Troop leader: Our cookies are just fine

February 20, 2008 

Girl Scout cookies in the Lowcountry aren't stale and weren't damaged by storage problems, according to local Girl Scout leaders.

In fact, the cookies supplied here are from a different baker than those used in the Raleigh area where some cookie abnormalities were reported, according to Girl Scout officials.

"Our cookies are fabulous," said Susan Brooks, co-leader of senior Girl Scout Troop 369, which has members on Hilton Head Island and the mainland. "We have gotten so many compliments on our cookies."

The problems that may be plaguing the cookies one state to the north haven't hit the coastal area of South Carolina because the Girl Scouts of Eastern South Carolina use Louisville, Ky.-based Little Brownie Bakers, said Victoria Marshall, director of development and marketing for the regional Scout group.

It was the other approved Girl Scout cookie baker, ABC Bakers, headquartered in Richmond, Va., and a bakery in South Dakota, that supplied the cookies to Girl Scouts in the Raleigh area.

Little Brownie Bakers said its cookies were not the ones damaged by flooding in a storage facility in the Winston-Salem, N.C., area.

"You can be assured that we would never do anything to compromise the trust you have placed in us to provide high-quality, safe food," the bakery said in a statement.

The Eastern South Carolina Girl Scouts sell close to a million packages of cookies each year, Marshall said. The group serves the coast from North Carolina to Georgia.

The annual cookie sale has two phases.

Pre-ordered cookies were delivered last week. Sales booths, found outside churches, grocery stores and other retailers on weekends, started last weekend and will be on the job through March 11.

The cookie sales serve as a teaching tool for Girl Scouts, said Phyllis

Neville, a troop leader on the island and the service area chairwoman for Hilton Head, Bluffton and Okatie.

"We're trying to instill a lot of different things," Neville said, "setting goals, valuing money, how to sell ... how to market to people."

Money raised from cookie sales also funds troops' activities, travels and community service projects, said Brooks, Troop 369 co-leader.

Brooks' troop hopes to raise $1,800 this year to go toward a troop trip to England planned for the summer.

"You cannot get to London just selling cookies," Brooks said, but the funds will help offset some of the costs.

The (Raleigh) News & Observer contributed to this report.

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