Get ready; here come the Girl Scouts

Published 6:00 am Friday, January 9, 2004

Some New Year’s resolutions will soon be biting the dust … ora cookie.

Just as surely as you can count on tax forms arriving afterChristmas, here come the Girl Scouts taking orders for cookies.

According to Twila Vantrease of the 20-county Middle MississippiGirl Scout Council, sales will continue in this area through Jan.25. The goodies will be delivered beginning on Feb. 14.

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Those Middle Mississippi scouts — over 10,000 of them — aregood at what they do, too. Last year they sold 596,736 boxes ofcookies.

Vantrease said the cookie sale program is used as a confidenceand self-esteem builder for the girls.

“Girls are involved in every aspect of the sale — fromplanning, to selling, to deciding how the money raised is spent,”she said. Council level proceeds stay in the local area to benefitthe troops and their projects.

Girl Scout cookies have been popular since they first used in1917 by the Mistletoe troop in Muskogee, Okla., just five yearsafter the organization was founded by Juliette Gordon Low. Up until1936 when a commercial baker was hired, troops baked, packaged andsold their own cookies. These days, three commercial bakers helpthe Girl Scouts fill their cookie orders.

Here are some other cookie facts:

* Five varieties of Girl Scout cookies are among the top 15cookies sold in the U.S. annually. Thin Mints are the top sellerfor the scouts, and they trail only Oreos and Chips Ahoynationally.

*Caramel DeLites, Peanut Butter Patties, Peanut Butter Sandwichand and Shortbread round out the top five.

* Thin Mints are produced at a rate of almost 2 million cookiesa day in an oven almost as long as a football field.

* In 2003, Americans bought 217 million boxes of Girl Scoutcookies, and 25 percent of them were Thin Mints.

* Other flavors available are Lemon Pastry Creme (my favorite),Animal Treasure and Pinata, a strawberry and oatmeal cookie thatdebuts this year.

Cookies are $3 a box this year, and that’s money well-spent. Thefunds will be used to underwrite council programs and trainingevents for scouts and leaders, maintain camp facilities, providefinancial assistance to scouts, and put ‘every girl everywhere’programs in schools, housing authorities and other youth-servingorganizations.

If a scout has not contacted you by Jan. 14, call the MiddleMississippi Council at 1-800-898-4475. They’ll put you in touchwith a troop.

Write to Nanette Laster at P.O. Box 551, Brookhaven, Miss.39602, or send e-mail to