Entries in Girl Scouts (5)


Girl Scouts in Idaho Denied Sales Tax Exemption on Cookies

Giuliana Nakashima/The Washington Post/Getty Images(BOISE, Idaho) -- Idaho Girl Scouts seeking to get an exemption from sales tax on their famous cookies were thwarted by the Idaho state senate this week.

Idaho puts a 22 cent sales tax on every box of cookies, same as they do with every other food. Sales tax on Girl Scout cookies brings in about $150,000 in tax revenue every year. Earlier this year however, Julie Hart, a Girl Scout mom and lobbyist in Boise, encouraged her daughter’s troop to try to get an exemption from the tax, since the Scouts are a nonprofit.

“I said, ‘you know there's a big freshman class coming in and a lot of things changing why don't we go ahead and try to roll with it this year and see what we can get done,’" Hart said.

The Girl Scouts won an exemption in the state house, but were stopped in the state senate. Republican Representative Jim Patrick says the decision was merely economic.

“The issue is: How man exemptions do we get? And we've been under a lot of pressure to reduce exemptions,” Patrick explained.

Despite the loss, many Girl Scouts say the whole process was a valuable experience.

“I've learned about politics, ethics, about our world and what's in it,” said Girl Scout Ella Marcum.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Girl Scout Cookies to Be Featured in New Candy Bar

Nestle(NEW YORK) -- Girl Scout cookie season is arguably the highlight of the year for those who anticipate the appearance of the bright yellow, blue and green boxes.

Starting in June, fans will be able to get their cookie fix in the form of a candy bar.  The Girl Scouts have teamed with Nestle to create Crunch bars flavored with Thin Mint, Caramel Coconut (Samoa-inspired) or Peanut Butter Creme (Tagalong-inspired).

With $760 million in cookies sold last year, it isn't surprising that the demand for the candy bars has already begun.

"When word of this irresistible combination of Nestlé Crunch and Girl Scout Cookie flavors leaked earlier this year, consumers started calling," said Nestle spokesperson Tricia Bowles in a statement.

For those who can't wait until June, Nestle will launch a Facebook promotion Wednesday that will allow consumers to buy bars from a limited supply.

Starting June 1, they will be available nationwide and retail for about $1 per bar and $4 per box.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Are Too Many Parents Selling Girl Scout Cookies?

Giuliana Nakashima/The Washington Post/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Girl Scout cookie season is in full swing and it’s no surprise that boxes of Thin Mints, Samoas and Trefoils are selling like hotcakes. Approximately 200 million boxes of Girl Scout cookies are sold around the country each year, but how many of those are actually sold by Scouts?

The New York Times first raised the issue in a blog post this week, asking how often it’s the parents of the Girl Scouts hawking the sweet treats, not the Scouts themselves.

While some troops sell door-to-door or park outside of local supermarkets and other highly-trafficked areas around town, it has become increasingly common to see parents and adults taking on the cooking-selling duties, bringing the order forms to the office and coercing colleagues to buy, buy, buy.

“It’s a constant source of conversation,” said Michelle Tompkins, manager of media relations for Girl Scouts of the USA. “We love that the parents want to help their kids. There’s no malintent, but it is selling the kids a little short, not letting them learn the skills they want to teach.”

The Girl Scout cookie fundraising effort dates back to 1917, when troops first baked cookies and sold them in the high school cafeteria. Selling the cookies is supposed to be a business and entrepreneurial exercise for the Scouts, where they learn five major skills -- goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and ethics, according to the Girl Scout cookies website.

Parents are allowed to “assist,” the website says, but “it is the girl who makes the sale, sets learning and sales goals, and learns the entrepreneurial skills.”

There are no statistics on the number of boxes sold by parents versus their kids, but Tompkins says assisting and supporting the Scouts is the message the national organization conveys to local councils, who relay it down to troop leaders, Scouts and parents who are in the trenches.

In many ways, Girl Scout cookie sales are no different than any other youth activities in which parents get involved and invested, from homework projects to bake sales to soccer games or selling wrapping paper at the holidays.

