Girl Scout cookies reach new heights

About 15 girls from three Crescenta Valley Girl Scout troops were among 70 Girl Scouts from the San Gabriel Valley region who set a Guinness World Record last week creating the world's tallest cookie tower.

The record-breaking feat was part of a cookie sale kickoff event Feb. 28 and 29 that involved 16 hours of dedicated effort as “Stacker Packer Cookie Girls” completed the 5'4” structure. The nine-tiered, 145-layer creation is nearly two inches taller than the previous cookie tower world record, which was set in September 2007 by an Ohio Girl Scout Council.

The San Gabriel Valley Girl Scout cookie tower was constructed using 20,000 of the classic Thin Mint and Do-Si-Dos cookies. Prior to last weekend's event, the girls met with local architects and engineers to plan the structure. “It was so cute, the girls were talking between themselves and deciding which shape of cookies would best withstand the more than 427-pound weight of the tower,” said Mary Riherd Broomfield, marketing and public relations director for the Girls Scouts' Mt. Wilson Vista Council in Arcadia.

“One of the best aspects of the project was that girls from across the area were able to become friends with girls from outside their area and work together as a team,” she said.

The girls worked in shifts, from 3 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 28, concluding the next day. “The girls started out kind of shy because they didn't really know each other. And they moved around carefully because they were worried about knocking [the tower] down. But, by the end of the time they were standing on stepladders and holding onto each other. It was a great team effort,” Broomfield said.

Lisa Interrante of Montrose also valued the teamwork the girls learned through the cookie project. Interrante's daughter, Shawna Shipers, 10, a fourth grader at La Crescenta Elementary School, is a member of Girl Scout Troop No. 938. Shawna and her fellow Girl Scouts had a great time working on the tower, Interrante said.

“The girls were so excited to be doing something that would be in the Guinness Book of World Records. The energy was very, very high and it was a special day for all of the girls,” she said. “Everybody bonded together and that's what Girl Scouts is all about — working together as a team.”

During the construction, official witnesses — from firefighters to public officials — documented the process. After the record was set and documented, the girls continued to construct and decorate the tower, which — unofficially — reached a height of 5'7”.

The Crescenta Valley Girl Scouts involved in the event are members of troops 938, 670 and 679. The tower was one way to spotlight the annual Girl Scout cookie sales program, Broomfield added. Cookie sales help to fund troop activities, camps and other Girl Scout programs throughout the year. Cookies sell for $4 a box and can be purchased through March 22 from neighborhood Girl Scouts or at booths at many grocery stores and other public venues.

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