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Thu, Feb. 27

Girl Scouts are out in force for the next six weeks selling cookies
Sweet Tooth Satisfaction

It’s time for Thin Mints, Samoas and Do-si-dos. The Girl Scouts have begun their annual Girl Scout Cookie Program, when they sell cookies for the next six weeks.

From Jan. 21 - March 3, girls in Kingman will be walking around neighborhoods and be in booths in front of local stores learning entrepreneurial skills all while selling those delicious cookies.

Girls will be setting up a temporary “shop” in front of local businesses starting Friday, Jan. 25. There will be booths at Walmart, Bashas’, Smith’s, both Safeways, and there will even be a booth outside Dunkin’ Donuts this year.

Scouts from different troops will be at the booths between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., depending on the weather and location. All of the booths are located outside the stores, with the exception of the Smith’s location. At Smith’s, scouts can be found just inside the door by the shopping carts.

These booths are also open during the weekdays, usually in the evening, but the most promising time to snag some Tagalongs will be during the weekend.

To maximize the chance of finding a booth and purchasing your favorite sweet treat, there is an app for that. Visit girlscoutsaz.org/cookiefinder and use the Girl Scout Cookie Finder to find a cookie booth that is open here in Kingman.

It’s user-friendly – just enter the zip code and choose from a list of locations nearby. To have cookie finder access on-the-go, download the free Girl Scout Cookie Finder app onto an iOS or Android mobile device from the Apple store or Google Play.

“It is important to understand that Girl Scout Cookies are about far more than just money and sweet treats,” said Tamara Woodbury, CEO Girl Scouts–Arizona Cactus-Pine Council (GSACPC). “The cookie program is one of the most effective financial literacy programs in the world, developing girls’ skills in five key areas: goal setting; decision making; money management; people skills; and business ethics.”

These are essential skills needed to successfully navigate life – whether working on a high-school science project, running a household, being a project manager or a company CEO. Not many organizations offer these key business skills to girls.

“Not only is every cookie sale a teachable moment, but because all proceeds stay local, girls across Arizona are able to enjoy summer camp, STEM programs, field trips and even adventures out of state in a safe environment,” Woodbury said in a press release. “Sales also have the potential to impact the community as troops reinvest their proceeds with service projects.”

Proceeds from the cookie program go straight back to the troops, and the troops decide how to use the funds.

They can fund service projects for the community and girl-led adventures for troops, help provide Girl Scout programs in STEM, the outdoors, life skills, and entrepreneurship, as well as camps, leadership training and more. The funds can also cover the cost of running the Girl Scout Cookie Program, including the costs of cookies, materials, and logistics.

Girl Scout Cookie Entrepreneurs also earn rewards on their individual sales. They can choose to receive incentive prizes or “Program Credits.” Program Credits can be used to help pay for summer camp (Cookies for Camp), membership dues, Girl Scout travel and other programs and events.

The Girl Scout Cookie Program

Girl Scout Cookies had their earliest beginnings in the kitchens and ovens of the members, with moms volunteering as technical advisers. The sale of cookies as a way to finance troop activities began as early as 1917, five years after Juliette Gordon Low started Girl Scouts in the United States, when the Mistletoe Troop in Muskogee, Oklahoma, baked cookies and sold them in its high school cafeteria as a service project.

In July 1922, “The American Girl” magazine, published by Girl Scouts of the USA, featured an article by Florence E. Neil, a local director in Chicago, Illinois. Miss Neil provided a cookie recipe that had been given to the council’s 2,000 Girl Scouts. She estimated the approximate cost of ingredients for six- to seven-dozen cookies to be 26 to 36 cents. The cookies, she suggested, could be sold by troops for 25 or 30 cents per dozen.

Throughout the 1920s, Girl Scouts in different parts of the country continued to bake their own simple sugar cookies with their mothers and with help from the community. These cookies were packaged in wax paper bags, sealed with a sticker, and sold door to door for 25 to 35 cents per dozen.

Over the next 100 years, Girl Scout Cookies have flourished and thrived in the U.S. and there is even a National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend. This year it is Feb. 22-24.

The Girl Scout Cookie Program is the largest girl-led entrepreneurial program in the world, generating $790 million in annual sales. Nearly 200 million boxes of Girl Scout Cookies are sold each year to more than 50 million cookie customers.

So it’s time to satisfy the sweet tooth, and get some Savannah Smiles.

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