More Girl Scout Cookie Drama


Who knew cookies could be so controversial – especially Girl Scout cookies?

Last week, some Girl Scouts in Villa Rica, Ga., got busted for selling cookies without a permit. This week, another group of Girl Scouts in Savannah, Ga., found out they were violating a city ordinance by selling cookies on the street – in front of the home of the founder of their own organization.

That’s right.

Savannah city officials told the girls they could no longer sell cookies outside the birthplace of the Girl Scouts founder, the late Juliette Gordon Low. The reason:  cookie sales violate a city law against “peddling” on the sidewalk. (“Peddling” means selling something.)

“I know it doesn’t look good,” city zoning administrator Randolph Scott told the Savannah Morning News, talking about the cookie-selling ban.  “However, other businesses won’t care if it’s the Girl Scouts or March of Dimes.  They’re going to say, ‘Why can’t I sit out front and solicit business?'”

Some city officials disagreed with the anti-cookie sale ruling from the beginning.

“Juliette Low brings thousands of tourists from around the country.  Juliette Low is known for Girl Scouts.  And Girl Scouts are known for cookies,” Savannah Alderman Van Johnson told the Morning News.  “Let’s be reasonable.  Let them sell their cookies.”

The story went national. Then international. According to the Morning News, it even made a newspaper in the city of Toowoomba, Australia – 9,300 miles away!

“It’s kind of sad,” Low house executive director Fran Harold told the Morning News.  “There’s nothing cuter than some little Brownie Girl Scout selling cookies on the sidewalk in front of the Juliette Low house.”

By Tuesday, some more Savannah officials were having second thoughts about their decision. Finally, on Tuesday evening, acting Savannah City Manager Rochelle Small-Toney ruled that the Girl Scouts were entitled to a special exemption from the anti-peddling law. That means they’re back in business.

“Woo hoo!” Jan McKinney said, when she heard the news.

McKinney has the title of director of product sales for the Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia, according to the Morning News.

“We’re going to start having girls out there this weekend,” she told reporter Lesley Conn.

“Laws are not made in concrete,” Alderman Johnson told the Morning News, after hearing about the special exemption.  “There needs to be room for interpretation.”

So now, the Girl Scouts of Savannah will have room to sell their cookies on the sidewalk in front of the Low house – until the cookie sale ends later this month. That brings an end to the cookie drama – for now, at least.