A 98-year-old woman who has been a Girl Scout for nearly nine decades has never stopped selling cookies – even if the price has risen a little since customers repaid 15 cents per box in 1932.
Ronnie Backenstoe first enrolled in her local Girl Scout gang at the age of 10, and then continued to climb the rows until she led camps and served as field director in various provinces.
A lifelong scout, Ronnie was back with it last week, and sold Girl Scout cookies in her own retirement community to fans who can’t get enough of Thin Mints and Samoas.
Super scout! Ronnie Backenstoe, 98, has been a Girl Scout for 88 years
Still busy: last week she sold Girl Scout cookies in her retirement home in Pennsylvania
Long ago: she registered at the age of 10 in 1932 and climbed the ranks
For the occasion, Ronnie dressed in her old uniform, with an olive-green number with a skirt and matching cap that had been issued decades ago.
“I love talking to the little girls today and telling them what I sold cookies for when I started: 15 cents!” she said
She settled in the retirement home Phoebe Berks in Pennsylvania, and was assisted by a few younger scouts from the area who set up a table with cookies to buy.
Ronnie first registered as a Girl Scout in Lake George, New York in 1932, waiting for her mother to join her at the age of 10.
At the time, she said, there were only three types of cookies available – and they were a bargain.
“I love talking to the little girls today and telling them what I sold cookies for when I started: 15 cents!” she told it Today show.
“The little girls I tell you today are giggling and laughing because it sounds so impossible, but it was the depression,” she added GMA. “That’s why everything was cheaper, of course, and it’s hard for this generation to understand, you know.”
Dedicated: as an adult she worked for the organization, she became a field director in Berks, Lehigh, Montgomery and Bucks and director of Camp Mosey Wood in the Poconos
“Girl Scouts is one of the best organizations in the world,” she said
Ahead: at that time she and her fellow scouts would spend meetings learning household skills such as cooking, but now a wider range of badges can be earned
As the price went up, Ronnie’s status with the Girl Scouts also increased. She worked her way up. Although she probably joined Junior (grades 4 to 5), she would later have become Cadette, Senior and then Ambassador.
According to the Eagle reading, she then made a career of scouting, and became field director in the provinces of Berks, Lehigh, Montgomery and Bucks and director of Camp Mosey Wood in the Poconos.
Although she retired in 1976, she continues to sell cookies every year and remains passionate about it.
“Girl Scouts is one of the best organizations in the world,” she said today. “It teaches children how to live their lives and how to treat other people and how they serve others who need help.”
Some things have changed since she was younger. At the time, she and her fellow scouts would spend meetings learning household skills such as cooking, but now a wider range of badges can be earned.
Handy things: she also mentioned the purpose of Girl Scout cookies, namely to teach girls ‘salesmanship’ and how to keep their budgets balanced
“Girl Scouts are more modern these days,” she said. ‘They don’t just learn their way around the kitchen. They learn to build, code and continue to do volunteer work to help others. “
But the sale of cookies has remained the same and Girl Scouts still teaches valuable skills.
“You know a lot of people say,” Oh, there aren’t many [cookies] in the box for so much money. “Well, that’s not the goal,” Ronnie told GMA.
“The goal is to teach the girls a little sale for one thing. They learn to balance their budgets. They learn to be courteous when they go to the door and introduce themselves. It’s all that little detail. That is the purpose of Girl Scouting. ”