Girl Scouts booted from cookie corner - founder's historic house
Girl Scouts, seen here near Atlanta, smile despite challenging times during cookie season.
February 28th, 2011
08:03 AM ET

Girl Scouts booted from cookie corner - founder's historic house

It's hard out there for a Girl Scout.

After someone complained about a Savannah, Georgia, troop selling cookies at a busy intersection in town, the city forced the girls to move away from the money-making location, according to the Savannah Morning News. The demand to move broke decades of tradition because that corner - Oglethorpe Avenue and Bull Street - is in front of the historic home of the founder of the Girl Scouts organization, Juliette Low.

Savannah zoning administrator Randolph Scott said the problem was that the girls were setting up their sale table on a public sidewalk, which violates a city ordinance, the Morning News reports. Scott tried to help, calling for a survey in the hopes that the property line near the home had private space. No such luck.

The Scouts are taking it on the chin elsewhere in Georgia and around the country. Recently in Villa Rica, Georgia - about 35 miles west of Atlanta - Girl Scouts were told they could no longer peddle their Thin Mints at a strip mall. (Watch how a cop nearly booted the Scouts from their favorite spot. "He was scaring us," one of the girls said of the officer.)

And in this economy, the governing body of the Girl Scouts in Texas is adjusting sales methods. At least a dozen troops across the country are offering only six varieties of cookies rather than the usual eight, according to KVIA TV in El Paso. The price of Samoas and Tagalongs has gone up in some areas to $4 a box, the station reports. It's still a little too early to tell how well newly introduced cookies - "Thanks-a-Lots" and "Shout Outs!" - will sell or if some troops' use of new eco-friendly boxes will boost sales.

At least one girl has not been deterred from her cookie mission. Lydia Johnson, 7, and her mother, Susanne, of South Florida, have reportedly sold 2,053 boxes this year. "We're like twins," Susanne Johnson said. "People like it, and it is fun."

The Scouts are selling cookies until March 20.

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  1. monte

    gee toto, I don't think were in America anymore.

    February 28, 2011 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
  2. Programmr

    Girl Scout programs vary *greatly* depending on the troop (i.e. the leader). From what I've seen, they don't do enough in the areas of training and mentoring their adult leaders. Because of this, some troops end up being nothing more than "craft night" one day a week. The term "camping" to some Girl Scout Troops means staying in a cabin (complete with bathroom, kitchen, and air conditioning) at a Girl Scout Camp.

    The Boy Scouts of America, on the other hand, do much more to teach and mentor the adults, who are mostly there to make sure that the youth don't get hurt. In a properly functioning Boy Scout Troop, it's the Senior Patrol Leader (a youth) who leads the troop. That's how they teach leadership, by letting the youth actually lead..

    February 28, 2011 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
    • GS Troop Parent

      The Girl Scouts have different levels of girls, Daisies, Brownies,Juniors, Cadets, Seniors and Ambassadors.
      Depending on the level of volunteerism in those groups, the older groups very often take charge of the meetings and activities of the younger groups either as full charge, mentoring, or combined. It all boils down the the local level. The parents are there in case of emergency in most of those cases. If there is a troop leader who just does their own thing and doesn't get involved with any other troop, it is the girls' loss. The benefits are out there if a little effort is applied.

      February 28, 2011 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  3. ohgosh

    the cookies sold in orange county ca are sometimes stored in various troop leader garages right next to their bikes, cars, washing machines, chemicals and all of the junk you would normally see in a garage. it's funny how the county health dept does nothing about it.

    February 28, 2011 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Brad

      Then don't buy them if you don't want to. Geez.....don't you have other things to worry about?

      February 28, 2011 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Are u serious

      Why would they care about it. It seems pretty obviuos that precooked food, in airtight plastic packaging, and boxed is not going to be affected by laundry detergent sitting in the same room or next to a case of moor oil. Duh. It would be pretty obvious if the packging was damaged, and somehow penetrated by any of these substances...
      You should get back to watching Jerry Springer now if you aren't going to look for a job

      February 28, 2011 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
  4. Pete

    Both my girls were girl scouts and I can tell you the organization is ripping them off. They received roughly $.35 per box for their troop, and the GS organization gets the rest. On top of that, they need to go to pick up the cookies and pedal them. Now, in some Supermarkets, they are for sale on the shelves. At $4.00 a box, it's a rip-off anyway. When I would bring in the signup sheet to work in the past, I'd sell maybe 100 boxes or so, the last 2 times, I was lucky to sell 40 boxes per. People are not getting ripped off anymore, even for the "cute" girls selling cookies. The times are changing. Even my wife, who use to be a troop leader, doesn't want the aggravation that goes with it anymore. Let them get the proper permits like ANY other vendor, it's that simple. I do not begrudge them, but they never seem to have the permits when you read stories like this one.

