PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 16, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania (GSEP) is kicking off the long-awaited Girl Scout Cookies® Season. The cookie program will run through March 9, 2014, and continues the tradition of empowering girls with an avenue to develop financial literacy and important leadership skills, while earning proceeds for troop and council activities for the remainder of the year. This year's cookie program is themed "Change the World."
"What other organization do you know that offers girls a beloved product to sell in order to raise money for her own leadership programs?" said Natalye Paquin, CEO of Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania. "Girl Scouts empowers all girls to discover more about themselves and the world, connect with others and take action in their communities to make a difference."
As a testament to this year's theme, GSEP is proud to be one of 20 Girl Scout councils nationwide to pilot a Gluten Free Girl Scout cookie. This latest addition to the lineup will allow individuals living with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity to enjoy these beloved cookies. This new development speaks to the Girl Scouts' longstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion of all girls for over a century.
To promote this special new cookie, GSEP is partnering with Alice Bast, Founder & President of the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA), to empower those living with the disease and spread awareness of the impact of celiac disease.
"As someone living with celiac disease, I made it my mission to empower others to gain a diagnosis of celiac disease or gluten sensitivity and then to use the knowledge and skills they have acquired to take care of themselves and live life to the fullest," said Alice Bast, Founder & President of NFCA. "On behalf of the entire NFCA organization, I'm thrilled to partner with Girl Scouts to help spread awareness about this disease."
Once again, the iconic Girl Scout Cookie packages will showcase the five skills that the Girl Scout Cookie Program teaches girls:
- Goal Setting
- Decision Making
- Money Management
- People Skills
- Business Ethics
This year, the Girl Scouts of the USA is also debuting a new cookie flavor, Cranberry Citrus Crisps. This crispy cookie is filled with 9 grams of whole grain and is made with real cranberry bits and zesty citrus flavor. GSEP will be offering the following flavors in the 2014 cookie season: Thin Mints, Caramel DeLites, Peanut Butter Patties, Shortbread, Thanks-A-Lot, Lemonades, Peanut Butter Sandwich, Cranberry Citrus Crisps (NEW), and Chocolate Chip Shortbread (NEW: Gluten Free).
The 2014 Cookie Program activities include:
- 2014 Cookie Program Kick Off Event – January 16, 2014
- Time: 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m
One Liberty Place, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Girl Scouts will celebrate the official commencement of Girl Scout Cookie program with a kickoff event outside the popular Shops at Liberty Place at 16th & Walnut Streets in center city Philadelphia.
- National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend – February 7-8, 2014
- GSEP will once again be partnering with Chef Emeril Lagasse to promote the Girl Scouts Cookie Program. More details to be announced!
- Troop Cookie Swap – February 22, 2014
- Time: 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
All GSEP Service Centers
Girl Scouts and troop leaders exchange boxes of cookies to meet demand in their respective areas.
- Operation Cookies From Home Collections – January 16 - March 9, 2014
- Cookies From Home (CFH) is a partnership between GSEP and the USO to provide Girl Scout Cookies to men and women of the Armed Forces serving abroad. Girl Scout troops will collect monetary donations designated toward gathering packages of cookies to be sent to U.S. Military abroad at the conclusion of the program.
- Bling Your Booth Contest for Girl Scouts – Voting April 18 - May 2, 2014
- Girl Scouts will spend the first portion of the cookie program decorating their sales booth according to one of four different categories in hopes of becoming an overall winner and receiving a prize. GSEP will select two finalists from each category, and fans and friends of GSEP are subsequently invited to cast their votes on the GSEP Facebook page for the winner in each classification.
- 5=52 Contest for Cookie Lovers
- The 5=52 Contest is a chance for customers to win Girl Scout Cookies for one year. For every five packages of cookies purchased per customer, he or she has a chance to enter into a drawing for 52 free packages of cookies. Five winners will be chosen randomly at the conclusion of the Cookie Program.
- 500 Club Picnic
- Each Girl Scout reaching a goal of 500 or more packages of cookies qualifies for the 500 Club Picnic, celebrating the girl's achievement. Qualified girls will receive a special patch and certificate at the event.
For detailed information on the cookie program and events, a local Cookie Locator application, or to learn more about the Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania, visit www.GSEP.org.
About Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania
Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania (GSEP) is the largest girl-serving organization in Pennsylvania and builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. GSEP serves more than 40,000 girls in partnership with almost 15,000 volunteers in Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Delaware, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton and Philadelphia counties. Today, 80 percent of women in leadership and executive roles in the U.S. were Girl Scouts. Girl Scout alumnae comprise 70 percent of women in the U.S. Congress. For further information about Girl Scouting, how to join, volunteer, reconnect, or donate, call 215-564-2030 or visit www.gsep.org.
Follow @GirlScoutsEPenn on Twitter and like "Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania" on Facebook!
About the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness
Through empowerment, education, advocacy and advancing research, the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) drives diagnoses of celiac disease and other gluten-related disorders and improves the quality of life for those on a lifelong gluten-free diet. For more information, please visit www.CeliacCentral.org.
For more information, contact:
Director of Marketing & Communications
For the Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania
SOURCE Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania