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Reader Write: Girl Scouts don't teach business skills, 'Band of Brothers' hit the mark, and tech companies overlook needs of older people

Letters to the Editor for Dec. 15, 2014 weekly magazine:

Mientus: A better approach to learning business leadership would be to have a Girl Scout troop sell cookies together.

Soule: The photographs were especially effective and moving.

Miller: Technology manufacturers overlook the needs of older people.

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    Girl Scouts from the Texas Council sell cookies in Dallas on Feb. 23, 2007.
    Matt Slocum/AP/File
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Girls Scouts doesn’t teach business

In regard to the Dec. 1 online article “Girl Scout cookies go online: Now, you can buy Thin Mints anywhere” (CSMonitor.com): How can an organization with a “multimillion-dollar pension deficit” consider itself qualified to teach children about business and finance leadership? The organization uses children as salespeople, and they sold nearly $800 million worth of cookies.

The current sales model makes each child an entrepreneur; they are solely responsible for getting out and selling the cookies. But I think a better approach to learning business leadership would be to tackle this at the troop level, assigning or rotating responsibilities such as sales, procurement, marketing, advertising, accounting, warehousing, fulfillment, distribution, customer service, collections, and profit sharing. That’s a way to learn real-world business logistics.

Barbara Mientus
Lombard, Ill.

‘Band of brothers’ hit the mark 

I wanted to thank you for the Nov. 10 cover story, “Band of brothers.” The photographs were especially effective and moving. This article is why I have subscribed to the Monitor for more than 30 years. Everyone in the country needs to read this article. Thank you to you and your staff for the work you do at the Monitor.

Rick Soule
South Lake Tahoe, Calif.

Struggles to find computer basics

In regard to the Nov. 25 online article “Do you know the basics of the Internet? Pew study says you probably don’t.” (CSMonitor.com): I have a new computer, and it took me nine months to figure out how to use its basic features. Why is basic information about a computer so hard to find? The young seem to be able to instinctively grasp these kinds of ideas, so people are overlooking the needs of older people. Manufacturers need to do more to help users use their devices.

Bob Miller
West End, N.C.

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