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Lifestyle & Human Interest

98-Year-Old Girl Scout Has Been Selling Cookies Since 1932: 'She's Non-Stop'

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It’s one of the most wonderful times of the year — the time when people wait eagerly to snap up colorful boxes of seasonal cookies.

Some stockpile, some binge, but most find it difficult to pass up on Girl Scout cookies.

While the tables are staples in front of many stores, the online world has been inundated as well, with parents doing their part to advertise their kids’ wares on social media and reaching deeper into markets and pockets.

Most of the participants waiting behind the green-clothed tables or going door-to-door are parents or young girl scouts, but Veronica “Ronnie” Backenstoe is still keeping up with the best of them at the respectable age of 98.

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Now living in Wernersville, Pennsylvania, Backenstoe has been involved with the Girl Scouts in one capacity or another for almost her entire life.

“I became a Girl Scout in 1932!” she told WFMZ-TV. “My mom said, ‘When you’re 10,’ so when I was 10, I was ready to go!”

Backenstoe credits the organization with preparing her for life, and she has certainly learned many valuable lessons along the way.

“I think that it was just part of living, and that’s what really girl scouting is, it teaches you how to live,” she said.

“I don’t know if you ever tried to get into a uniform in a pup tent. I did. It’s not easy!”

“I was ready to be prepared, to obey orders, to be courteous, cheerful and clean in thought, word and deed,” she wrote in a poem, according to the Reading Eagle. “The Girl Scouts had planted a seed.”

Her spirit and charm are recognized by those around her, and while she’s been retired from active duty for more than four decades, it’s clear that she still holds all things Girl Scout dear.

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“Her stamina, her energy, her mind, she’s non-stop,” Barbara Allen Perelli, a troop leader, told WFMZ-TV.

“In general, she just makes me laugh when I’m with her,” Amber Holl, a senior Girl Scout, added.

“Oh, I love it, oh yes,” Backenstoe said of selling the notorious packaged sweets (the peanut butter ones are her favorite). “I could always eat some cookies.”

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking