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The Great Cookie Debate

This entry is part 1 of 1 in the series The Great Cookie Debate
  • The Great Cookie Debate

We received a response from the Girl Scouts of Sierra to the blog post that Lynnette wrote entitled Why Girl Scout Cookie Season Gets Me All Fired Up.  We appreciate the respectful and factual nature of this rebuttal, and are happy to post it.  Lynnette has a few more thoughts to respond back to Amber, but we’ll do that in an upcoming post.

Dear Lynnette,

GSSN Troop 150I want to thank you for your earlier blog post. We know you love your Girl Scout Leader, and had some great experiences, and we love to hear that! We also love that you created a platform for discussion, and an opportunity for us to address some of your Girl Scout Cookie concerns.

So let’s dive in:

“I have a big problem with organizations using junk food as a way to raise funds.”

Based on your post, I think the heart of your question is: “Are Girl Scout Cookies contributing to childhood obesity?”

Starting with our youngest members, the Girl Scout organization promotes a healthy lifestyle for girls, which includes a well-balanced diet and plenty of exercise. Our health and fitness programs encourage girls to adopt healthy fitness and eating habits early in life and to continue them into adulthood. Girls are also taught to consider ingredients and portion size when choosing snacks.

The Girl Scout Research Institute (GSRI) released a research review entitled Weighing In: Helping Girls Be Healthy Today, Healthy Tomorrow that addresses various underlying causes that have led to the epidemic of obesity and of being overweight among children and adolescents and the lifestyles, culture, and behavior that have contributed to this condition. Read more about this research review.

We also have a wonderful partnership with local non-profit organizations, so customers are welcome to donate their cookies to our Cookie Share Program.

 One of your graphics suggests that our Girl Scout Cookies contain TBHQ.

We’ve re-read through all of the ingredient lists in every flavor of our cookies, and TBHQ is not an ingredient. Feel free to take a look here.

“So those little girls that do all the leg work, and those poor cookie moms that stuff their mini-vans full of boxes of cookies get to keep just over $1 per box.”  

Cookie Crumbles Graphs 2015To the left, we’ve provided our local “How the Cookie Crumbles” graphic, specific to Girl Scouts of the Sierra Nevada. We are proud to announce that Girl Scout Troops are earning 52% more proceeds this year than they did last year to help support their goals – whether they want to go to the Discovery Museum, or give back at the Northern Nevada Food Bank – their leadership journey is up to them! In addition, the Programs and Support go directly back to supporting girls, volunteers, and programming, such as Camp Wasiu II, and the Low Income Families and Neighborhoods Program.

“Did you know the CEO of Girl Scouts, Anna Maria Chavez, makes almost $400,000 per year?  That means the full $5 of 80,000 boxes of cookies goes straight to the salary of one woman.”

100% of our Girl Scout Cookie proceeds stays within our local Girl Scouts of the Sierra Nevada. No cookie money is sent to Girl Scouts of the USA, which means no cookie money is used for Anna Maria Chavez’ salary.

 Girl Scout cookies started with girls actually baking the cookies they’d sell.  What if we bucked the system, and taught our girls some baking skills by making cookies with REAL and healthy ingredients, and then they sold those!

We love this out of the box thinking, and getting girls learning in the kitchen. Our only concern is health and safety regulations on a large-scale capacity.

“I don’t think standing in front of Wal-Mart on a winter day asking everyone to buy highly processed cookies is fun — for me or my daughter.  We’ll be skiing, thankyouverymuch.”

Yes! We love skiing! And the best part? Girl Scouts are creating a plan, interacting with customers, and working as part of a team to earn the money to do fun trips with their best friends … they can spend their cookie earnings to go skiing together 😉

“You can also just write a check or donate money directly to a troop, and they’ll be able to keep 100% of that money.” 

This is a very generous way to support the Girl Scouts, and very welcome. We would add one more point – donors who would like to ensure their donation is tax deductible are welcome to make their donation through Girl Scouts of the Sierra Nevada. You can designate your donation to a specific Girl Scout Troop, so that they get all of the proceeds.



Most of all, thank you for having the courage to “ruffle a few feathers” – this quality that tells me you’re a Girl Scout at heart, rebelling against convention, and never backing down from a challenge. You go girl!

GSSN Troop 610By supporting the Girl Scout Cookie Program, you are directly supporting Girl Scouts like Baylee, Emilie, and Marissa who partnered with Think Kindness to challenge the community to be #OneKindCookie. You are directly supporting Girl Scouts like Kelsey, who developed a financial literacy program for elementary students. You are directly supporting girls as they fund their own leadership experiences, like international travel, Girl Scout camp, and community service projects. You are directly supporting 4,500 girls in northern Nevada who are developing skills and confidence that will last a lifetime…girls who are making your community, and your world a better place.

Again we are so thankful for the opportunity to tell the full story of our amazing Girl Scouts. You’re truly giving us a voice in the community, and on behalf of our girls, we appreciate your support.

Your fellow Girl Scout Alum,


Amber Aiton Today’s post was written by Amber Aiton, Development and Communications Manager for Girl Scouts of the Sierra Nevada. Her mom was her Girl Scout Leader growing up, and today is her best friend. Tweet along with her and the Girl Scouts of the Sierra Nevada at @GirlScoutsSN


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  1. Girl Scouts provided a fabulous program for my three girls, two of which earned their Gold Awards. The program provided leadership skills among other things. I love the Girl Scout promise and law! What great values for our girls to embrace.

    The Cookie Sale was beneficial to them for several reasons, including learning confidence, interacting with adults, organizational skills, goal setting, math skills, and just plain fun! I’ve been involved as a leader or assistant leader with 6 different troops over the past 20 years and support this organization!

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