She is bright-eyed, pig-tailed and resplendent in Girl Scout green and a multitude of merit badges.
Wild Freeborn — adorable and age 8 — has caused considerable hubbub with entrepreneurial spirit and a little homemade video.
“Help me help others. Buy cookies. They’re yummy,” little Wild says in her one-minute sales pitch for Thin Mints, Samoas and other traditional mainstays of Girl Scout cookie cuisine.
The modest message included an online order form, was videotaped by her father, Bryan Freeborn, in the family living room in Brevard, N.C., and posted at YouTube.com
But not for long.
• Click here for the Newsweek link to the video
The Girl Scouts were not pleased with Wild’s intention to sell 12,000 boxes of cookies and help send her troop to summer camp. The organization ordered the video removed from the social-networking site on the grounds that it violated a policy that bars online sales of Girl Scout cookies. Officials were also concerned that Wild’s methods could put less techno-enabled young ladies at a disadvantage.
The collective outrage among perplexed cookie fans went viral — and global — once a hungry news media got its choppers into the situation.
“Cookie monster,” proclaimed Newsweek. “U.S. Girl Scout video scandal,” blared a headline at the Guardian, a British newspaper.
“Cookie controversy,” said NBC, which managed to corral Wild, her father, and Denise Pesich, a Girl Scouts of the USA representative, for a sitdown interview Friday.
“It’s girl safety at its core,” Ms. Pesich said.
But Mr. Freeborn said he and his daughter “weren’t out to test any policy or break any rules. We just wanted to help my daughter meet her sales using up-to-date technology and marketing.”
Wild smiled demurely during the encounter, which included the nervous smiles of adults who couldn’t quite believe they were in such a situation.
But the little girl’s charm won out. Asked whether she would make her ambitious sales goal, Wild had a quick answer:
“Probably,” she said, and smiled again.