Monday, March 12, 2007

Why Girl Scout Cookies Are So Incredibly Wonderful

I know I'm not the only person who makes an occasional meal out of Thin Mints or Samoas (now called Caramel Delites - I just looked in the freezer to check), so I was happy as a cookie-eating clam to pick up my delivery at my sister's this weekend.

This year marks the 90th anniversary of Girl Scout cookies, and it's one tradition that I'm thrilled see survive.

I was never much of a Girl Scout myself. I was part of an active Brownie Troop, but we kind of fell apart after we flew up to Girl Scouts. The summer after we flew up, my friends and I spent a week at a completely low-budget day camp for Brownies and fly-ups, where we made Sit-Upons out of newspapers and mooned over the cute lifeguard. On the last day of camp, there was a show, and I was supposed to dance a can-can with another girl. But I was a little weirded out because I didn't really know the other girl, and I believe she was a Protestant, to boot. In any case, I was too embarrassed to get up in front of the cute lifeguard -  even though he wouldn't have known who I was if he'd saved me five minutes earlier from the depths of Stiles Lake -  so I pretended that I was sick. Also on that last day, the counselors and said cute lifeguard took off on us, hid in some secret reaches of the low-budget camp, and made themselves Samoas (real ones with graham crackers, marshmallows, and Hershey bars). When we found them, they told us to scram. This definitely lowered my opinion of the counselors, who were supposed to be some kind of Girl Scout goddesses, not to mention the cute lifeguard.

That fall, it didn't help my Scouting career that the two troop leaders in our parish - a couple of tough, chain smoking Irish women - died of lung cancer just about the time I became a full-fledged Girl Scout. In any case, I never got my cookie selling badge - or any other badge, for that matter.

Still, I have always loved GS cookies and, as a purist, I do not believe that there is any cookie on the face of the earth that can compete with a Thin Mint (let alone a stack of Thin Mints). But there's other reasons why Girl Scout Cookies have such a great value proposition:

  • You get to support a good cause. The Girl Scouts both let kids be kids, and help girls navigate the increasingly perilous shoals between childhood and adolescence. (I believe this, despite my earlier experience with the Samoa-hogging Girl Scout meanies.)
  • You get to buy from girls who are involved in a wholesome endeavor. There are no doubt Girl Scouts who worship Britney Spears and dress like skanks, but it seems to me that girls involved in Scouting are going to be more likely to be taking part in age appropriate (and appropriate appropriate) activities.  
  • In my own personal case, I get to support my wonderful niece, Molly.
  • For whatever reason, the Girl Scouts seem to be a pretty darn scandal-free organization. (Samoa-hogging scandal aside.)
  • You can bring Girl Scout cookies into the office and make everybody happy.
  • In fact, you can sell Girl Scout cookies in the office and make everybody happy - unlike those fundraisers that sell the scented candles or the wrapping paper sets where each sheet of paper might let your wrap a ring box.
  • Girl Scout cookies now come mostly trans-fat.
  • Girl Scout cookies last forever in the freezer and taste great frozen. Actually, I don't know if they last forever, but they do last at least six months in my house.
  • You can definitely make a meal out of Thin Mints. Serve with cold milk. Preparation time: 0 minutes. (I think I know what's for dinner tonight.)

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