My house is a den of Girl Scout cookies. Walls laden end to end with Thin Mints, Samoas, and Trefoils. All manner of confectionery delights are strewn throught my home hallways. Our front hall stairs have been dubbed "Stairway to Obesity." You see, my mother is a Girl Scout leader (and a damn good one, at that).

For several years now I have considered taking a membership in the teamsters union, as I have had to carry case after case, ton upon ton, of cookies from the local delivery point to our home (and other homes in the area). Mom runs the whole thing like a business, even though we know it is not worth the amount of effort that she puts in.

What is really sad is that even though this is their flagship fundraiser of the year, Girl Scouts themselves only make fifty cents per $3.00 box of cookies sold. The rest of it goes to the Brownie Bakery in Louisville, Kentucky, and the local council. You have to sell a lot of cookies to make any sort of profit with them.

There are incentive programs to get girls to sell more, but all in all, this is a worse fundraiser than candy bars (if it were not so well associated with Girl Scouts).

The line of cookies are revised every so often, adding more flavors and discontinuing less popular ones. This year (2001) Aloha Chips where added. White cookies with macadamia nuts. Other deals have been made, such as with Edy's ice cream to sell a Thin Mint flavor (proceeds going to the Scouts).

I have my honest reservations about the Girl Scout program, and the cookies sales are among them. I think that the councils could honestly do more to help the kids with it. The sales to profit ratios are poor. The marketing of it all makes it seem like it's really direct to Scouts, but it's not; they are just as much a victim of three-dollars-a-box as anyone else.