The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Local News

March 3, 2014

Girl Scout cookie sales down; troops needing public’s support

BECKLEY — From peanut-buttery Tagalongs to crunchy Thin Mints, Girl Scout cookies are a tried and true tradition that have filled a coveted spot in many people’s pantries for nearly a century.

However, according to Beth Casey, chief executive officer for Girl Scouts of Black Diamond Council, cookie sales in Raleigh County have suffered a 30 percent decline in 2014.

The decline, which equates to about $9,000 in lost profits, would normally be used to commission local troops’ travel and accommodation for field trips, summer camping excursions, community service events and more.

Sales haven’t only suffered in Raleigh County, Casey said. Statewide sales are down by 20 percent overall.

While we are all fully aware how this winter’s severe weather has taken a toll on our roads and school systems, Casey said that it is believed that the weather is also to blame for the sharp drop in West Virginia’s Girl Scout cookie sales.

January was the month that orders were diligently recruited and collected by Scouts across our communities, and those efforts were hindered on multiple occasions due to school closings and poor road conditions, Casey said.

It may not be the only contributing factor, Casey said, but Black Diamond Council is confident the weather was one culprit believed to have taken a bite out of sales.

Also potentially playing a role was this year’s price increase, which Casey said was the first price increase cookies have had in nine years. Membership numbers in Raleigh County have also seen a decrease, Casey added.

“We expected some decline due to the weather and decreased memberships, but not 30 percent,” Casey said.

The tradition of Girl Scouts selling cookies is about much more than making a profit, Casey said.

As their largest annual fundraiser, selling cookies is a life lesson for Scouts. They learn important lessons like goal-setting, decision-making, money management, people skills and business ethics, Casey added.

“We encourage people to support their local Girl Scout cookie program for those reasons,” Casey said.

To counteract the low preorder sales, Black Diamond Council is urging members of the community to rally in support of Raleigh County’s Girl Scouts and buy cookies from Scouts at booth sales.

Upcoming booth sales will be located at:

-- Rick's Supermarket in Glen Daniel on Saturday, March 8 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

-- Walgreen's near Ragland Road on Saturday, March 8 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

-- Dollar General Store in Lester on Sunday, March 9 from noon to 5 p.m.

-- Walmart on Eisenhower Drive on March 9, 16 and 23 from noon to 5 p.m.

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