Girl Scout Troop Disappointed By Shops At Nanuet Policy

Courtesy of Carol Ackerman
Courtesy of Carol Ackerman

Carol Ackerman said her New City Girl Scout Troop hoped to sell Girl Scout Cookies at The Shops At Nanuet. When she asked the Shops’ management for permission she was told the troop would be charged a fee - $175 to sell in the courtyard or $100 to sell on the perimeter.

Ackerman said she was angry, stunned and disappointed. The Rockland County native said she understands when a business says no to the request for girls to sell cookies but the troop has never been told they would have to pay. Ackerman said the troop earns 75 cents per box and would have sell 134 boxes just to cover the fee.

“I felt that wasn’t right,” she said. “We’re part of their community.”

The Shops At Nanuet issued the following statement regarding their policy on organizations seeking permission to sell items. 

“The Shops at Nanuet evaluates every inquiry for access to the property individually. Anytime we consider a request by an outside organization to come to the property to sell a product, there is a fee structure involved. In this instance, we wanted to accommodate the Girls Scouts and offered them an extremely discounted rate.”

Ackerman said her troop of 11-year-old sixth and seventh graders would look elsewhere to sell the cookies in March. She said the 15 girls in Troop 40826 have been successful selling in front of grocery stores and restaurants and hoped to expand this year.

“I know that the Girl Scout House as already arranged for Girl Scout Week at the Palisades Mall - but it's so popular that they use a lottery system,” said Ackerman. “Last year we didn't get picked so this year we were trying to make our own plans.”

Ackerman said selling cookies is not actually about raising money but a learning experience because the girls develop a business plan. They learn how to sell, how to approach people and why some people will not buy or just ignore them.

