Sashes and vests dotted with the pins and patches that symbolize accomplishments, community service and fun activities, they’ve been out there dutifully patrolling neighborhoods, knocking on doors to ask that question so many long to hear: “Hi, would you like to buy some Girl Scout cookies?”
Yes, it’s that time again – time to check boxes on forms to order boxes of Thin Mints, Shortbreads, Caramel deLites, Lemonades and other varieties. The Girl Scouts began taking preorders Jan. 10 and next month will make home deliveries and set up cookie booths outside local storefronts. Those cookie sales will run Feb. 21 through March 6.
If a Scout hasn’t come knocking on your door, you can place an order from a local Girl Scout by calling (866) 472-6657 or visiting girlscoutshcc.org. Boxes are $4.
Girl Scouts Heart of Central California, the local council, purchases its cookies from ABC Bakers. This year, local troops are selling Thin Mints, Caramel deLites, Peanut Butter Patties, Peanut Butter Sandwiches, Shortbread, Lemonades, Thanks-A-Lot and the new Cranberry Citrus Crisps. A council news release says the latter “are made with whole grain, full of tangy cranberry bits and zesty citrus flavor.”
In addition, select troops within Girl Scouts Heart of Central California are participating in a pilot program through ABC Bakers that introduces a limited supply of Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Shortbread, bite-size shortbread cookies made with real chocolate chips and butter.
A Heart of Central California spokeswoman noted that the gluten-free cookies are in very limited supply. “The best bet would be to purchase the gluten-free cookies from booth sales,” said Alicia Allen. “However, if someone were to call, we would be able to put them in touch with a local Girl Scout selling the gluten-free cookies.”
The council also noted that two features of past cookie sales are returning this year:
• Buy 5 Drawing: This incentive was introduced in 2012. For every five packages of cookies purchased, customers can enter into a drawing to win an entire case – 12 packages – of their favorite Girl Scout cookies per month for a year. The drawing will take place May 3.
• Project Thank You: Girl Scouts Heart of Central California also will continue this partnership with the American Red Cross. Through Project Thank You, customers can purchase Girl Scout cookies to be distributed by the Red Cross to local military service members, VA hospitals and food banks. At booth sales, customers just need to tell the girls they are purchasing cookies for Project Thank You and the Scouts will put the boxes aside.
Cookie sales are the big annual fundraiser for Girl Scouts, helping troops fund activities and purchase those patches and pins to signify them. But cookie sales season also is “about the skills a girl gains from interacting directly with customers,” the council notes in a news release. “It’s about the experience of running her own cookie business and working with others.”
“The five skills girls learn,” the council says, “are goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and business ethics. There are financial literacy badges girls can earn at each level, kindergarten through 12th grade.
“In terms of skill building, statistics show the Girl Scout cookie program works. According to a survey from the Girl Scout Research Institute, 85 percent of Girl Scout ‘cookie entrepreneurs’ learn money management through developing budgets, taking cookie orders and handling customers’ money. Furthermore, 83 percent build business ethics, 80 percent learn goal setting, 77 percent improve in the decision-making arena, and 75 percent develop their people skills.”