Last Thursday, Girl Scouts across the area began their annual door-to-door cookie sales. Girl Scouts will celebrate its centennial anniversary this year.
"As we enter our 100th year of Girl Scouting in 2012, the Girl Scout cookie program reminds us of the great potential of girls," said Anne Soots, Girl Scouts of Missouri Heartland interim chief executive officer. "Since 1912, Girl Scouts has taught self-sufficiency, independence and service. The Girl Scout cookie program is a fantastic way for girls to learn those skills and more."
Girl Scouts will be selling eight cookie varieties from now though the middle of March. Proceeds from the cookie program benefit local Girl Scouts.
"There were two girls in our troop who sold over 500 boxes of cookies last year," said Carol Taylor, a local Girl Scout Troop leader. "We even had one girl who sold 750 boxes of cookies.
"If a girl sells at least 500 boxes, she receives $150 off the cost of camp," said Taylor. "Our Girl Scouts are also working to earn money to take a trip to St. Louis."
Girl Scout cookie credits can be used to pay for camp, leadership programs, uniforms and other Girl Scout expenses. Proceeds also help fund financial assistance, volunteer training and program resources.
In addition to earning money, the cookie program teaches Girl Scouts an assortment of leadership skills. Scouts are responsible for managing their sales, setting goals and evaluating progress.
"The cookie program teaches courage, confidence and character," said Taylor. "Girl Scouts learn so much through the program."
The Girl Scout cookie share program also teaches girls the importance of philanthropy. The program give customers an opportunity to donate cookies to specific organizations. Local Scouts plan to offer a cookie share opportunity that will send cookies to military troops and military families serving abroad this year.
"The troop gets to decide where the cookies will go," said Taylor. "Last year, our troop donated cookies to the backpack programs in Cassville, Exeter and Purdy.
"This year, the girls decided they haven't done much for the troops, so they have decided to donate cookies to soldiers serving overseas," said Taylor. "Those cookie sales will be included in their records."
Girl Scouts will offer eight cookie varieties this year, including: Thin Mints, Caramel deLites, Peanut Butter Patties, Peanut Butter Sandwiches, Shortbread, Thanks-A-Lots, Lemonades and Shout Outs.
All cookies are $4 per box. The shortbread cookies will feature a special 100th anniversary edition box.
Individuals who do not pre-order Girl Scout cookies will be invited to purchase cookies at an assortment of booth sale events that will be held later this year.