Girl Scouts Go on a DietFor years, Girl Scout Cookies have been the ultimate American treat.
As a former Brownie girl myself, I remember piling a mountain of Thin Mints, Tagalongs (what are now called Peanut Butter Patties) and Shortbread Cookies into my Radio Flyer wagon as I marched from house to house with my mom patiently trailing behind. I recall the pastel color-coded form I had to fill out when an order came through, and the envelope of checks I stashed on top of my heart-spotted clipboard. I also recollect how ecstatic my neighbors were when I dropped off their shipments and how proud my parents were when I received a badge.
In fact, I hold dear the memory of my mother slaving over the sewing machine as she delicately sewed on each badge.
But that was then, and this is now.
Girl Scouts selling cookies are hard to come by, at least in my area. My old neighborhood used to be clad with girls in uniform as though it were Halloween, but now it’s a distant memory.
Plus, business is certain to be tight even for this generation of young entrepreneurs now that the economy sucks.
Companies like ABC/Interbake Foods in Richmond, Va., and Little Brownie Bakers in Louisville, Ky., both manufacturers of Girl Scout Cookies, also are feeling the economic crunch and are taking steps to alleviate the overall increase in ingredient costs over the years.
Yes, it’s sad to note that the Girls Scouts of the USA confirmed they are packaging two to four fewer cookies in each box of Thin Mints, Peanut Butter Patties, Shortbread Cookies, Do-si-dos and Trefoils and are reducing the size of the Lemon Chalet Crème cookies.
It’s bad enough that a growing number of consumers don’t even have enough spare cash to support Girl Scout Cookies sales thanks to pay cuts, job losses and a pile of bills.
What is this world coming to? How far down does the economy have to slump before all of America’s favorite pastimes become an entry in the history books?
The cost of baking cookies has significantly increased not only as a result of higher commodity prices, but also because of rising production and transportation expenses, says Michelle Tompkins, national spokeswoman for the New York City-based organization.
“We hope Girl Scout Cookie lovers will understand the situation and continue to support our girls,” she says.
Since I hold fond memories of my troop leaders and fellow Brownie mates, I have no problem supporting the organization. Some 23 years later, I even remain friends with some of the girls.
But thanks to the economy, it’s getting more difficult to enjoy such luxuries as Girl Scout Cookies.
Still, I’m a trooper, so ladies, put an order of Peanut Butter Patties on hold for me, even if there’s less in the box to indulge on.
Marina Mayer, managing editor