“All of that is a life lesson to them," she said. 
James R January 17, 2014 at 10:47 AM
I promise to boycott this entire place due to the way this group was treated. It would have been better if they just declined by saying "no". Don't they realize it would make shoppers happy to buy a box or two of cookies and more than likely, folks would go into a place to buy drinks?
Wayne S January 17, 2014 at 11:01 AM
Lighten up James.
Rob T January 17, 2014 at 11:03 AM
Tacky as usual, but not surprised.
Roberta Bangs January 17, 2014 at 12:13 PM
Very disappointed in them. If the Shops want to be successful, they need to support our community.
Scott Walters January 17, 2014 at 12:28 PM
No real surprise given the transparency they offered the community over the last decade.
Robert Ward Kurkela January 17, 2014 at 12:36 PM
Despicable is the word that comes to mind. Charge a fee to Girl Scouts to sell cookies? Really? I hope this story goes national.
Amy Rose January 17, 2014 at 01:26 PM
I just want to say thank you to the person who offered to give us the $175 fee for our troop. We are so touched by your generosity and this has reminded us that there are still wonderful and kind people in our town. We respectfully decline and will bring our business and our customers elsewhere. Carol, Lauren & Linda Girl Scouts Troop 40826
Warren G Harding January 17, 2014 at 02:49 PM
Corporations are people, they need to be paid..........
Josette A. Greshler-Maderna January 17, 2014 at 03:19 PM
Please remember it's the management company and not the stores renting space that has done this. I find it in extremely poor taste. As a mother of a Girl Scout, a appreciate a place where the girls can safely sell cookies together and not have to walk up and down streets in the cold going up to stranger's houses. This was a very non-community friendly decision. Shame on them.
Michael N. Hull January 17, 2014 at 04:14 PM
"In this instance, we wanted to accommodate the Girls Scouts and offered them an extremely discounted rate.” ....... An extremely discounted rate would have been $1.75 and even that would have been objectionable.
Dan Weisberg January 17, 2014 at 05:36 PM
Many a scout has raised money by standing in front of supermarkets, stores, etc. This activity has also been a staple of school or other local sports teams looking to raise money to support their organization, or to raise money to attend a specific event out of town. I remember spending many hours with scouts, including my son, when he was a little Tiger Cub selling chocolate bars to support his Pack. The Palisades Mall at that time (about 14 years ago) was very amenable to this type of activity INSIDE the mall. I don't know if they are still that accommodating as they have had different policies over the years. To raise money for his Eagle project he stood outside Dunkin Donuts and two bagel shops for several weekends in a row. Not only was he not charged a fee, but he was given food and a donation from these stores. The thought that the Shops at Nanuet would spout this corporate boilerplate response is almost as annoying as the notion they want a fee to sell Girl Scout cookies. This doesn't surprise me because the Shops also chased away volunteers handing out political flyers during campaign season as well. Some may think that was a good move, but one traditionally allowed and coupled with this story shows a corporate mentality that is not community-friendly. As a side note, when you see a young person selling cookies or candy, if you don't feel like buying, at least a smile and a polite thank you would be nice. I am amazed at how often people scowl at these kids as they try to raise money. Fortunately most people either make a small purchase, and some give outright donations. I myself can not pass by a scout selling anything without making some purchase. So ladies, when you decide where you can set up shop, post back as I will gladly come by for some cookies (although saddened that All Abouts have gone by the wayside)!
marc rutstein January 18, 2014 at 07:54 AM
Dan, Well written. I'm hoping the mall owners will wake up, look in the mirror and say "did we just screw with the Scout of America, what were we thinking"? Earlier comment is that the retailers did not issue this policy but it's goes to the mentality of corporations, does the mall really need $175 or any other amt? In my opinion, just a dumb community ignorant and bad P.R. Response. On a side nite, I'd be happy NEVER to see those cookies again BC you can't eat just one n they are too good (joking)!!! Donate to the kids. Rockland Ciunty, keep supporting the scouts, a great group of members and leaders! Best if Luck, Marc Rutstein Who ever is selling, I'll buy!!
Carol A. January 18, 2014 at 09:59 AM
Thank you so much, everyone! Ed Day called me yesterday and has been in touch with Simon Malls to ask them to work this out. I haven't heard from them yet but am remaining optimistic. We also had a generous offer from Flip n Dip in Nanuet to come sell in front of their store and we will call them to arrange that, as well. All of your support is really heartwarming and encouraging. Thank you so much!! Carol Ackerman
Robert Ward Kurkela January 18, 2014 at 11:15 AM
Carol, I want to personally support your troop. Send me an email at goldenroad@optonline.net. I will happily buy some boxes from your girls. I have 2 daughters so this hits very close to home. You are an inspiration to the entire community. No doubt you lead a wonderful troop!
marc rutstein January 18, 2014 at 11:48 AM
Send me the info as well to meruts@aol.com
martina O'Brien January 18, 2014 at 03:31 PM
Carol, you are awesome you are a great leader and and a great role model to our girls . the best lesson in life is to never give up without a fight. Keep trying it's the only way to succeed.Thanks for taking your personal time to lead troop 40826.I know our girls have learned and will learn many things that will help them in the future. Martina O'Bien mobp66@aol.com
Rockland County Executive Ed Day January 18, 2014 at 04:38 PM
Good news. As Carol mentioned, I did reach out to her and Ryan Hildalgo. Ryan was most helpful in speaking with upper management with a goal of coming to a mutual understanding. The Simon Group and the Girl Scout Troop have come to an agreement for a lease that is mindful of both parties, and both are very happy with that understanding. Simon Group also offered to advertise the appearances of the Girl Scout Troop #40826 on their extensive FaceBook page to assist them in maximizing their fundraising efforts. I am most happy that I was able to help mediate the matter for the good of all concerned, and look forward to being first on line for chocolate mint cookies!
Dan Weisberg January 18, 2014 at 05:02 PM
Ed, you know I solidly stand behind you, but this story is deeper than this particular Girl Scout Troop. If Simon and the Shops at Nanuet want to be a part of the community they have to act like a part of the community. The very fact that the County Executive had to intercede says much about their philosophy, which needs to have a serious makeover if they want to be a long-term partner with the people of Rockland. I commend you for your efforts, but the proof will be seen in how they act going forward.
Rockland County Executive Ed Day January 18, 2014 at 05:05 PM
Dan, thanks and I am hopeful that this is the first step to a journey of better understanding. With steps such as these, life can be better for all in Rockland. That is my goal, and only time will tell.
Robert Ward Kurkela January 18, 2014 at 10:40 PM
Ed, nice job! Although I beat you to the punch in placing an order for cookies from the troop, I will happily let you take my spot on line. ~ Bob
Carol A. January 19, 2014 at 12:30 AM
Thank you to Ed, Dan W, Marc, Robert and Martina!! I'm so excited to hear from Ryan from Simon Malls and have a positive resolution to this! I will keep everyone posted and share the date of our cookie booth. Thanks to everyone for all of their support, Robin Traum for bringing this issue public and Ed Day, for making change happen! The first of many success stories to come from Ed!! Xo
Josette A. Greshler-Maderna January 19, 2014 at 09:23 AM
Carol, I am so glad to see everyone come to the rescue. Last night, I was talking to the owner of Jimmy's on Main, which is right over from the mall. He wanted to reach out to you because he has offered the exclusive use of his enclosed patio to the troop and free hot chocolate to anyone who buys cookies. He may be reached via facebook at https://www.facebook.com/jimmysonmain or by phone at (845) 623-6246.
Watchdog January 19, 2014 at 10:04 PM
There was no Christmas Season at the Shopps at Nanuet so We bought our Christmas presents elsewhere. Saved a few bucks too. Ryan Hidalgo is way out if touch with this Community. Dissing The Christian Community and now the Girl Scouts? Is this clown for real?
Watchdog January 19, 2014 at 10:05 PM
Hidalgo needs a course in sensitivity training.
Dave Thomas January 26, 2014 at 05:42 PM
Amy Rose March 16, 2014 at 12:08 PM
We are at the Shops at Nanuet today from 12p-5pm! Hope to see everyone there! Carol Ackerman Troop 40826


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something