How to Be a Legend
in Your Own Time
by MaryAnn Gardner
Kathy Faust never meant to become a legend. She just decided to bake
cookies for the Scouts in Troop 421. The first time she did it, Kathy had two sons in the
Troop. That might explain why she knew exactly what would appeal to boys. The Troop was on
a campout at a local campground. Kathy had much to do that Saturday. But, she knew she
wouldn't have far to drive to deliver the treats. Plus, she could drop them off when she
was running other errands that afternoon.
This was a young Troop. It had a few older, experienced Scouts, but mostly it was made
up of Tenderfoots. From the stories she'd been told by her sons and the leaders, the food
at the campouts was the embodiment of what, in Scouting circles, is known as Tenderfoot
Cooking - a dreaded term given to food prepared by Scout cooks with little experience.
She'd heard the tales of biscuits dropped in ashes, rubbery eggs that bounced off your
plate, and burned potatoes that crunched with every bite. She felt especially sympathetic
toward the adult Leaders who got to partake of this food when a budding Scout cook
followed the words of the requirement in the Scout Handbook which directed him to
"Prepare a meal and serve it to your Scoutmaster."
She never said exactly why, but, for whatever reason, Kathy decided to make cookies.
Not just ordinary little cookies that sat on a plate and waited for you to notice them.
Kathy made COOKIES! Big, round, thick, cookies the size of a small plate. Cookies that
were sprinkled with colored sugar and then baked to a golden brown perfection. Kathy made
a cookie that a Scout could enjoy! She made a cookie that a Scoutmaster could enjoy! Kathy
made a cookie that could quickly replace the taste and the memory of Tenderfoot Cooking!
When Kathy delivered her creations, the smiles of both Scouts and Leaders told her she
had chosen wisely. The cookies quickly disappeared into hungry mouths. Not realizing what
she had done, Kathy left the camp, finished her errands, and returned home. The baking was
forgotten. At least, Kathy forgot it.
The Scouts however, returned from the campout with words of praise for Mrs. Faust's
cookies. Other moms were told, "You HAVE to get her recipe!" Or, "They were
the best cookies I ever ate!" When asked, Kathy protested that the recipe was just an
ordinary sugar cookie recipe. "No," the Scouts insisted. "It was a special
Strangely, whenever one of the Scout moms makes her own sugar cookie recipe, but, cuts
the cookies "small plate size", sprinkles them with colored sugar, and bakes
them to a golden brown, her son(s) reply, "Great! You used Mrs. Faust's recipe! It's
so much better."
We've all heard of the success of another Mrs. F. and her cookies. Debbie Fields took a
simple cookie and built a cookie empire called Mrs. Fields Cookies. She did it with the
best of ingredients, and with all it takes to build up a successful business.
Troop 421 claims their own "Mrs. F. and her cookies." She did things a little
differently. She added an ingredient that money can't buy - and that made all the
difference. The love she added didn't make Kathy Faust's cookies a financial success. But,
it did make her a legend in her own time.
* * *
Is there something YOU should do for someone today?