Boy Scout Leaders three-peat title

Tuesday, January 10, 2017
Joelle Mason, front left, presents the plaque to the Boy Scout leaders team for winning the Girl Scout Cookie Crunch Off at the Vernon County Fairgrounds on Friday. Front row, from left: Joelle Mason, Girl Scouts, and Anthony Gardiner. Back row, from left: Earl Higgins, Steven Austin, Adam Searly and Scott Theis. Gabe Franklin/Daily Mail

The 100th annual Girl Scout Cookie sale season kicked off Friday, and to celebrate, dozens of Girl Scouts, their families and friends gathered in the home ec building at the Vernon County Fairgrounds to have fun and watch teams of people chow down on Girl Scout Cookies.

The annual event combined a carnival for the Girl Scouts and a cookie-eating contest, this year featuring teams from local law enforcement, Nevada Fire Department, local Boy Scout leaders, and a pick up team.

In a contest leaving the law enforcement team in second place, and the winners deserving a speed-eating ticket, the Boy Scout leaders took home their third consecutive title as Cookie Crunch Off Champions.

The Boy Scout Leader's team consisted of Steve Austin, Anthony Gardiner, Scott Theis, Adam Searly, and anchor man Earl Higgins.

Higgins earned the Boy Scout Leader's a two-handed, come-from-behind victory.

Representing three local law enforcement agencies were Justin Varner, Nevada Police Department; Landon McDaniel, Nevada Police Department; Kodie Schmitt, Nevada Police Department; Jim Wilde, Missouri State Highway Patrol; and Michael Bolan, Vernon County Sheriff's Office.

Representing Nevada Fire Department "Smoke Eaters" were Kelton Hayes, A.J. Cezar, Justin Pryor, Taylor McClintic, and Sam Hogan.

A fourth, pick up team consisted of Alex Stimson, Vernon County Sheriff's Office; Josh Barker, Vernon County Sheriff's Office; John McGraw, Nevada Fire Department; James Hallam, girl scout dad; and Tony Pettibon, girl scout dad.

The Boy Scout Leaders win this year means they have to sit out next year's Cookie Crunch Off, so 2018 will bring a new champion.

Prior to the Cookie Crunch Off, girl scouts were treated to a carnival featuring face painting, cookie stacking, and other contests.

The best treat of the evening though, went to those who had the opportunity to try to the new S'mores cookie.

The Cookie Crunch Off signals the start of the Girl Scout's annual cookie sales and return of favorites such as Lemonades, Thin Mints and the enduring Shortbreads.

In 2016, pre-orders accounted for 592 cases, or an astonishing 7104 boxes of Girl Scout cookies.

Pre-orders will be delivered to the individual troops on Feb. 16, and booth sales will start Feb. 18, at locations such as Wal-Mart and Wood's Grocery.

The price of each box of cookies remains unchanged for 2017.

In 2016, production costs accounted for $1.05 or 21 percent of each box.

Girl and Volunteer Support accounted for $1.18 or 23 percent of each box and went towards helping underserved girls, volunteer training and materials, volunteer recruitment, and staff support.

High Quality Girl Scout Programs received 33 percent or $1.64 per box. These programs include leadership, business and financial literacy, outdoor adventure, and STEM. This portion of the per-box costs also contributed to maintaining Girl Scout camp and program sites, and to fund council-hosted girl and volunteer events, financial assistance, and staff support.

The last 23 percent went to the individual troops and accounted for $1.13 of each box in the form of Troop Earnings, proceeds, bonuses and Troop Bucks. This also funds Girl Recognition, and Service Unit and Council Goal Bonuses.

You can find your cookies at The Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland website can be found at

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