Girl Scout Cookies Keep Resident "Cookie Man" Kemp Crawford Busy.
By Tara Derock Mahoney
Photos by Angelina Bellebuono
This is the story of a man who loves cookies.
Not just any cookies—we’re talking Thin Mints. Samoas. Do-Si-Dos. Tagalongs. Trefoils. Even Lemon Chalet Cremes.
We’re talking about Girl Scout Cookies.
Yes, Joseph “Kemp” Crawford is the Cookie Man.
Last week, all of the Girl Scout Cookies ordered in Morgan County to date—all 2,784 boxes of them—were delivered to Crawford’s front porch in Cedar Lakes.
“I volunteered,” said Crawford. “We have a little bit of experience in the cookie department.”
Crawford is referring to the several years that his wife, Carol, spent as leader of daughter Lanie’s Brownie troop, during which time Kemp became well-known as Morgan County’s biggest cookie-sales cheerleader.
Kemp spurred the Brownies in his daughter’s troop to sales of boxes of cookies numbering in the thousands, even setting up a sales table in Madison Drug, the local business owned by his father.
“We were pretty competitive,” says Kemp with a laugh. “The girls in our troop…you just had to say that you heard so-and-so had sold so many boxes, and those girls would be out there trying to sell more.”
This year there are only three Girl Scout troops selling cookies in Morgan County, but Debbie Bradberry, the Girl Scout “Cookie Diva” for 26 counties in Northeast Georgia, knew just who to call when she needed a local delivery spot for the eight incoming varieties of cookies sold by Scouts, including the Dulce de Leches (that’s the new cookie this year—think caramel-drizzled macaroon) and Sugar-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies.
“I called Kemp,” said Bradberry. “I was ready to beg, but he volunteered immediately.”
Leaders and volunteers from each of the local troops gathered on the Crawford’s lawn last Wednesday to help sort a panel truck full of cases of cookies, then re-load them in pick-up trucks and mini-vans for delivery to the girls and ultimately, their local customers.
Girl Scout Cookies, which sell for $3.50 per box, are the primary fund-raiser for troops and councils everywhere, with troops retaining a portion of their sales and the majority of the remainder remaining within the local council. Thankfully for sales, Little Brownie Bakers, the Kentucky-based company that produces the cookies in the eastern United States, has been unaffected by recent peanut butter recalls.
“We want to assure all of our loyal Girl Scout Cookie customers that the peanut butter used in Tagalongs and Do-Si-Dos cookie products is not sourced from Peanut Corporation of America, the supplier recently implicated by the FDA in their ongoing investigation of a Salmonella outbreak,” reads a release on the company’s Web site.
Morgan County resident Cyndi Christopher shepherds a group of Daisy Girl Scouts—Kindergartners and first-graders, Troop 13112—through the cookie sales process. Her six-year-old niece, Samantha Christopher, sold cookies this year.
She said that adult volunteerism for Girl Scouts has fallen off, while the number of girls interested in the program continues to grow. Christopher believes that several new Daisy and Brownie troops could have been formed this year, if adult volunteers and been available.
“It’s not that difficult if several parents volunteer to run a troop together,” said Christopher. “One could do the paperwork, one could do cookies—it’s not so overwhelming,” she said.
Morgan County Membership Specialist Riquel Stewart, who works out of a Girl Scout regional office in Athens, agreed with Christopher’s assessment, noting that she could have set up three or four more local troops this year if she had simply had more parent volunteers.
“I think we could have had three Brownie troops this year,” she said.
Instead, there is one Daisy troop and two troops of older girls—Cadettes and another Junior troop that plans to bridge to Cadettes next month—carrying the cookie torch for Morgan County this spring. And permanent cookie specialist Kemp Crawford is helping them to soldier on.
“Oh, come on,” he says. “Who doesn’t love Girl Scout cookies?”
To order your own Girl Scout cookies—Lemon Chalet Cremes, Trefoils, Do-Si-Dos, Samoas, Tagalongs, Dulce de Leches, Sugar-Free Chocolate Chips, or the perennial favorite and iconic Thin Mints, contact Cindy Smith of Cadette Troop 13142 at firstname.lastname@example.org; Cyndi Christopher of Daisy Troop 13112 at Cyndi@moultonfirm.com ; or Tara DeRock Mahoney of Junior Troop 13125 at email@example.com.
Published in the February 19, 2009 edition.