The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

January 4, 2014

Girl Scouts gear up for annual sale; troops host annual Cookie Crunch-Off event

JOPLIN, Mo. — There are a few strategies when it comes to eating Girl Scout cookies as quickly as possible.

Some competitors at Saturday’s Cookie Crunch-Off at Missouri Southern State University soaked the cookies in milk. A few crumbled them into a bowl and poured the crumbs into their mouths. Others just ate each cookie whole.

More than 250 Girl Scouts gathered for the event that kicks off this year’s cookie sale.

The afternoon began with Cookie University — a workshop designed to hone sales and customer service skills — and ended with the cookie-eating contest.

Several teams recruited by local organizations and businesses lined up behind a table filled with cookies, milk and water, and each member had to chow down eight cookies.

Before the contest began, the rules were announced: Each participant could only drink one small carton of milk and cup of water, and participants had to prove their mouths were empty after eating the cookies. The first team to finish would be the winner.

Team General Mills participated in the contest for the first time Saturday and took home the trophy. Ron Gilbert led his team and said he had just one thing on his mind during the contest: Don’t choke.

Gilbert, of Joplin, was the last of his four-man team to eat the cookies. He didn’t have a specific plan, and at the end, he had to scoop the crumbs into a bowl and prove all of the cookies were gone.

“We came out here just to have some fun,” Gilbert said. “I didn’t know what to expect.”

Gilbert, who buys Girl Scout cookies every year, said he’ll be back for the competition next year.

“We have to now,” he said. “We have something to prove.”

Earlier in the afternoon, the Girl Scouts, ages 5 to 18, were divided into groups and participated in programs that helped them earn their 2014 Cookie Pin and financial and sales badges.

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