Girl Scout cookies are amazing and I make sure I stock up on every variety when they come in season. I’m sure that most people would agree with me, but for Ronnie Backenstoe, it is an entirely different story. She has been Girl Scouting for 88 years and is still a troop member. At 98 years old, she still sells cookies.
Ronnie doesn’t knock on doors to sell her cookies. Rather, a table is set up in a retirement community in Pennsylvania, where she lives. Fresh boxes of cookies are brought by the troops as needed.
“Girl Scouting teaches you how to live,” Backenstoe told Good Morning America. “It guides you. They teach you what is right and what is wrong.”
You pay about five dollars per box for Girl Scout cookies, but it wasn’t always that way. When Ronnie got started back in the 1930s, you only paid $.15 per box.
“The little girls who I tell that to today, they giggle and laugh because [selling cookies for 15 cents] sounds so impossible, but it was the Depression,” she told GMA.
Ronnie says that there were only three types of Girl Scout cookies back in the day. Since selling cookies was relatively new, according to the Girl Scouts, it wasn’t unusual for troops to bake their own cookies and sell them. By the mid-1930s, commercial bakers were contracted by Girl Scout councils to increase production.
You can get all types of Girl Scout cookies these days, including some that are gluten-free. The cookies are produced by commercial bakers licensed by the Girl Scouts. You can find the selling stand of the troop online, and it isn’t out of the question to have an online ordering system for these delicious cookies.
We live in a different world from what the world was like 88 years ago. Even though that is the case, Ronnie is still enthusiastic about Girl Scout fundraising events.
“You know many people say, ‘Oh, there’s not many in the box for that much money,’” Backenstoe told GMA. “Well, that’s not the purpose. The purpose is to teach the girls a little salesmanship, for one thing. They learn to balance their budgets. They learn to be courteous when they go to the doors and introduce themselves. It’s all that little detail.”
Believe it or not, she still loves the cookies.
“I could always eat some cookies,” she told WFMZ-TV.