Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

These Minnesota Girl Scouts are tough cookies March 6, 2011

I’VE HAD GIRL SCOUTS knock on my door to sell Girl Scout cookies.

I’ve had Girl Scouts approach me at church to sell cookies.

I’ve seen Girl Scouts selling cookies at the grocery store and at the mall.

But…, until this weekend I’d never seen Girl Scouts bundled in caps, coats, snowpants, mittens and boots selling Girl Scout cookies outside a Minnesota gas station as temperatures hovered around 30 degrees. And that’s without the windchill.

I wasn't sure what the group was selling until we got right up to the gas station. I was ready with my camera.

As my family drove through the small southern Minnesota town of Courtland around noon today, these Nicollet Girl Scouts and their moms were peddling cookies at the Shell station along U.S. Highway 14. FYI, Courtland lies west of Nicollet, which lies west of Mankato.

I have to give these girls and their moms credit for their devotion to the cause. I doubt I would have stood out there in brisk March winds selling sweet treats. These Girl Scouts are some tough cookies.

And, no, I’m ashamed to say that we did not stop. I snapped these images as we passed by. But, clearly, the Girl Scout in the second photo wanted me to stop.

Girls and their moms peddled Girl Scout cookies in Courtland.

After I uploaded the photos into my computer, I noticed the smaller sign on the box on the back of the pickup truck: “Buy cookies and donate them to our military troops!! We do the shipping for you!!” That would have been one more good reason to stop.

To the Nicollet Girl Scouts, I admire your patriotism and your determination. Clearly you’re not going to let a Minnesota winter keep you from reaching your goals.

Copyright 2011 Audrey Kletscher Helbling






12 Responses to “These Minnesota Girl Scouts are tough cookies”

  1. Bernie Says:

    Good for them! I know when I was a G.S. I had to go door to door. My mom didn’t bring my order form to work. I had to do the work. We had a mom, alone, stop by our shop to try to sell us G.S.cookies. I refused. I told her that she seemed a bit too old to be a G.S. and I only bought my cookies from actual G.S. Harsh, maybe. Truthful, yes!

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      I agree with you 100 percent on this, Bernie. If the Girl Scouts are selling Girl Scout cookies, then the Girl Scouts, and not their moms, should be selling them. Good for you to refuse to buy cookies from the mom and doing so with a sense of humor. I feel this way about any fundraiser for which kids are raising monies.

  2. Josh Says:

    The Girl Scouts must have a nationwide cookie strategy in place. On Saturday I saw a car parked at a gas station in Kenyon, MN. There was a girl dressed up in a what I think was a thin mint costume (it was a great cookie costume) and she was dancing up a storm in the parking lot with a table full of cookie boxes next to her. She has a future ahead of her as a school mascot. If I had not already filled my cookie order quota, I might have stopped. Too often girls ring the doorbell and have a mumble filled sales delivery. The effort and excitement I saw in that scout was awesome. I hope some other folk stopped and bought some cookies from her.

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Josh, thanks for this Girl Scout sales report from Kenyon. I can just picture this dancing thin mint. Great idea. I love the creativity.

      Anyone else out there see Girl Scouts enthusiastically selling cookies in a creative way?

  3. Randy Says:

    Selling cookies off the back of a truck. hmmm. A perfect disguise for training.
    The mom with the shades is covering the dollar signs in her eyes.
    I’m thinking she can’t wait for the sweet corn crop to come in.

  4. Julie Heinen Says:

    Hello- we saw you take the pictures – I think that was why Morgan had her mouth open! My daughter is the one in the cookie costume in the back of the truck. We are the Junior Troop from Nicollet. I am the troop leader. Being the “mom in the shades” – my only thought was keeping warm! Sorry – I am not a farmer – I have a full time job. I did a lock in with the troops on friday night and three cookie booths with the girls this weekend! I couldn’t wait to go to work this morning to stay warm and off my feet for the day!
    Thanks for the write up 🙂

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      You are one dedicated Girl Scout troop leader, Julie. Wow, I’m impressed. I hope cookie sales were brisk (pun intended) and I apologize for not stopping.

      I suppose you really couldn’t miss that big camera lens pointing your direction. I shoot lots of images from the car window when we’re traveling because there’s typically no time to stop and photograph every interesting thing I see.

      My husband made the comment about your shades. He has a sense of humor.

      I don’t know if you’re aware, but Bob Collins from Minnesota Public Radio mentioned this post online yesterday in his “News Cut” column. And over at MinnPost, the story was featured in Minnesota Blog Cabin.

      Anyway, you should be proud of your dedicated Girl Scout troop.

  5. Julie Says:

    …..These pictures were taken before it started snowing on us !

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      So the snow did move that far east while you were selling…

      We could have warned you as snow was falling when we left Lamberton at 10:40 a.m. Sunday.

  6. lisa Says:

    I know how hard Julie and her girls worked at selling them since I am also a cookie mom with the same town and we were outside in a different town and I know what Julie meant by trying to stay warm…You don’t realize how much the girls learn from selling until you are with them. My Brownies are learning to count change back and to me that is something that is not done enough…

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Kudos to all of your girls for their hard work. Learning to count change is something that doesn’t seem to be taught any more, so I’m happy to hear that this is a side benefit of selling Girl Scout cookies.

      By the way, my maternal family roots are in Courtland. My mom was a Bode.

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