Eating Girl Scout cookies is a tradition that many take part in each March. Most American troops stationed overseas will not have the opportunity to enjoy the famous Trefoil shortbread cookies or the minty Thin Mint cookies or the caramel coconut Samoas or the chocolate-covered peanut butter Di-Si-Dos.
But, at least three will, and maybe more if they decide to share, thanks to the caring efforts of the Newell-Fonda Girl Scout troops.
The Brownies Troop 203 and Juniors Troop 205, under the direction of Sharon Voss, Wanda Taylor, Laurie Bland and Joleen Henrich, participated in the "Gift of Caring" project which the Lakota Girl Scout Council has been pushing for the past five years. When out selling their cookies, the girls ask if anyone would like to purchase an extra package of cookies for this community service project. This year the community purchased 47 boxes for the project.
The girls were discussing where they wanted their cookies to go and KayLynn Bland, a member of the Juniors, suggested to troops in Kuwait where her brother-in-law Chad Bals, a 1991 Newell-Fonda High School graduate, is stationed as a member of the U.S. Army Reserves. (She also knows how much he loves Do-Si-Dos as he has ordered them from her in the past years at Girl Scout cookie selling time.)
The other Girl Scouts thought it sounded like a good idea, too.
With Chad at the same camp in Kuwait are two other local Army Reservists - Wally Block, a 1987 graduate of Newell Providence High School, and Ron Siepker, a 1985 graduate of Albert City-Truesdale High School. The Girl Scouts decided to send cookies to each of them - a little taste of home.
All three of the troops are members of the 482nd Transportation Company out of Sac City.
Troop leader Laurie Bland did some checking to see what Wally's and Ron's favorite Girl Scout cookies are - both favor the Thin Mints.
The Newell and Fonda Girl Scouts will make care packages for each of the three soldiers, with several boxes of cookies, making sure to include some of their favorites - and send them out real soon.
The Gift of Caring is a super project, said Laurie. "It shows the girls that people are willing to help by buying cookies for others."
KayLynn said she thinks that receiving the cookies "will brighten their day." Girl Scout Eden Imming added, "Being overseas, they may not get a lot of sweets. These cookies will be a good midnight snack for them."
The soldiers's families remain in the area.
* Chad, a police officer for Lenox, was deployed in April of 2003. Waiting at their Lenox home for him are his wife, Stephanie, and their children, Haley, 6, and Thaddeus, 1.
* Wally, a truck driver for Don's Farm Supply in Newell, was also deployed in April 2003. Waiting at their Sac City home for him are his wife, Cherie, and their children, Carrie, 6, and Bryce, 2.
* Ron, an insurance agent at Siepker Insurance in Fonda, was deployed February 2003. Waiting for him at their Manson home are his wife, Julie, and their children, Adam, 6, and Jacob, 4.
All three men are stationed at Camp Arifjan in Kuwait.
In addition to sharing the cookies purchased through the Gift of Caring with the soldiers, the Girls Scouts of Newell and Fonda will donate some of the tasty treats to the Newell Good Samaritan Center and the Fonda Nursing and Rehab Center.