    February 28, 2011 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Jen

      I don't know where you live but it is completely against all rules to sell the cookies on the shelf in a store. The GIRLS need to be selling them, in fact, some adults in our area have been busted setting up booths while their kids are in school. Also, our girls get $.65/box just to them and their troop. That is outside of the money the local council gets, which pays for all of the activities and the camps. How many of you pay only $250 for a week of sleepaway camp? How many of you get to send your kids to camp for FREE (as I have done)?

      February 28, 2011 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Gee Gog

    We will CRUSH the little crumbgrabbers! Nothing will stop Big Business and Government from ruling the world!

    February 28, 2011 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Are u serious

      Makes no sense.

      February 28, 2011 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  6. Semper Fi

    Focus on the DRUG dealers selling crack on the corners not the GS selling cookies. What a bunch of fools.

    February 28, 2011 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
  7. wcb2009

    What happened to the good ol days when Girl Scouts would go door to door...

    To be honest, I would rather just give them a cash donation and buy some Famous Amos chocolate chips!

    February 28, 2011 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
  8. capfiremedic

    Since they organization has been selling on that corner for decades, is it possible that their actions predate the ordinance? If so, isn't the ordinance ex post facto? Or has that legal premise gone by the wayside in our PC time?

    February 28, 2011 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Are u serious

      The activity existed much longer than the ordinance. The ordinance applies to the Public ROW, not private property. Even if it was privately owned property, it would have to be used consistently, and three weeks out of each year would not be "consistently".

      February 28, 2011 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
  9. Alan

    Come on guys, this article is about the Girl Scouts NOT being able to sell cookies. Everyone should call the city offices of savannah and complain about this. These girls are trying to raise money. They are not begging for money, they are being industrious and trying to sell something.

    On our trip to Florida this year, my family will definately avoid Savannah and spend our money elso where.

    What is this world coming to!!!

    February 28, 2011 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Are u serious

      What is this world coming to when people are suposed to obey the law? We should boycott cities that make people obey the law because we want the government to play favorites even though that is not the governments job.

      February 28, 2011 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
    • displeased

      So it's ok for a certain portion of the population to ignore ordinance laws? I'm sure these laws are established for a reason. Perhaps safety?

      February 28, 2011 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
  10. beckzabelle

    the thin mints and peanut butter chocolate cookies are my favs!

    February 28, 2011 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
  11. ThinMint Fanatic

    Something I learned early on in life is that you have to ASK businesses and municipalities if you can sell stuff, especially stuff that will divert business and possibly cause problems, you can't just show up. Unless it's someone's house or something like that. I think that's the mistake these people made.

    I do agree that the Girl Scouts are gypped. I asked the Girl Scouts in our area how much they get from the sales and they said "75 cents" and the the price was $3.50. The local organization also gets a small cut but most of the profit does go to the manufacturer. After hearing that, I decided to just donate money to the troop. Before I donate money or buy cookies, I always ask what they are using the money for. Most say camping trips or camp. I think that's a worthy cause.

    February 28, 2011 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Kate

      Only about $1.00 goes to overhead (marketing, incentives and manufacturing cost). The remainder stays local to the council and the troop. Donating directly to the troop or council is also a wonderful way to support the work of the Scouts. An even better way? Volunteer at a camp or with a troop – we need all the help we can get! Thanks!

      February 28, 2011 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
  12. stephenPE

    samoas are the best and like crack.

    February 28, 2011 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  13. Alan

    To everyone who is complaining about the girls "breaking the law" I bet you support those lawbreakers who are camped out in the capital of WI.

    February 28, 2011 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
    • displeased

      I'm sure there's a slight difference between the motives of a protest and selling goods for profit.

      February 28, 2011 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
  14. toledoboy2008

    I won't buy their cookies anymore. I was shocked to learn they accept openly gay girl scout leaders, something the Boy Scouts won't ever do (hopefully!)

    February 28, 2011 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Jen

      And the reason I will NEVER support the BSA.

      February 28, 2011 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • 20 Year Veggie

      You do realize that people like you are evolving out of the larger population, don't you? And thank goodness! Gag!

      March 1, 2011 at 3:48 am | Report abuse |
  15. Chris

    Scouts can be an awesome adventure for both the adults and the children. Many people do not realize scouting is not funded in any way externally. All the money spent for anything is generated by the pack itself. No money= no activities. The main and only reason a pack will have a bad program is if they cannot get the parents to help run the program. I run into that issue every year- many parents think BSA stands for "Baby Sitters of America" and just want a free place to drop their kids off for an hour a week. Rarely do I ever have a parent who actually reads the book and assist his son in doing any of the requirements much less assist me in the den; it's usually left up to me to do everything which I gladly do because it's good, safe fun for the boys and I get to make memories with my own son as well.

    February 28, 2011 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
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