By Sherrie Norris
It is expected that 2,010 cases of Girl Scout Cookies will be delivered to the Family Life Center of Boone United Methodist Church in Boone on Friday, January 10, signaling the beginning of the 2020 Girl Scout Cookie sales in the High Country.
That translates to 24,120 cookies being distributed throughout the day to local Girl Scouts and eventually sold to those of us who greatly anticipate this fun time every year.
And, that’s just for starters, local troop leaders tell us. Those initial cookies will disappear quickly, with the stock replenished in the coming weeks as demand dictates.
This time-honored community outreach is enjoyed by countless people on many levels each year. Not only do we, as consumers, absolutely love the idea of supporting the Girl Scouts, (not to mention the personal satisfaction derived by devouring those blissful treats by the box!) but we are also reminded that we are helping young girls prepare for their future as successful entrepreneurs.
The cookie sales benefit the girls especially by teaching them important skills that they will carry throughout their lives — what it means to be successful, how to work as a team, utilize the proceeds for special events, trips and more.
A survey from the Girl Scout Research Institute indicates that 85 percent of Girl Scout “cookie entrepreneurs” learn money management by developing budgets, taking cookie orders and handling customers’ money. Eighty-three percent build business ethics; 80 percent learn goal setting; 77 percent improve decision-making; and 75 percent develop people skills.
All proceeds from the cookie program support Girl Scouting in the local community where they are sold, providing an opportunity for girls to earn money for badges, service events, recognition and the potential for scholarships. Additionally, the sales help the troops with summer camp, exploring science and math, traveling to various destinations and learning about future careers.
For example, on the home front, according to longtime troop leaders, Catherine Wilkinson, JoAnne Jenkins and Amber Mellon, for five years Troop 2738 saved the money its members earned from selling cookies to help fund Space Camp in Huntsville, Ala., from which they just returned. Another area troop (10807) is earning money for a trip to New York City this summer, and yet another troop (10289) is earning money for a two-week trip in Europe.
There is always a sense of good-natured urgency associated with this yearly announcement because availability is limited, and many are anxious to try new varieties as they are introduced. Who among us — even if we just recently made resolutions to cut down on sweets — can say “no” to the hardworking girls who put their best efforts into their signature fundraising efforts this time every year?
And, as always, there is a lot of enthusiasm around this fundraising campaign, according to the aforementioned leaders of local Girl Scout troops.
Cookie Varieties available this year include returning favorites: Thin Mints, Caramel deLights, Peanut Butter Sandwiches, Peanut Butter Patties, Shortbread, Thanks-A-Lot, S’mores, Lemonades, all at $4 a box. And this year, the gluten- free Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies will be available for $5.
As one of America’s most recognized and popular fundraising efforts currently underway, pre-sales are happening now and booths will be setting up around the High Country in the coming days.
Cookie lovers can preorder from their neighborhood Girl Scouts, order online for delivery, or wait to find their little boxed treasures at cookie booths on weekends outside the following local businesses:
- Boone Mall
- Harris Teeter
- Lowes Foods (Boone)
- Lowes Foods (Banner Elk)
- Lowe’s Home Improvement (Boone)
- Lowe’s Home Improvement (Banner Elk)
- Mast Store (Boone)
- Mast Store (Valle Crucis)
- Mast Annex
- Pet Supply Plus
- Walmart Supercenter (Boone)
Booths will also be at additional locations as troops arrange them. For all locations and times for area booths go to the cookie locator at https://www.girlscouts.org/en/cookies/all-about-cookies/How-to-Buy.html.
Since 1917, five years after Juliette Gordon Low of Savannah, Ga., founded the Girl Scouts, the organization has been selling cookies as a way to raise money for troop activities and build life-changing skills in its participants.
Since 2014, the direct sales approach to cookie sales has proved to be successful, in which the girls have cookies readily available when asking customers to purchase a box, instead of taking orders and returning a few weeks later with the cookies.
Things you might want to know about the Girl Scout Cookie Program:
- Currently, there are only two commercial bakers licensed by Girl Scouts of the USA to produce Girl Scout Cookies: ABC Bakers and Little Brownie Bakers.
· Girl Scouts now offer an online purchasing option for their customers through which cookies are shipped directly to them (shipping charges will apply). For those without a Girl Scout connection, consumers can email their name, phone number and address to email@example.com.
· Operation Sweet Treat provides a way to share a little bit of home with our military troops around the world. The goal is to collect 48,000 packages of Girl Scout cookies and 500 letters of encouragement to place in care packages to ship to our brave military men and women serving in the United States, overseas and at local military units. Donations for OST may be tax- deductible, but consumers should check with their tax professional.
- There is also a mobile cookie app available for download to smart phones (both iPhones and Androids) that allows you to find cookies near you. To downloadthis app, visit girlscoutcookies.org.
- The Girl Scout Cookie Program is the premier girl-led entrepreneurship program in the world, but it is just one part of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. Girl Scouts participate in varied activities throughout the year and work on many projects. The cookie program is just one of those activities. And because only registered Girl Scouts may sell Girl Scout Cookies, their market availability is normally limited to the six- to eight-week period when girls are engaged in the program through their local council.
- Girl Scouts only sell cookies produced for the current season. Therefore, if a council or troop has cookies left at the end of the sale, they are encouraged to work with local food pantries and other charitable organizations to distribute cookies as a special treat for people seeking food relief services. GSUSA works with licensed bakers to ensure that they too have an annual plan for responsibly managing leftover cookie inventory.
About the local council
With service centers and shops located in Asheville, Gastonia, Hickory and the Triad area, Girl Scouts Carolinas Peaks to Piedmont is one of the 111 councils from across the nation that delivers the Girl Scout program; it serves nearly 12,000 girls in central and western North Carolina, including the High Country counties of Ashe, Avery and Watauga.