Girl Scout cookies pay off

Troop 220 goes to Savannah, Ga., to see birthplace of organization

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When the members of Girl Scout Troop 220 set their eyes on a goal, there is little that can stop them. A year and a half ago, the ten-girl troop decided they wanted to go to Savannah, Ga., the birthplace of the Girl Scouts. The trip was going to cost $1,100 per person, a large sum for any ten year old.

In the next year, they sold 10,400 boxes of Girl Scout cookies and raised $12,000 for their trip. The most popular cookies in Steamboat Springs are Thin Mints, the girls agreed.

In April, they packed their swimsuits, their shorts and cameras and headed to Georgia.

The girls have been in the troop together for an average of five years, earning badges and buttons, but this was the largest project they had ever undertaken.

With two adults in tow, Ruth Abate and Shauna Duran, the girls spent a week museum hopping, taking tours, going to plays and playing at the beach.

"We learned about the ships they used back then and the ghost stories of Savannah," said Kayla DeLancey, 11.

But their biggest learning experience came when they visited the home of Juliette Gordon Low, founder of the Girl Scouts of America.

"We learned about how the uniforms changed over the years," said Sophie Abate, 11. "And the cookies have different names in Georgia, and they cost 50 cents more."

From the stories the girls heard, they retold the story about how the Girl Scouts were founded.

"(Low) felt unsuccessful in life," Sophia Abate said. "She had no children. Her husband died. At a dinner one night, she met the man who started the Boy Scouts." Apparently, 3,000 girls had signed up for the Boy Scouts using only their initials, so no one would know their gender. "He told her that having a Boy Scouts for girls probably was a good idea."

After making the trip, the girls agreed that all the months they spent fundraising was well worth it.

"Savanna is much hotter than here, and there are a lot of bugs," said Morgan Mertz, 11. "They speak with different accents. It's so green. We loved it."

Although there hasn't been an official vote, the girls already are thinking about what trips they would like to do in the future.

-- To reach Autumn Phillips call 871-4210

or e-mail aphillips@steamboatpilot.com

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