouts held this kind of flippant opinion of such a serious health and environmental issue. Seems to me like it’s time to write some letters to the leadership of that organization.

    • onceuponatimeinabedofwildflowers says:

      Thanks, Lauren!
      Did you see my follow up post? Turns out they are only flippant if you are quiet. When you try to discuss the issue they become quite a lot less flippant!
      I’m so glad you stopped by! 🙂

  27. R W says:

    I’m frustrated with the whole cookie thing for different reasons and have a similar conundrum. How are you doing this without hurting your daughters troop and why did you join knowing this was a requirement in the first place? If you spoke up after the troop ordered the cookies wouldn’t that cause them to over order and make the other girls have to sell your cookies? Donations are great because they go 100% to the troop and not anywhere else, but if the girls don’t sell the cookies the troop ordered aren’t you stuck with them?

  28. onceuponatimeinabedofwildflowers says:

    Actually there is no requirement to sell Girl Scout Cookies when you are in Girl Scouts.
    And I have been told that they cannot kick you out for not selling them. (Though it would seem that you have to be very careful if you want to explain *why* you aren’t selling them!)
    Before we even joined Girl Scouts, I explained to the troop leaders my concerns, and they assured me it wouldn’t be a problem… so I am assuming that when they placed their Cookie order, they took that into account. As far as the rest of your questions, I’m afraid I don’t know the answers, since we aren’t participating in the Cookie Sale.
    Best of luck! 🙂

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  31. Liz says:

    Fine, don’t sell them, but make a healthy cash contribution to her troop. Because the girls in her troop who do sell them are financing all your girl’s fun, activities, education, snack, patches, you name it. They are doing the work of the troop, and at least in our council, unless the girls do cookie sales the troop is forbidden from any other fundraising. Please notify your leader of your decision, too, otherwise she’ll think you are being lazy. Signed, a Daisy Scout leader.

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  34. Liz says:

    I think it’s great that you are standing up for your food choices. keep in mind when making donations, people should be encouraged to donate to the local Girl Scout council as well, as part of the proceeds goes to the local Girl Scout council which pays for girl programming, leader support staff, etc.

  35. It is absolutely beautiful that you are standing up for your convictions. I admire you strength and consistency. Great Job, Momma!

  36. Good for you guys! I know it’s a little early since their Daisy’s but if you know any girls working on the Silver or Gold projects this would be a great topic! Especially with the some of the Sow What? Journey! That’s what got them to take out the palm oil out! The girls can change this planet, and I think it’s great you guys are taking a stand, really work with them (even at that level) to understand the difference between GMO and organic/heritage seeds. Let the information grow with them and if it hasn’t changed by the time they’re older make it their silver/gold project. Councils rely heavily on cookie funding to do anything and if you guys educate enough girls on what it means to have GMO products in the cookies I bet you’ll change things in no time!

  37. Becky says:

    I was a Girl Scout for years – and I was the leader of my daughter’s Girl Scout troop. The troop I led never sold a cookie – for a long list of reasons. It’s terrible that an organization that says it’s for children clings to an a fundraising model that is outdated and harmful to the girls it proclaims to be helping. I haven’t bought a cookie in years and I refuse to. The GMO thing is just yet another reason.

  38. David says:

    Thank you for this post. I am on the opposite side of this issue. I will be buying Girl Scout Cookies this year for two reasons.

    First, I am very grateful that the Girl Scouts made a stand for science confirming what all independent scientific organizations and most scientists in the fields of genetics, biotechnology, food science, and agriculture have said after reviewing the collective scientific evidence in recent years, that GMOs are as safe for health and the environment as non-GMOs. This is the opposite of what so many food companies have been doing recently which is focusing on satisfying customers actively embracing science denialism rather making a stand against such anti-science campaigns.

    Second, this year (I don’t know about previous years) I know many Girl Scout cookies are vegan. On the ABC Smart Cookies website they list Lemonades, Thanks-A-Lot, Thin Mints, and Peanut Butter Patties as all vegan. I will most definitely be buying at least one box of each and sharing them with friends.

    As for their nutrition, they are white flour and sugar. That is to be expected from cookies since they are treats. Just don’t go overboard with them and you should be fine as long as you are eating an overall balanced diet.

