The New Stuff

Girl Scout Cookie Sales Barred In Front Of Founder's Home


 SAVANNAH, Georgia (Savannah Morning News) ~ An end to an era was marked today, as Girl Scouts are no longer allowed to sell their famous cookies in front of the historic, landmark home of Juliette Gordon Low, who founded the organization almost 100 years ago.

 A complaint from last year ended the longtime tradition of cookie sidewalk sales in front of the Low National Historic Landmark, located at the busy intersection of Bull Street and Oglethorpe Avenue. Peddling on a public sidewalk in Savannah is a violation of city ordinance.

 City Zoning Administrator Randolph Scott said he looked into the matter, trying to find a solution;  he called for a survey, hoping there would be some private space between the home and the sidewalk but said said there wasn't any. They also looked at a small courtyard on the side of the house, but fire marshalls said it would block an exit route as the house is open for tours. "I know it doesn't look good," Scott told the Savannah Morning News. "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?'"

 City Alderman Van Johnson said he thinks the City Council should consider a variance to allow temporary sales during cookie season, "Juliette Low brings thousands of tourists from around the country. Juliette Low is known for Girl Scouts, and Girl Scouts are known for cookies," he said. "Let's be reasonable. Let them sell their cookies."

 Jan McKinney, head of product sales for Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia, said the kids used to sell around 250 boxes of cookies in three hours in front of the Low home, but also says it's important that the girls learn the lesson of change. Sales are intended to teach the girls money management, public speaking, customer service and business ethics. "We try to teach them that in business you have to adjust to things that happen, adapt to the market and follow the law," she said. "It's a real-world experience" McKinney said, "it's kind of sad for the girls too," she said. "There's nothing cuter than some little Brownie Girl Scout selling cookies on the sidewalk in front of the Juliette Low house."

 Juliette Gordon Low founded the Girl Scouts in Savannah in March 1912 after meeting Sir Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of the Boy Scouts and the Girl Guides, and helped expand the organization worldwide.

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