Girl Scout Cookies: Something old, something new

The 2011 Girl Scout Cookie Sale starts Jan. 1, 2011, with a new “sensibly sweet” cookie and new packaging for a returning favorite.

Shout Outs! — this year’s new Girl Scout Cookie — is a Belgian-style caramelized cookie with zero grams of trans fat per serving, no hydrogenated oils, no artificial colors or preservatives, and no high fructose corn syrup. Its ingredients are similar to what you might find in your own kitchen: flour, sugar, vegetable oil, brown sugar, vanilla and spices.

The average serving size is four cookies totaling 130 calories. The cookies can be eaten alone, of course, or used as an ingredient in desserts such as “Crunchy, Fruity Double Chocolate Bark” and “Shout Outs! Cheesecake and Fruit Trifle.”

Shout Outs! replace last year’s Daisy-Go-Rounds.

Further, in a pilot program, Thanks-A-Lot Girl Scout Cookies — a shortbread layered with fudge and embossed with “Thank You” in five different languages — will be packaged without the traditional paperboard carton. Instead, the delicious cookies will be delivered in trays overwrapped in film, similar to commercial cookie brands found in grocery stores.

This initiative will reduce the use of paperboard by 150 tons, enough to fill 14 garbage trucks.

ABC Bakers, part of Interbake Foods and maker of Thanks-A-Lot, said the move was initiated by queries from Girl Scouts on their company’s website about the environment and the best use of its natural resources.

This year’s cookie season lasts from Jan. 1-March 31. The remaining seven familiar favorites are returning, including the ever-popular Thin Mints. Thin Mints make up over 25 percent of the more than 200 million boxes of Girl Scout cookies sold each year. (The second most popular cookie is the coconut, caramel and chocolate confection, Caramel deLites.) Thin Mints are also the third most popular cookie sold in the United States, behind only Oreos® and Chips Ahoy!®

The Girl Scout Cookie Sale, the largest girl-led business in the world, helps girls develop life-long skills in goal setting, decision making, business ethics, working with people and money management. Juliette Gordon Low initiated the sale as a way for Girl Scouts to be self-reliant and to fund their own activities. In the 1920s and 30s, Girl Scouts in different parts of the country baked their own simple sugar cookies and sold them to raise money for their activities. The first documented council-wide sale of commercially baked cookies took place in Philadelphia in 1934. The first national Girl Scout Cookie sale was held in 1936. This fund-raising idea proved so popular with the girls that by 1937, more than 125 councils had adopted the program.

Girl Scouts of Virginia Skyline Council serves 10,500 girls and has more than 3,500 adult volunteers. Cookie proceeds help fund, for instance, programs for girls, training for volunteers, and scholarships for membership fees.

For more information, go to www.gsvsc.org or call 540.777.5105 or 800.542.5905, ext. 105.

Edited by Chris Graham. Chris can be reached at freepress2@ntelos.net.

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