Pint-sized girls, cookies can pack a wallop

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 25, 2001

I had two reasons in the past week to be proud that I’m a former Girl Scout.

Last Friday, a box of sample Girl Scout cookies was delivered to our office as a goodwill gift and public relations tool from the Girl Scout Council of Central Mississippi.

In about three hours, the newsroom had devoured nearly every Caramel deLite, Thin Mint and Peanut Butter Pattie in sight.

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And they say journalism doesn’t have perks.

Yes, it’s Girl Scout cookie time again. And it’s a win-win situation for everyone. You get your choice of fudge-dipped animal crackers or peanut butter sandwich cookies, and the Girl Scouts in our area receive 72 percent of the proceeds to help support their activities.

The Girl Scout Council says about 2 million cookies will be sold in Mississippi this year, and I don’t doubt it.

At $3 a box, that gives the Girl Scouts in our state more than $4 million to learn everything from camping to character.

With the memory of those cookies still fresh in my mind – and their crumbs still lodged in my keyboard – I read a wonderful story Saturday night about the pluck and grit of a &uot;thin yellow line&uot; of Girl Scouts who volunteered at the presidential inauguration.

The teenagers had volunteered to collect tickets along the parade route, but they were nearly overwhelmed when about 500 protesters entering a demonstration site tried to take up a set of bleachers reserved for ticket-holding spectators.

As protesters with anti-Bush signs overflowed the bleachers, the girls, clad in yellow rain jackets and with only limited help from a few Secret Service officers, formed a cordon around demonstrators to keep them contained.

According to The Associated Press, Crissi Bailey, 17, of Silver Spring, Md., was among those in the thin yellow line.

”I think some of the protesters are being a little bit rude,” she said, ”but some of them are being really nice and we’re learning a lot about new issues.”

”And new cuss words,” a fellow scout added.

The scouts stood their ground, AP reported, but did not confront the protesters.

Grit and grace under pressure.

While I respect the protesters’ right to protest, I don’t think they had the right to take over bleacher seats they didn’t pay for. Nor did they have the right to mess with the Girl Scouts.

Come to think of it, I was never more courageous than when I was a Girl Scout.

If riding a horse 10 times your size and eating Spam-and-sweet-potato kebabs while camping in Arkansas isn’t enough to steel you against life’s troubles, I don’t know what is.

So, while I know it doesn’t take too much encouragement, I hope everyone buys at least one box of Girl Scout cookies.

Those girls in green are more than just pint-sized cookie saleswomen.

And buying a few boxes of cookies won’t just satisfy your sweet tooth. It is an investment in the future.

Kerry Whipple is news editor of The Democrat. She can be reached at (601) 445-3562 or by e-mail at