Event kicks off Girl Scouts' cookie sales

Wednesday, January 12, 2005
This young girl hopes that shouting at the bean bags will help them go through the holes on the board; the bean bag toss was only one of many carnival games at the Cookie Crunch-Off.

By Ben Holman

Nevada Daily Mail

It's that time of year again. A time when New Year's resolutions will be tested by little girls in green vests asking that one little question that even the dieter with the strongest fortitude is powerless to refuse -- "Would you like to buy some Girl Scout cookies?"

For nearly 90 years the Girl Scouts have been asking for the financial support of communities and offering tasty cookies in return. Last Saturday the Nevada Girl Scouts held their annual "Cookie Crunch-Off," an event designed to get the girls excited about selling cookies and also to allow them to have a good time. "The purpose of the Cookie Crunch-Off is to excite the girls and their families about cookie sales," said Rhonda Eador, service unit manager for the Nevada Girl Scouts.

Saturday was the first day that girls could start taking orders for cookies, so expect to see order forms circulating in offices, churches and anywhere else the girls may go.

Girls paid $2 to go to the event on Saturday, which boasted a carnival with games designed to get the girls familiar with the cookies. Among the games at the carnival were an "eye spy" game, in which girls tried to identify the different cookies from a distance. There was also a "what's missing" game, where boxes of cookies were covered by a sheet and one was removed -- the girls had to guess which cookie was missing. The carnival also featured more traditional carnival games.

The girls then gathered to hear a short presentation about the incentives for selling cookies. Girls could earn anything from fashionable pins to cameras or even a family vacation for selling different amounts of cookies.

The highlight of the evening was the traditional "Cookie Crunch-Off Cookie Eating Contest" which featured four teams of five individuals racing to see who could eat all the Girl Scout cookies the fastest. The event was run in relay fashion with one team member wolfing down one of each of the eight different types of cookies and the next coming in succession behind them doing the same. The winner was determined by which team was able to finish all five contestants first.

There were four teams in this year's contest: The "Munching Moms," made up of Girl Scout mothers; the "Devouring Dads," comprised of fathers; the "Sticky Crumbs," a team pulled together by 3M; and the "Rollback Crunchers," Wal-Mart's hand-picked team.

The Sticky Crumbs won the race by an entire plate of cookies -- one member of the team managed to swallow three cookies at once in order to bring the team the victory. Chants of, "crunch, crunch, crunch," from the girls in the crowd spurred the 3M team on to a repeat victory. The winners will have their name inscribed on a special plaque that they will be able to display at 3M until the next Cookie Crunch-Off.

Gary Decocq, manager of Wal-Mart, said that he hopes to hang the plaque in his store after next year's contest. "Next year we're going to have tryouts," he said.

According to Joelle Mason, Nevada cookie chair, the girls will be taking orders for cookies through Jan. 23, and cookies are expected to be delivered around Feb. 18.

According to Eador, the cookies were ordered from a different company this year so they all have new names -- except for the thin mints. "They still taste the same though," she added. The new cookie names are: Samoas, Tagalongs, Do-Si-Dos, Double Dutch, All Abouts, Lemon Coolers and Trefoils.

Cookies cost $4 per box and are available from any Girl Scout or Brownie. The money raised from this tradition goes to support the girls and their troops in the coming year. "Our annual Girl Scout cookie program activity helps us make the Girl Scouting experience available to any girl who wants to participate," said Ilene Bates, council CEO, in a press release. "Last year's cookie revenues were used to provide adult training, camp and other program opportunities and financial assistance for girls and adult volunteers."

For more information about Girl Scouting or the cookie program, contact Phyllis McDonnell at (417) 623-8277 ext. 20 or pmcdonnell@gscoa.org.

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