    So this year, I will be supporting the Girl Scouts of America, buying their cookies and thanking them, the scouts, and their parents for providing vegan cookies and for standing for science not giving into unfounded anti-GMO fears.

    • onceuponatimeinabedofwildflowers says:

      Thank you for your comment, David, though I will obviously be respectfully disagreeing with most of it.

      Though I will say that I am absolutely in the white-flour-is-fine-as-an-occasional-treat camp!

      • David says:

        If you would like to chat I would like to present you with the science, or even better yet, introduce you to people that understand better than me and work in the science of genetics, ag, & biotech. I hope I or someone else can do what others did for me, convince me of the safety of GMOs using good science.

        For beginners, I recommend visiting the website Biofortified (biofortified.org) to get a good rundown of GMOs from indy scientists. They have many good science-based blog posts and a discussion forum where members will (at least should) respectfully discuss the topic, questions, and concerns with you. That, plus the book Tomorrows Table by a geneticist (Ronald) and organic farmer (Adamchak) husband/wife team, are the two best resources to start with.

        I hope with time and evidence you will see that GMOs are not the problem that they have been made out to be. There are so many other problems to deal with food and ag that I think GMOs are a distraction.

  39. Windy says:

    Thank you for teaching your child to be an example for the future. We are in the very beginning stages of the American Health Consciousness Movement that will soon avalanche onto manufacturers who do not care about the health consciousness of their ingredients.

    Along with GMOs, girl scout cookie ingredients contain artificial flavorings, unhealthy oils, and many other awful things for children, or anyone, to ingest.
    I quit buying and eating girl scout cookies a long time ago. When profits become more important that health–something is horribly wrong.

    When a child approaches me in front of a grocery store to sell me cookies, I say, “Sorry those cookies contain ingredients that could make me sick,” and I make a $1.00 donation to the troop with the request that no fast/processed cookie manufacturer will profit from my donation.
    Children should not be pawns to unhealthy, big food business profiteering.

    I hope that your child does not cry–but feels proud and lucky that she is part of a movement that will protect the health of future generations. She is lucky to have a mom who teaches her the real difference between right and wrong.

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  41. Katlyn says:

    I’m a Girl Scout and I will still be selling cookies. If we don’t sell them we won’t have any funds for the year. That SUCKS! Our whole school and neighborhood buys them and they still ask for more. Target the company that makes them not US!

  42. Amy says:

    I just came across this while looking for signs for our cookie sales this year.

    I am with Girl Guides in Canada. I have been an active leader for 20+ years. I’m not going to pretend I know what goes into our version of the cookies, it truthfully doesn’t matter to me. Selling cookies is so much more than just selling cookies for money. In Canada, our membership agreement includes the support and participation of cookie sales.

    The money our units actually get from the cookies is pretty small….just over $1.00 per box. Cookie selling teaches the kids responsibility, how to handle the public in an appropriate way, understanding that people will say no to you, working out financial sums, teamwork, organization and so much more.

    Sometimes people get wrapped up in what is on the surface…cookie selling…and don’t look at the deeper meaning. Some suggest that selling cookies should be a thing of the past, etc.

    I commend you on your stance…there is nothing wrong with that, and I did skim through the article and I do hope you at least donated money to the unit, so that they were not out their portion of the sales.

    I also think approach is important….some people commented that they would tell the girls they wouldn’t buy them and list their reasons…I do hope you keep age in mind….a 5 year old isn’t going to understand (or care probably) why you don’t want them…they will just know you said no..but again, that is part of the learning process with our cookie sales.

    To those of you not buying….thank you for standing up for your principles and consider donating 🙂

    To those of you selling….happy sales!

  43. Elizabeth Pantoga says:

    Yes! You go, girl! I totally agree with your statement. I have refused to buy Girl Scout Cookies for the past 3 years, and instead give money directly to my niece’s troop. Did you know that the Girl Scout Troop only gets about $0.75 for every box they sell? Cookies are $4.00 a box this year, and I am definitely not paying a single cent to the Girl Scouts. Instead, I’m giving it to their troop. After I read this article, I told my friends about it and now they’ve stopped buying the cookies, too. I love how you point out that the Girl Scout Council isn’t following their own law. I support you fully in this argument!

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