January 13, 2011

Girl Scout Cookies Go On Sale This Week

Beginning January 15, Girl Scouts across eastern Missouri will be taking orders for one of America's favorite treats.

This year, one cookie variety provides a healthier alternative. The Shout Out!, a Belgian-style caramelized cookie, is sensibly sweet with zero grams of trans fat per serving, no hydrogenated oils, no artificial colors or preservatives and no high fructose corn syrup. Also new this year is environmentally friendly packaging for the Thanks-A-Lot, a shortbread cookie layered with fudge. The package does not use paperboard, just a wrapper around the plastic container holding the cookies. This nationwide initiative will reduce the use of paperboard by 150 tons, enough to fill 14 garbage trucks.

Cookie customers can choose from six additional delicious flavors: Caramel deLites, Lemonades, Peanut Butter Patties, Peanut Butter Sandwich, Shortbread and Thin Mints.

All varieties are $3.50 per package, payable upon delivery. All proceeds from cookie sales stay within our community to benefit local girls. Girl Scout troops use the money for field trips and community service projects. These funds help Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri deliver programs for girls, provide training for adult volunteers, and maintain local Girl Scout camps.

Local girl scouts will soon be going door to door as their cookie sales kick off. Anyone that wants to order cookies can also contact cookie sales coordinator Leslie Troutman at 660-988-1006.

"When you buy a box of Girl Scout Cookies, you help girls enjoy experiences of a lifetime as they gain life-enhancing leadership skills," said Donna K. Martin, CEO of Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri. "Everything girls do in Girl Scouting is designed to help them grow into leaders of courage, confidence and character. The cookie program, like all Girl Scout activities, is girl-driven. The activity of selling cookies is directly related to Girl Scouts' purpose of helping all girls reach their full potential and become strong, resourceful citizens."

The Girl Scout Cookie program is the largest girl-led business in the world. Through the cookie program, Girl Scouts have fun while also developing five essential life skills: goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and business ethics.

In addition to traditional door-to-door order taking, Girl Scouts can engage in online marketing by informing family and friends about cookies through e-mail and social networking sites. Money for cookie purchases cannot be collected online.

Those who don't wish to enjoy the cookies themselves still can support local Girl Scouts by making a purchase and donating the cookies to individual troops' Cookie Share. This is a voluntary project in which girls encourage customers to buy cookies for donation to a nonprofit organization such as a food pantry or military troops. Last year, local Girl Scouts donated more than 40,000 cookie packages.

Girl Scouts in eastern Missouri will take cookie orders January 15-30. The cookies will be delivered beginning February 23. Girl Scout troops will sell cookies at booths set up in area businesses February 23 through March 13. To find cookie booth locations in your community, beginning Feb. 23 visit the "Cookie Booth Locator" at www.girlscoutsem.org; enter your zip code to find a cookie booth site near you. Or call Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri at 800.727.4475.

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