Cookie sales start today

Published 5:54 pm Friday, January 3, 2014

COASTAL PINES COUNCIL | CONTRIBUTED HEALTHY CHOICE: The North Carolina Coastal Pines Council is one of 20 councils nationwide chosen as a test market for the Girl Scouts’ new gluten-free Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookie, shown here.

HEALTHY CHOICE: The North Carolina Coastal Pines Council is one of 20 councils nationwide chosen as a test market for the Girl Scouts’ new gluten-free Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookie, shown here.

Every year, purchase forms show up in the workplace, at church, at gatherings of family and friends. The product for sale is irresistible, by many people’s standards.

Thin Mints, Peanut Butter Patties, Peanut Butter Sandwiches, Shortbread, Thanks-A-Lots, Caramel deLites and Lemonades — they go on sale today, courtesy of Beaufort County Girl Scouts.

The North Carolina Coastal Pines Council Girl Scouts launched their yearly cookie drive last night with a sleepover and Girl Scout pep rally at the Aurora Fossil Museum. Today, the museum opens early for a personalized tour before these budding businesswomen start circulating purchase forms. Beaufort County’s 14 troops, with more than 300 members, were all invited.

“We have six weeks to raise the money to support the Girl Scouts for the year,” said Deborah Brady, Coastal Pines membership director, adding that all cookies-sales money stays local, supporting troop activities, from organized trips to the full-time ranger’s salary at the Girl Scouts’ Camp Hardee in Blounts Creek, to partnering with Boys & Girls Clubs and local schools to give every girl in Beaufort County the opportunity to be a Scout.

For these Girl Scouts, the cookie drive isn’t just about raising the money, according to Brady.

“We’re teaching girls that if you want things in life, you have to set goals and raise the money,” Brady said. “They’re learning about the cookies, how to talk about the cookies, how to talk to people, how to communicate, learning how to speak to someone she may not know.”

The end result is that girls, ages 5 through 17, are getting an early lesson in skills they will use personally and professionally throughout their lives, Brady said.

But the days of honing those skills through door-to-door neighborhood sales are coming to a close, replaced by other sales avenues.

“One thing that’s changed, why the don’t girls knock on doors anymore, is mom and dad aren’t home to take them, and people aren’t home during the day. The girls can knock on doors and entire neighborhoods won’t be home, so the door-to-door thing has morphed into sales at the storefronts,” Brady said.

In Beaufort County, Girl Scout cookie booths will begin popping up on the weekends at high-traffic retail stores starting Jan. 24 and run through March 2.

Along with the long-time favorites, Cranberry Citrus Crisp cookies, a whole-grain crispy cookie with cranberry bits and a tangy citrus flavor, will be sold for $3.50 a box, according to a press release from Coastal Pines Council.

The national council is also branching out this year with a pilot recipe: the gluten-free Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookie that has no artificial colors, no artificial flavors, no high-fructose corn syrup, no palm oil and no hydrogenated oils. A box of them sells for $5.

According to Krista Park, Coastal Pines Council’s communications and marketing director, Coastal Pines is one of 20 councils, of over 100 councils nationwide, that will be a test market for the new cookie. The gluten-free addition is one way to broaden the audience for Girl Scout cookies, she said.

“The Girl Scouts just wants to test the market on an alternative for those who want to support the Girl Scouts, but who wouldn’t normally participate,” Park said.

In the same vein, those who want to support Girl Scout troops, and U.S. troops at the same time, can contribute to Operation Cookie Drop, in which boxes of Girl Scout cookies are shipped to military troops serving overseas. To date, customer donations have purchased more than 600,000 boxes of cookies for Operation Cookie Drop, according to the release.

Sales opportunities, whether among friends and neighbors or selling to passersby at Walmart, are a chance for Girl Scouts to tell their story: who they are and how the funds they raise are used to the benefit of local girls, Brady said.

“When you choose to treat yourself with a Girl Scout cookie, you choose to help every Girl Scout in Beaufort County,” Brady explained. “When you think about it terms of that, it’s a little more than just selling a box of cookies.”

To order cookies from a local troop, call Deborah Brady at 252-717-6527. To find a Girl Scout cookie booth after Jan. 24, visit the cookie locator at