By Eileen Bailey
Get ready for the army in green – not the U.S. Army, but the army of Girl Scouts that will be on the move taking orders for cookies between now and Jan. 28.
This year more than 5,000 girls from 392 troops in the Prairie Girl Scout Council will be taking orders for the eight varieties of cookies on sale for $2.50 per box.
No new cookies have been added this year, but the Strawberries ‘n Creme cookies are now reduced-fat. The other types of cookies are Thin Mint, Shortbread, Caramel deLites, Peanut Butter Patties, Lemon Pastry Cremes, Peanut Butter Sandwich and last year’s addition for the diet-conscious Cinnamon Oatmeal Raisin Bar, which is fat-free.
Kristie McGuire, council trainer for the Prairie Council, said the first commercially baked Girl Scout Cookies were distributed in Philadelphia in 1934. But Juliette Gordon Low began making and selling cookies to help Girl Scouts in the 1920s. The first cookie sold was shortbread.
The most popular cookie is the Thin Mint, which accounts for 25 percent of all cookies sold, she said.
McGuire said participation in the sale is voluntary for Girl Scout members and any funds raised are used to help local troops.
Lauren Smith, 11, and Tasha Jolly, 10, have been selling the cookies since they were in the first grade.
“I look forward to the cookie sale each year,” Smith said. “I like it because we get the profit and it can be used to help on trips.”
There are many different ways to sell the cookies. Jolly said she goes door-to-door, sends order forms to work with her parents and takes forms to church. Jolly said she hopes to sell 200 boxes of cookies this year, and Smith said she hopes to sell 300 boxes.
Last year, the Prairie Council had an initial order of 5,000 cases.
McGuire said the sale helps Scouts in a variety of ways. “They learn to set individual and group goals, to take leadership roles and to help with money management,” she said.
The theme for this year’s sale is Reach for the Stars. The cookies are expected to be delivered in early February. For those who do not get the chance to order, cookies will be sold in booths from Feb. 19 through March 6.
For more information about Girl Scouts or to purchase cookies, call (601) 844-7577 or 1-800-624-4185.