When is an online slideshow more than just a reason to click 26 times? When it's "Girl Scout Cookie Capitals, from Seattle to Salt Lake City," from the Daily Beast, and there's actually a bit of research and analysis behind the list-with-photos format.
Using 2011 sales data provided by the Girl Scouts of America, the Beast came up with a three-part formula to rank the 25 most impressive chapters, only one of which gave larger cities an advantage: 25 percent membership, 25 percent sales participation, and fifty percent boxes of cookies sold per-scout.
"In other words," an introductory note explained, "these are the cities where Scouts are strong, but the sales ethic (or hunger for the annual treats) reigns supreme."
Austin snuck in at the bottom, beating out Memphis to take 24th: 67.1 percent of the Capital City's Girl Scouts out there hawking Thin Mints, with an average of 174.6 boxes sold per scout.
The other Texas cities on the list are:
18. Dallas (34,455 scouts, 68.9 percent participation, 157.5 boxes sold per scout)
11. Fort Worth (23,611 scouts, 48.8 percent participation, 216.8 boxes sold per scout)
10. Houston (66,998 scouts, 46.1 percent participation, 154.2 boxes sold per scout)
And then, at number seven, El Paso, with a mere 8,668 scouts, and only 38.4 percent participation sold . . . 260.8 boxes per scout (if you're not adding up at home, that's nearly 870,000 boxes total).
So which is it, El Paso? Are your Girl Scouts the best little entrepreneurs in Texas, or do your neighbors just love Peanut Butter Patties that much more than people elsewhere in the state?
In any case, as María Cortés González of the El Paso Times, reported, the Girls Scouts of the Desert Southwest (which—attention Daily Beast —also includes the Permian Basin and Southern New Mexico) were ready for 2012's kick-off of cookie sales on Saturday, with an initial order of 552,000 boxes ready for them at a distribution center.
Last year, reports Cortés Gonz ález, thirteen- year-old Victoria Santellano of El Paso won a trip to Disneyland by selling 3,059 boxes, which she did by working forty different booths, as well as door-to-door sales and shilling outside local businesses. This year, the top prize is a trip to San Antonio, and Victoria and her mother Gloria, a troop leader, have ordered 5,400 boxes.
The top town on the Daily Beast 's list was Salt Lake City, Utah, with 8,414 scouts, 60.4 percent participation and 304.4 boxes sold per scout.