It's been almost 88 years since she sold her first cookie and credits her long life to the code given by the Girl Scouts.
Ronnie Backenstoe has been a Girl Scout since she was 10. She's been selling cookies for the last 88 years and has no intention of stopping, reports People. She told WFMZ-TV, "I became a Girl Scout in 1932!" Backenstoe told the outlet. "I said, ‘When can I be a Girl Scout?’ My mom said, 'When you’re 10,' so when I was 10, I was ready to go!"
Backenstoe recently proved that she still has the skills to sell cookies at her Phoebe Berks retirement home in Pennsylvania. Together with scouts from her local troop, the Troop 1814 of Sinking Spring, she continued on with her work. Impressed by her commitment, Barbara Allen Perelli, the troop leader, said, "Her stamina, her energy, her mind, she's non-stop." Reading Eagle reports that Backenstoe joined the Girl Scouts in her hometown of Lake George, New York. Working her way up, she soon became the director of Camp Mosey Wood in the Poconos. She was also a field director in several counties.
In the '30s, Backenstoe recalls there were three types of cookies that were priced at 15 cents. While the prices have gone up through the decades, Backenstoe's mission has remained unchanged. And that mission is to educate and inspire future generations. Despite having retired in 1976 after actively participating for 45 years, she said, "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.
Backenstoe still wears her green uniform proudly even though it's been more than four decades after her retirement. According to Reading Eagle, the reason for her long and healthy life is because of the Girl Scouts as they provided her with a code. "I was ready to be prepared, to obey orders, to be courteous, cheerful and clean in thought, word and deed," she said. "The Girl Scouts had planted a seed."
People reports Girl Scout season officially started on January 7. This year, a new lemon-flavored cookie called Lemon-Ups replaced the existing Savannah Smiles. All the other flavors, the classics, are still available such as Thin Mints, Smores and Peanut Butter Patties among others. "The Girl Scout Cookie Program plays a powerful role in developing financially savvy girl leaders," Girl Scout USA CEO Sylvia Acevedo stated. "Girl entrepreneurs learn valuable interpersonal and business skills via the cookie program that helps them become successful in their future careers, no matter what path they choose."