Girl Scout Cookie sale time arrives in Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois in the coming weeks with a new cookie, new environmentally friendly packaging and a new twist to the delivery process in some areas.
Always the buzz when a new Girl Scout Cookie arrives, this year's new addition is called the Shout Out. This classic little treat is a light and crisp Belgian-style caramelized cookie that is perfect with a cup of coffee or tea in the afternoon or with milk as a bedtime snack.
Shout Outs have no artificial colors, zero trans fat per servicing and no hydrogenated oil. In addition, this cookie has no high fructose corn syrup and no artificial preservatives. Most will agree that this is a delicious, yet sensibly sweet treat and a great addition to the Girl Scout Cookie lineup.
Also new this year, is new packaging for the Thanks-A-Lot cookie. The package doesn't use paperboard, just a wrapper around the plastic container holding the cookies. Through a nationwide project to change this packaging, 150 tons of paperboard and countless trees will be saved through the initiative. Also, about 35,000 gallons of gasoline will be saved from transporting the smaller cookie packages, which will hold the same amount of cookies as last year.
Something else new to this year's Girl Scout Cookie sale in Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois is a trial project to see how direct sales work in the council's territory. A total of 25 Girl Scout troops have been chosen to participate in the test to determine whether it works better to conduct door-to-door sales of cookies, as opposed to order-taking and then delivery as done in the past.
While most Girl Scouts will be going door to door to take orders for cookies from Friday, Jan. 14 to Sunday, Jan. 30, girls in the 25 troops participating in the direct sales pilot will be able to sell cookies on the spot to those homes they visit.
Like last year, your local Girl Scouts will offer you an opportunity to support the annual sale without having to purchase cookies for yourself, if that is your preference. You can donate delicious Girl Scout Cookies to our military soldiers through the Troop 2 Troop program. Last year, Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois gave 15,000 boxes of cookies to Iowa's Bravest and River Bend Troop Support for distribution to soldiers from Iowa and Illinois. That number was up from the 4,400 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies shipped from the region in 2009.
Iowa's Bravest, of Waterloo, Iowa, supports Iowa soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. They helped ship cookies to 550 different troops last year. River Bend Troop Support, of Baldwin, Iowa, sends care packages to Iowa and Illinois soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, too. Cookies for soldiers is possible thanks to the generosity of those who elect to assist Girl Scouts in the initiative.
Girl Scouts taking orders for cookies also can donate boxes to local organizations selected by girls such as food pantries. Persons who don't wish to purchase cookies for themselves or as gifts have the option for them to be donated by their local Girl Scout troop to organizations in their own community.
Cookies also offer Girl Scouts the ability to raise funds to send girls to life-changing experiences at summer resident camp when they can't afford to attend or help fly older girls to Washington, D.C., for a tour of our nation's capital and perhaps have one of them return one day as a senator or congresswoman.
Nevertheless, Girl Scout Cookies offer that great familiar taste year after year - from the top-selling Girl Scout Thin Mint to the popular Caramel deLite - but they also allow you to help contribute funds for the premier leadership program for girls. No other program offers girls so much in developing courage, confidence and character - and it all starts with a box of cookies. Every cookie has a mission - to help girls do great things.
Girl Scout Cookies are the ultimate comfort food and are a family tradition, with many purchasing multiple boxes every year to enjoy not only their favorites and new cookies year after year, but also to support girls in our communities.
As simple as the cookie is, the snack offers Girl Scouts the funds needed to provide highly touted programming that offers a life-changing experience during their girlhood. Proceeds from cookie sales fund activities of individual troops as well as Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois, including financial assistance for girls to participate in events, program fees, volunteer recruitment and training and maintenance of four camp properties.
Girl Scout Cookies have been an American tradition for more than 90 years - and for good reason.
"When you purchase Girl Scout Cookies, you get a great tasting product and you support the premier leadership program for girls," Diane T. Nelson, chief executive officer of Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Iowa said. "Because all Girl Scout programs such as cookie sale activities are girl-driven, girls make their own decisions and run the sale with the help of adult volunteers. Cookies are one of the reasons why Girl Scouting is successful at building leadership."
Girl Scout Cookies are sold door to door in Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois from Friday, Jan. 14 through Sunday, Jan. 30. Through the spring, Girl Scout troops will be selling cookies at booths set up in areas such as department stores and shopping centers. If you wish to purchase cookies and have not been called on by Jan. 30, look for cookie booths in your community (posted on the council's Web site at GirlScoutsToday.com) or call Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois toll-free at 800-798-0833 to be connected with a local troop.
Girl Scout Cookies have long been a major fund-raiser for girls and their troops, and is an integral part of Girl Scouting's business and economic literacy initiative for girls ages 5-17. The program provides finance, marketing and public speaking skills as well as valuable experiences that develop girls' personal leadership style.
Through the Girl Scout Cookie Sale Program, girls manage inventory, set goals, learn money management and develop marketing skills. For more information on Girl Scout Cookies, check the Web at GirlScoutsToday.com or call Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois at 800-798-0833.
Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois serves 20,000 girls ages 5-17 with 4,500 adult volunteers in 31 counties in Eastern Iowa and seven counties in Western Illinois.