Somewhere in our attic is a dark green Girl Scout sash, but since it belongs to daughter number 1, it’s been packed away carefully in her recently reorganized “corner” and I’ve been ordered NOT to mess it up.
But a quick search through my husband’s box of family “heirlooms”, I located an old green Girl Scout dress that belonged either to his sister or mom. The label reads “Girl Scouts Trademark Official Uniform”.
Last night I mentioned to my husband that no Girl Scout had been by to take my annual cookie order. He just laughed. Somehow I’d missed the change in cookie selling — apparently Scouts can no longer go door to door. Okay, the sensible mom part of my brain realizes that this is a good move toward safer selling.
The nostalgic Girl Scout child in me finds this incredibly sad. My best friend, Karen Kreider, and I spent years happily competing with each other to see who could sell the most. We had our routine down. As daughters of college professors, we had direct access to the womens’ dorms on campus.
The day we got our order forms, we headed to the dorms, where we’d walk up and down the halls. The students were happy to help fill our forms. In fact, often they’d check with boyfriends to get their orders, too. One of us usually had a cousin on campus who helped spread the word that we were on the rampage.
I forget how many boxes we sold, but probably not much more than 150 each in a good year. That might be an exaggeration. Of course, our relatives would help to pad the order. I was lucky. As the only girl with four older brothers, I had no competition within my family and my older brothers were always eager to order. Karen, on the other hand, was one of four girls in a family of five children so had to deal with two older sisters who were also Scouts.
Although my mom always ordered a lot of cookies, I had to order a few boxes of my own so I wouldn’t always have to share with my brothers. To this day, my favorite is the Trefoil — odd since I have a chocolate fetish.
Ordering back then was a lot easier, with only three or four versions to choose from. Even that was a big change from the original options. Back in the 192os and 30s, Scouts baked their own cookies. In the latter 30s, the Scouting organization licensed commercial bakers to produce the cookies.
By the time our girls were in Scouts (my husband and I were both leaders) cookie ordering and selling had become a family affair. The girls wouldn’t let us off easy, so we found that it helped to have a big freezer.
Early in my newspaper career, I was the food editor, which meant that the local Girl Scout council would deliver a large box of cookies to my “office.” If you’ve haven’t been in a newsroom when Girl Scout cookies are delivered, just imagine vultures preying on some poor fallen animal. It isn’t pretty.
So now…here we are…no more Scouts in the family and no more freebies thanks to media connections. Luckily, I just remembered that the niece of daughter number one’s significant other is a Scout and she’s just around the corner. Proof again that living in a small town is not without its perks.