Cookie sales launch education for Girl Scouts

Published 6:25 pm Friday, January 11, 2019

Girl Scout cookies are more than just a sweet treat. They’re an education — in marketing, in goal-setting, in math.

This weekend, the educational experience starts as Girl Scouts across the nation begin selling old favorites such as Thin Mints and Caramel deLites, along with newcomer Caramel Chocolate Chip.

Friday night saw Troop 4533 in Washington take part in the troop’s first cookie rally; Saturday, they’ll go “walkabout,” selling cookies in their own neighborhoods and to family and friends, according to troop leader Anna Vick.

It’ll be a new experience for the nine girls of this new troop — only one has ever done cookie sales — but Vick said she’s already seen the learning in play, as her daughter, a kindergartner, figures out how many boxes of cookies she needs to sell in order to make a certain amount of money for the troop.

“She doesn’t know multiplication yet, and I’m watching her process this, and she doesn’t know that she’s learning multiplication,” Vick laughed. “She has an entrepreneurial spirit.”

The long-term goal for the girls is a special trip to the North Carolina Aquarium.

“We want them to learn about goal setting,” Vick said. “With the younger girls, in particular, we put it in terms of reality: if we sell enough cookies, we can do ‘this.’ They want to camp at the aquarium. They want to do an overnight at the aquarium and sleep with the sharks.”

Cookie sales start Saturday, but it will be a few weeks before cookie booths are set up in front of Lowe’s and Walmart. While Troop 4533’s first cookie booth is on Feb. 2, others won’t be hard to find.

“Pretty much every Saturday or Sunday in the month of February, if you go to Walmart or Lowe’s in the City of Washington, you’re going to be able find cookies,” Vick said.

If not, the Girl Scouts are keeping up with technology, and sales, through cookie locator apps and a booth locator website.

“We are now living in the digital era, and you can actually go online and figure out where your closest cookie booth is. There should be plenty of opportunity for anyone interested in buying cookies to get some,” Vick said.

Vick recalled selling cookies door to door when she was a Girl Scout, a practice that’s largely gone by the wayside as hosting cookie booths outside of retail chains offers more exposure to people — and more cookie sales for the troops.

“Coming at it from this end, it’s an entirely different perspective doing it in the digital age,” Vick said.