As with all of these activities, there’s undeniably a fine line between “assisting,” i.e., supervising your Scout, shuttling her to deliver the orders, or coaching her on a sales pitches, and selling cookies by the case to colleagues in the cafeteria.

It is possible to help Scouts meet their sales goals and make it a learning experience, Tompkins says. Instead of just bringing in the order form to the office, some creative parents send emails to co-workers asking if they’re interested in buying cookies and then schedule a time for the Scout to call them and make the sales pitch.

Many successful female business leaders credit the program for giving them an early entrepreneurial start, but that’s because they followed the rules and sold them the old-fashioned way.

The bottom line?

“Participate, please,” Tompkins says. “But please let your child do their own selling.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


After Fake Bills Passed, Girl Scouts Get Schooled by Secret Service

Giuliana Nakashima/The Washington Post/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Whether you prefer Do-Si-Dos or Thin Mints, almost everyone loves a Girl Scout cookie, but the annual fundraiser has created a spike in crime across the country this year that has even the Secret Service stepping in.

At least two troops on opposite sides of the U.S. have received counterfeit money in exchange for boxes of their cookies. Troop 60916 in Tynsborough, Mass., spent Sunday afternoon selling cookies, and took their $258 deposit to the bank when the teller told troop leader Dianna Mines that four of her $20 bills were fake.

"I was shocked," Mines told The Lowell Sun. "Girl Scouts is about trying to teach the girls how to be good members of the community. To be taken advantage of was just not right."

The Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts released a statement saying they are "understandably upset by the situation" and that "the council will work with the troop to resolve the discrepancy in funds."

But the Massachusetts troop wasn't the only one hit by counterfeiters. Scouts in the Central California South council based in Fresno, Calif., received a fake $100 bill in exchange for cookies, and their council store received two more.

"Sometimes you think $100 isn't a big deal, but, for that little girl selling cookies for hours or the volunteer giving their time, it's a lot," said Cathy Ferguson, CEO of the Girl Scouts of Central California South.

That's when the Secret Service stepped in, thanks to a troop dad who works with the agency. Agents conducted a workshop that taught staff members and troop leaders how to recognize phony money. They were told to look for three key signs: a watermark portrait to the right of the printed president's picture, a security strip on the left imprinted with the letters "USA" and the amount of the bill, and color-shifting numbers that can be detected when the bill is held at an angle in the light.

Ferguson said the money from the cookie sales stays within each individual troop to fund their programs so they are the ones that benefit from the hands-on training.

"It's not like they're taking money from the Girl Scouts of America. That little girl standing there with a smile on her face is the one they're ripping off," Ferguson said.

The CCS Council is made-up of more than 1,000 Girl Scouts troops, each consisting of anywhere from five to 12 girls.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Girl Scouts Introduce New Cookie

Giuliana Nakashima/The Washington Post/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Samoas, Thin Mints, Tagalongs, oh my! Girl Scout cookie season is upon us and soon the troops will fan out to sell the irresistible cookies with those signature smiles. This year, in honor of the organization’s 100th anniversary, you’ll see a brand new cookie flavor in the mix. Called the Savannah Smile, it’s a crescent shaped, lemon-wedge cookie with lemon chips that’s dusted in powdered sugar.

According to Little Brownie Bakers, the company that bakes the new confection, the cookie is named after Girl Scout founder Juliet Low’s hometown and is “cool and crisp, with just the right number of lemon chips to deliver tiny bursts of flavor.”

For the calorie-counters, five Savannah Smiles will set you back about 140 calories.

Since 1917 when troops first baked cookies and sold them in school cafeterias, the Girl Scout cookie fundraising effort has grown to generate millions of dollars a year for the organization. Approximately 200 million boxes are sold each year and the biggest seller is the Thin Mint, which accounts for 25 percent of overall sales, according to their website. Samoas are a close second, consisting of 19 percent of total sales, and Tagalongs come in third with 13 percent. Do-si-dos and Trefoils round out the top five biggest sellers.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio