Wednesday, January 21, 2009

It's REALLY Girl Scout Cookie Time...

I promised when I wrote the original version of this, that I would resend it when it truly IS Girl Scout Cookie time. And it is.... Girls here in the South have started taking orders - believe they will soon follow in the North.

One thing I have learned since I originally posted this - though I think the girls like getting cookies as well, is there is a "Gift of Caring" community service project. The girls can pick an organization to whom cookies will be donated if people would like to buy them for donation. So, your options are many...

Enjoy the re-telling: Originally published Saturday September 13, 2008:

It's Girl Scout Cookie Time!!!

Well, no, not really. Cookies come in the spring. But my daughter just signed up for Brownies, so we've been doing some reminiscing. I pulled out my old Girl Scout vest and we looked at my badges and my star pins (which she liked best). She put on my old beanie and gave me an ear to ear grin. It begins.

It's changed a lot in the years since I was a scout. The thing I notice most - since I've not actively been involved in scouting - thus far! - is how cookies are sold. In my day (and yes, I know I'm dating myself here - I'm OK with that!), we sold cookies door to door... and they were a dollar a box! One year, I had sold the most in my district - 265 boxes (or something equally ridiculous). And that wasn't mom or dad taking the order form to the office, it was DOOR TO DOOR. The reality of that designation hit me when I was loading up yet another wagon full to deliver them... door to door. (I vowed never to seek that honor again!)

These days, they set up outside of Wal*mart or the grocery store. Several girls and their leader or adult volunteer. For the past several years, I've developed my own Girl Scout cookie tradition (that my sister has encouraged me to share here!). I love the cookies and I believe in scouting. But, my problem: I love the cookies. It wouldn't matter how many boxes I bought, I'd eat them all - without an opportunity to teach my kids about sharing. So, I've gone about it in a little different way.

When I see them set up outside the store, I now grin ear to ear in anticipation. I enjoy that feeling while I do my shopping. On my way out, I stop at the table.

"Would you like to buy some cookies?" they ask. I ask how much they cost, and quickly count the number of girls at the table. I then ask each girl in turn what their favorite flavor is. "Thin mints", "Tagalongs", "Samoas". I tell them I'll take one of each. They stack them up and tell me how much I owe - now significantly more than a dollar a box! Change in hand, I pick up the stack of boxes and hand each box to the girl who expressed it as her favorite. "Enjoy!" I say as I walk away.

It's interesting to hear what happens next - and honestly, I wish I could be a fly on the wall to truly witness it with my eyes, but I'm walking away, so I have to trust my ears. At first they are baffled. "for me?" the silence says. I can only imagine they look at each other and then the shrieking begins or the laughter, and the "THANK YOU!!"s. "You're welcome", I call back.

I am able to donate to a worthy cause, demonstrate random acts of kindness, and I save myself THOUSANDS of calories. That is a definite win-win situation!

I'll repost this in the spring, when it IS Girl Scout Cookie time, with a challenge to make a Girl Scout's day!

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