123Valerie Strikes Again

Unprecedented Self-Indulgence.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Tagalong with Me as We Do-Si-Do in Samoa

Hurrah! Hurrah! It's Girl Scout cookie season!

Order forms have been springing up at work, welcome as toilet paper on a camping trip. Normally, it is with reluctance that I purchase things from my co-workers' kids. I'm no Scrooge, but do I really need wrapping paper with dreidels on it or a Garfield mug filled with individually-wrapped strawberry candies or a Thomas Kinkade mouse pad with wrist guard for the selling price of $7,000?

However, I have already happily committed to 67 boxes of various cookie goodness, and I haven't even made it over to the accounting department to see who's pimping baked crack on behalf of their little darlings over there.

Any former Scouts out there? I only made it as far as Brownies, but I still remember the oath:

On my honor, I will try to serve God and my country, to help people at all times and to live by the Girl Scout law.

It's hard to help people at all times, though, when you're worried about your way-too-short brown jumper accidentally showing your underpants or your little brown beanie falling off your head. And let's not forget the pressure of merit requirements for coveted patches in pesticides and plumbing.

Still, I loved Brownies. We sang songs with solid meanings: Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other's gold. Because, at the end of the day, friendships really are about what they can offer you materially.

And we ate fun snacks like ants on a log. There are two "ants on a log" schools of thought: one maintains that peanut butter be spread in a celery stick's groove, then dotted with little raisin "ants." I, however, belong to the cream cheese camp. If you and your tribe want to duke this out, I challenge you to a Red Rover dual, which is how we used to settle things back in the day. Bring it, suckas, 'cause my peeps can send me on over all muthafucking day.

But, I'm getting away from the spirit of scouting, which is really about making friends and communing with nature and learning to appreciate others who are different. That's a good thing, I think. Add in a little commercialism a la annual cookie sales, and the kids get the total American education.

It also reminds me that my Dad, who was raising three little girls on his own, tried so hard to stitch my Brownie patches on my little sash himself. He'd always set out with the needle and thread, but by the end of it, my patches would be glued on with super-strength gray epoxy he used to seal pipes. He may not have gotten the sewing badge, but he deserved the Awesome Dad badge many times over.

Find out where you can buy Girl Scout cookies near you.

In the Comments section, tell me yours or someone else's favorite scouting memory. The winner gets a copy of Shelley Long's Troop Beverly Hills.


  • At 7:52 PM , Anonymous Tinz said...

    I bought my first fundraiser item just a few weeks ago! I don't think it was girl scout related though. No, it was a cheerleader come to think of it. I guess that makes it the exact opposite?

    I also only made it as far as a brownie. A memory: probably when me and my little friends walked into our little rural elementry library, and saw this tough looking, scraggly haired, dressed in leather, biker woman sitting on a table, introducing herself as our leader...

  • At 12:05 AM , Anonymous Allison said...

    HA...where to start. i guess with the most important thing...cream cheese. yes i am a member of the cream cheese camp as well. perhaps those can be called ants on a snow fallen log.

    i was in girlscouts till 6th grade. much to my adolecent horror...but my best frined meg's mom was the troop leader so my mom made me do it!

    that year was when patty, our troop leader, and fate decided to schedual two big events in the same weekend. a trip to ogalbay zoo and the blizzard of '93. my mom had to come and rescue us, we got stuck in a snow drift so then my uncle had to come rescue me, my mom, and meg, and then our cousin's got stuck at our house and it was meg and my cousin's birthday when we were all stuck at my house with the doors duct taped, in the dark, and trying to celebrate birthdays.....FUN!

    p.s. i was the best cookie seller ever in 2nd grade

    p.s.s. i heart thin mints

  • At 10:21 AM , Blogger Kristin said...

    Your dad rocks.

    I was a girl scout for about a year. Maybe a little more. I hated selling cookies, calendars, my little Girl Scout soul. (I'd shove the forms in my sock drawer until it was time to turn them back in.) While I was a GS, though, we went to COSI for an overnight (sleeping in a local gym sandwiched between all sorts of hands-on museumy goodness), but there was a blizzard on the day we were supposed to leave so we actually spent a night in the musuem. I felt so "From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler."

  • At 3:04 PM , Anonymous Kimberlicious said...

    I was a Brownie for a day. They dissed my creative interpretations when I tried to add some funk to our scout banner, so I quit and never came back! I guess I just wasn't cut out for it. But I do love Samoa cookies:)

  • At 8:07 PM , Blogger 123Valerie said...

    By far, some of the most entertaining comments, ladies. Why, I wonder, did none of the boys chime in with their memories of Girl Scouts?


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