UPDATE: The Fox News article used to source this report has been updated with a correction:
After this story was originally published on Feb. 18, 2015, The Girl Scouts of America clarified their original description of the shipping policy to say the surcharge is levied by the youth organization and not its private shipper, and that it does not apply to servicemembers stationed in the continental U.S. The story has been updated to reflect this information.
Breitbart News’s article has similarly been updated to reflect this information.
No strangers to controversy, the Girl Scouts have stepped into another muddle with the news that it will cost American servicemen $20 extra to receive a shipment of cookies at military bases located overseas or in Alaska and Hawaii.
In Decembers the Girl Scouts launched something called Digital Cookie, in which the Girl Scout sales force–that is, the little girls–allows customers to order online rather than buy from door-to-door sales only.
The Girl Scouts did not initially reveal the name of the shipping company they are using, but in an email to Breitbart News, a spokesperson named FedEx as the shipper. According to Fox News, the fine print at Digital Cookie says: “the shipper charges a $20 premium for shipment of online orders to residents of Hawaii and Alaska, as well as ‘orders delivered to military addresses.’”
Army 1st Sgt. Christopher Lenker, who first told Fox News about the issue, said, “It’s totally outrageous. I’m not sure how charging our military so much more is really necessary.” With the premium charge, a service member could pay up to $31.25 in shipping fees on a $4 box of cookies.
An Army spokesman said that standard US Postal Service shipping is available at all military installations in the U.S.
The Girl Scouts have come under heavy fire in recent years, particularly as they seem to have drifted to the left politically. A “Cookiecott”–covered extensively last year at Breitbart News–was launched by pro-lifers who are concerned with the cozy connection between Girl Scout management and some Councils with the country’s biggest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood.
Breitbart News ran an ongoing exposé of then-Girl Scout spokesman Josh Ackley who heads a “homopunk” rock band that produces songs and videos with content showing violence against women. Ackley’s name was eventually stripped from the Girl Scouts’ blog, where he was the chief blogger, his name was taken down from the Girl Scouts’ PR web page, and he stopped appearing in public representing the Girl Scouts.
All the scandals put together have harmed the Girl Scouts. For 2012-2013, cookie sales were down 4.5% nationally, and in the following year, membership (and thus the cookie sales force) has declined by six figures, and there is an ongoing scandal about the Girl Scouts pension fund.