COAL TOWNSHIP - Economic downturn? What economic downturn? Business is booming for Girl Scouts in the lower part of Northumberland County, who sold a record-breaking 11,000 boxes of cookies. The number is up from last year's 5,800 boxes, and the selling season isn't over yet.

The cookies were delivered at approximately 11:15 a.m. Wednesday by a Mayflower moving van to Our Lady of Lourdes Regional School cafeteria. Laun Dunn, service unit manager for the Lower Northumberland County Girl Scouts, and several other Scout mothers and troop leaders spent two hours unloading the cookies and were still sorting them well into the afternoon.

Cases of Thin Mints, Samoas, Tagalongs, Do-Si-Dos, Savannah Smiles and other varieties were stacked five high and three deep in the school's cafeteria.

Dunn was enthusiastic when asked if this was the highest number of cookies the Scouts have sold.

"Yes. By far, Yes!" Dunn exclaimed.

The annual sale started Jan. 2 and will continue through St. Patrick's Day next month.

Although the cookies do their fair share of selling themselves, preparation for the sale starts in November.

"We start training the troop leaders and they train the girls so they can earn various merit badges," Dunn said.

Dunn has two reasons for the sharp spike in sales: First, the number of Lower Northumberland County Girls Scouts jumped from 100 to 200 since last year. Second, the Lower Northumberland Scouts didn't raise their prices.

"Our cookies are still $3.50 a box while others areas have raised them to $4 a box," Dunn said. "We are getting orders from places like Reading and Allentown."

Dunn said each Scout earns seventy cents per box, which goes directly into that Scout's troop budget, where the girls can use the money for camping trips and other events.

Cookie orders can still be placed at www.gshpa.org and clicking on the cookie finder app or by calling Dunn at 644-0902.