GALLIPOLIS — Girl Scout cookies are loved the world over — and Gallia County is no exception.
Thanks to 8-year-old Savannah Riddle, of Patriot, and her Girl Scout Troop, Troop 1640, Gallia County had its cookie appetite sated.
Savannah sold 400 packages of the beloved cookies, making her the Girl Scouts of Ohio’s Heartland Council’s No. 1 cookie seller in the entire county, according to a press release from Khalila Hayden, public relations coordinator.
There are about 8-9 Girl Scout Troops in Gallia County, according to Riddle’s mother and scout leader, Jenny Riddle. Overall, the 12 members of Troop 1640 sold more than $2,500 worth of cookies to the community.
Savannah’s favorite Girl Scout cookie is “Thank You Berry Much,” and her mother enjoys “Do Si Dos.”
Troop 1640 formed through Jenny Riddle, who wanted to do something fun with Savannah. They discovered the idea of doing Girl Scouts after Savannah’s school, Southwest Elementary, held a six-week program called Lunch Bunch, in which girls participate in Girl Scout activities in the music room instead of going to lunch.
Savannah’s father, Mike, said he was excited about the progress the girls had made.
“I was just really impressed,” he said. “I’m proud of Jenny and Savannah for taking the initiative of starting a troop up.”
For Troop 1640, cookie sales began in January and ended in April. Initially, troopers only sold to friends and family, but Jenny said that Savannah sold the most cookies during Walkabout Week, when the girls were allowed to sell door-to-door. Savannah also sold to members of her church, and her grandmother in Kentucky, and few boxes of cookies to the military, earning Savannah an “Operation: Salute” patch.
“There was this guy where we went to sell cookies, and he asked if we had any Tag-a-longs, and we said no because we didn’t have them with us,” Savannah said. “So we said, ‘Want me to go home and get some?’And his wife’s like, ‘No, he already has too much.’ So when the wife went in(side), the guy’s like, ‘I work at the (Rio Grande) college. Want to bring me some tomorrow? I’ll buy some?”
Savannah’s favorite part of selling cookies was booth sales, in which troop members set up booths outside Walmart and a local pizza business. Sometimes when the girls were hungry, a mom would buy a box of cookies for them to eat, she said.
After the sales ended in April, money was distributed, with 54 percent of proceeds going toward Girl Programs and Leader Training, 24 percent going toward the cost of cookies, 19 percent toward troop proceeds and 3 percent going toward girl rewards, according to the Girl Scouts of Ohio’s Heartland. Savannah received many prizes for selling so many cookies, including a backpack, purse and sunglasses.
Although the troop takes a break during summer, some of the girls still meet up to hang out and do fun activities.The girls also participated in other activities of charity, including bringing water to the Gallia County Animal Shelter during the recent water leak.
“A lot of times you forget about the animals,” Jenny said. “Not only do they need water to clean their pins out, but to drink.”
Along with volunteering, Savannah has two camps coming up: Camp Molly Lauman in Lucasville this weekend and a Girl Scouts of Ohio’s Heartland 2014 Day Camp June 23-27, which takes place at Bob Evans Farms and is open to the public.