Girl Scouts cookie sales crumbling

Regional councils for the Girl Scouts of the USA watch the negative impact the economy has had on cookie sales from January through early February of this year.

There has been a 19 percent decrease in pre-order sales nationally, according to a press release issued by the Big Bend Area chapter of the organization.

Girl Scout cookies in the Big Bend Area dropped eight percent last year.

“Pre-order sales, mostly door-to-door and workplace, make up around 70 percent of cookiesales,” said Michelle Tompkins, spokeswoman for the Girl Scouts of the USA. “Councils are hopeful they will make up for the drop-off with sales at shopping center booths through early spring.”

By selling Girl Scout cookies, the organization said girls learn fundamental business skills.

“The cookie product program provides the girls with an opportunity to learn business skills including customer service, budgeting and planning”, said Raslean M. Allen, CEO of the Girl Scout Council.

According to the press release, girls sell cookies for $3.50 a box and the proceeds will support local troops and councils.

After paying the baker, all of the proceeds stay in the council’s area.

A portion of the money stays at the council to support program costs.

The other portion of proceeds goes to the troops, where the girls decide how to spend it, encouraging them to set goals and have leadership abilities.

The cookies themselves have been downsized slightly this year as a cost-saving measure due to escalating prices of flour, nuts and chocolate.

Inspired by the theme “Imagine if…We Could Change the World”, this year’s cookie sales continued the tradition of providing a quality product while teaching valuable skills.

The annual cookie fundraiser is underway for the Girl Scout’s and will continue through March 8.

“About two-thirds of the 133 Girl Scout councils nationwide sell cookies from January through March,” Tompkins said. “The rest sell in the fall.

Most proceeds, she says, go to troops and councils to pay for trips, community projects and scholarships.”   

Some students said it is unfortunate the economy affects organizations like the Girl Scouts.   

“Being a former Girl Scout, I think it’s really sad because they are suffering like a lot of other organizations during this recession,” said Jazmine Demps, 22, a third year Florida State University student.   

Girl Scouts officials said the recall of peanut products contaminated with salmonella has not affected sales because their cookies don’t contain peanut butter from Peanut Corporation of America. Neither of their baking companies buys from the peanut plants involved.