The Girl Scouts are coming. They are fanning out across Blount County armed with Girl Scout cookie order forms. Don’t try to resist them…it will be futile, especially with the newest cookie on their list - ThankUBerryMunch, a treat that combines white fudge with cranberries.
Sarah Shepherd is heading up the effort for Blount County this year. She said that on average about two-thirds of sales are wrapped up during the two-week pre-selling period.
“We are doing the door-to-door order taking right now,” Shepherd said. “This is the time when girls call family and friends and go to their parents’ workplace taking orders on their order cards.”
About 65 of 67 troops are selling cookies in Blount County. “That’s just shy of 100 percent of our troops, so there are probably between 600 girls selling cookies,” she said.
For folks who don’t know a Girl Scout and want to order, Shepherd said they can email her at www.girlscoutcookies.org, leave a name, email address and phone number and someone will be in touch to take their order.
The cookies are scheduled to arrive for delivery on Feb. 22, the last week of February, Shepherd said.
“Starting Feb. 26, we’ll have booths set up for three weeks all over town,” said Shepherd, “from Wal-Mart, Kroger, Food City and Food Lion, Shoneys and Chik-fil-A. We usually have about 30 locations.” Sales begin Feb. 26 and end on March 14.
Shepherd said something that hasn’t changed this year is the annual sale is the price of the cookies - $3.50 per box. “This is at least our third year at that price. I don’t know how many things are this good that haven’t gone up in price,” she said. “We also have a new cookie this year, it’s called ThankUberrymunch. It’s made with cranberries and white fudge chips.”
Girl Scout Cookies are made in Louisville, Ky., by Little Brownie Bakers. “They’ve been baking our cookies for years,” she said. “I sold cookies when I was little in the 1970s.”
Shepherd said Girl Scouts have been selling cookies for more than 80 years. “In the beginning, the girls would bake the cookies themselves and put them in wax bags and sell them,” she said.
Selling Girl Scout cookies is good for the troop members in many ways, Shepherd said. “Yes, it does earn money for their troops so they can do activities and community service projects, but it also helps them learn how to go up to people and present themselves properly,” she said. “If for no other reason, they’re so easy to sell, it gives them self confidence.”
Shepherd said the girls learn early business skills like planning and managing their time. “We’re not teaching them to be the next CEO, but it is a beginning step because they’re learning skills like counting out change and setting goals,” she said. “They learn how powerful that can be, because they really do see what they’re striving for, whether it is a little incentive they get or just the concept of reaching their goal.”
Something else Shepherd said folks should remember is Girl Scout cookies can be purchased for charities.
“We have The Gift of Caring Program, where people can purchase cookies to donate to charitable organizations and each troop can pick their own charity,” she said. “As a service unit, we used Hugs for Soldier and sold 1,000 boxes last year to send to soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq. With the 278th being deployed, we’ll be sending cookies to some of our own guys.”