Saturday, May 15, 2004
Mall slams door on Girl Scout scavenger hunt
TCPalm: After years of cookie sales, dainty teas and camping trips, Martin County Girl Scout leaders thought the troops might enjoy a day at the mall with their fathers.

The fathers and daughters could spend quality time together, completing a scavenger hunt for items in the store windows. Then, after lunch at the food court, they could shop for a Mother's Day present.

But Treasure Coast Square mall management didn't agree that it was such a wholesome event.

It seems Girl Scouts wandering around with their fathers, holding pencils and paper, violates the post-Sept. 11 security policy at the mall, a mall representative said......

.......But when the troop leaders sent a letter asking permission from Rachelle Crain, the area director of mall marketing, they were told the event could jeopardize the security of the retailers and shoppers.

"Since Sept. 11, we have looked at our security procedures very closely," she said. "Our enhanced security prohibits us from hosting events that allow participants to wander freely around the mall area."

In addition, surveys are prohibited on mall property — and girls holding pencils and papers "could be perceived as such," Crain added.

"How do we know they're Girl Scouts?" she said. "The security personnel are trained to watch for things like that in the mall."

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