98-year-old Girl Scout continues yearly cookie sales


WENERSVILLE, Penn. (CNN) — You’ve seen Girl Scouts selling their cookies outside stores or at your doorway, but you haven’t seen the 98-year-old Girl Scout who puts on her uniform every year to help out.

Ronnie Backenstoe has proudly donned the Girl Scout uniform for 88 years.

“I became a World Down of 1932, I wanted to be one so badly. My mother said, ‘When you’re 10,’ and when I was 10, I was ready to go,” Backenstoe said. 

Backenstoe’s adventures in the Scouts have taken her from coast to coast and around the world. Later in life as a Scout Master, she recalls traveling to Jamaica and Switzerland with her troop.

“I don’t know if he ever tried to get into a uniform in a pup-tent. I did. It’s not easy,” Backenstoe said.

Even in retirement at Phoebe Berks in Wernersville, Backenshoe is still going strong.

“Her stamina, her energy, her mind… she’s nonstop,” troop leader Barbara Allen Perelli said.

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

Backenstoe says she’s happiest small selling cookies alongside her fellow scouts. She says, back in the day when she first became a Girl Scout in the 1930s, there were only three different kinds of cookies and each box cost only about 15 cents. Now, the price has certainly gone up, but Backenstoe says her mission remains the same: to inspire and educate future generations.

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

Backenstoe plans to be out selling more cookies at the end of the month.


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