Tag Archives: Girl Scouts

Cookie

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When I was a Brownie, I was a cooking-selling machine.

Part of my success was due to my Aunt Dash. She worked at an upscale clothing store for women, and every year at cookie time, she’d have me come in to sell to her co-workers. I don’t know if the co-workers were just being nice of if they were cookie fiends, but those women scooped up most of my inventory.

I sold cookies to my family too.

My parents did their part to support me, not just by driving me around to make deliveries and handling the money, but also by actually buying cookies. Our nuclear family tried them all, but our favorites were Peanut Butter Patties, Peanut Butter Sandwiches, and—of course—Thin Mints. Later, the Girl Scout
Cookie Corporation (or whatever it was called) came out with Carmel Delights, which I was quite fond of, but my parents liked to stay with the tried and true varieties. Personally, I never met a Girl Scout cookie I didn’t like.

Members of my mother’s large extended family bought cookies too. None of my girl cousins were ever in the Girl Scouts, so I had the family cookie market cornered. My MaMa was always good for a few boxes, as were most of my aunts and uncles. My godfather did more than his fair share to support my cookie empire. Other than Aunt Dash, I don’t remember my dad’s side of the family buying any of my cookies, but maybe that was because they lived farther away.

After selling to my aunt’s coworkers and my family members, I took the cookie show on the road.

Despite my mother’s fear of the kidnapping of her children, she’d dress me in my Brownie uniform and help me load boxes of cookies into the family’s rusty green wagon so I could peddle the delicacies through the streets of the mobile home park where we lived. My younger sibling went with me, for safety, in our mother’s mind, but I’m sure the added adorableness didn’t hurt sales.

Stay together, my mother would tell us, and don’t ever ever ever go into anyone’s house.

We’d set out to knock on the front door of each trailer in turn.

I had a routine and a spiel. I’d climb the steps to the front door and knock knock knock. Then I’d run back down the steps to join my sibling next to the wagon full of deliciousness. When the resident opened the door, I’d say Hi! I’m a Girl Scout, and I’m selling Girl Scout cookies… From there I’d let the adult’s questions (How much? What flavors?) lead the conversation.

I was exciting to be out in the world without parental supervision. It was exciting to have a product people wanted to buy. It was exciting to be handed money and be trusted to make change. I felt like quite the grownup until…

I ran up the steps. Knock knock knock. I ran back down the steps. A woman opened the door. In my excitement, I blurted out, I’m a Girl Scout cookie!

The woman burst out laughing. Of course she did! How hilarious is a little girl announcing she’s a cookie? Pretty hilarious!

I felt my cheeks flush with shame. Oh, the humiliation!

I didn’t feel like a grown up anymore, but I was nothing if not persistent.  I’m a Girl Scout, I mean, I corrected myself, and I’m selling Girl Scout cookies.

What could she do but buy a box?

The Evils of Girl Scout Cookies

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I was selling jewelry and shiny rocks in front of a local, independent bookstore. My table was up against an adobe wall. On the other side of the wall, two teenage Girl Scouts & their mom chaperone were selling Girl Scout cookies.

A man walked up to my table, and I said hello to him.

“Do you know what that woman is doing?” he asked me in an angry German (or maybe Austrian) accent while indicating the chaperone mom.

“What?” I asked, wanting the scoop.

“She is making children sell cookies that are full of sugar!” He went on to tell me that what she was doing was wrong, that sugar is not good for everybody. (I think he meant “anybody.”) He said she was wrong to make the children sell the unhealthy cookies and that he’d told her so!

I wanted to ask him if he’d never heard of the tradition of selling Girl Scout cookies as a fundraiser, but I’ve learned not to get into discussions with fanatics.

Then he complained that the chaperone mom was blocking the sidewalk so folks had to pass right by the table with the cookies.

I told him I thought the restaurant they were set up in front of had given them permission to be where they were, and he said, “Money talks!”

Did he think the Girl Scouts were giving the restaurant a kickback on their shameful sugar earnings?

At that point, I knew there’d be no reasonable discussion with the man (and probably no bracelet sale either), so I busied myself tidying up my table and made noncommittal “I heard you” noises in response to everything he said until he went away.

Perhaps he should write to the Girl Scout national office and propose Girl Scout carrots, Girl Scout cauliflower, Girl Scout cabbage and Girl Scout cantaloupes. Would you patronize a Girl Scout produce stand?

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