Friday, March 5, 2010
Girl Scout Cookies
It's that time of year again! Who doesn't like Girl Scout cookies? Nobody, that's who. Thin Mints, Samoas, Tagalongs, Do-Si-Dos, Lemon Chalet Creams, or Trefoils--there's something for everyone. My personal favorites are Thin Mints (kept in the freezer, of course--I ate a whole stack of them just the other day) and Samoas (at 75 calories a cookie), with the peanut butter Do-Si-Dos coming in a close third. You can Meet the Cookies at this link.
When I was a Brownie and a Girl Scout myself, in the late 1950s and early 1960s, the cookies were sold for fifty cents a box. I believe we took orders and then delivered them in a little cardboard "suitcase" with a handle. In those days, you could go door-to-door in your neighborhood and be perfectly safe. It helped if your mom or dad could sell a few boxes at their workplace, too.
Overseas, it worked differently. Tons of cookies were delivered to the various bases and then distributed for sale, sold outside the commissary, and so on. As an adult Brownie leader and a teacher, I had cases and cases and cases of them in my classroom closet. I sold them at lunch from my doorway (I now find out you're not supposed to do that, but, hey . . . ). Teenage boys would buy four boxes (they were up to $2.50/box then) and eat all of them for lunch! Our troop sold SO many cookies, we paid for a fieldtrip by train to Nuernberg!
I was honored to be asked to serve on the European Council of Girl Scouts for a few years. We met several times a year, and COOKIES were always on the agenda! They are a big part of what makes the Girl Scouts run camps and have programs for girls and leaders. I like the idea of selling something that everyone wants and then using that money to fund the organization.
Two years ago, the Sigonella (Italy) girl scouts were selling cookies outside the commissary. They were asking people if they wanted to donate boxes to send to soldiers in Iraq. I did, but I also made my own personal soldier, my daughter Alison, very popular with her fellow soldiers by sending her several boxes directly to Baghdad, Iraq via APO. She was one of the first to get Girl Scout cookies that year.
The cookies have been around for eighty years, and it seems no end is in sight for this American institution. I think I'll have one (or two) right now . . . . they are in the freezer.