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Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016

Girl Scouts out in force selling cookies

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

SIKESTON -- Anyone whose stockpile of Girl Scout cookies is running a little low is in luck.

For the next two weeks, local Girl Scouts will make phone calls or go door-to-door, selling their merchandise to those with a sweet tooth.

And often times, it's the buyers who come to the Girl Scouts for their favorite cookies.

"We do have some of the same door-to-door buyers each year, and a lot of people know when it gets closer because they'll ask: 'When are the cookies coming?' noted Linda Renfroe, who has been a troop leader for seven years.

In addition to top sellers like Thin Mints, Samoas, Tagalongs, Do-si-dos and Trefoils, two new cookies have been added to the assortment this year: Double Dutch chocolate chocolate chip made with dark chocolate and milk chocolate chips with a crunchy brownie taste and Lemon Coolers, a reduced fat lemon cookie covered in powdered sugar.

"They're the kind that once you start eating them, you can't stop," noted April Isbell, communications director for the Cotton Boll Area Girl Scouts Council in Sikeston.

This year the cookies will be sold through Jan. 25. The boxes are $3 each and payment is not expected until the cookies are delivered during the last two weeks in February.

Prior to selling cookies, Girl Scouts must calculate their needs for the year.

"First we start with training the leaders and then the leaders go back and set goals within their troop," Isbell said. "The troops figure out things they want to do in the upcoming year and how much money they will need for those things. Then they figure out how many cookies they need to sell and set a troop goal. Each girl then sets her own goal."

For instance, Renfroe's troops set a goal of 100-150 boxes per girl.

"I think the program is very effective," said Renfroe, who is the leader of troops No. 33 and 206. "There are 22 girls in our troops and they pay a $7-membership fee as registration and do activities all year long. Our only income is through the Girl Scout cookies, and we've been able to take trips to Memphis, Tenn., and St. Louis."

Both of Renfroe's daughters are Girl Scouts. Taylor Renfroe, 12, and Marissa Renfroe, 10, have sold cookies for years and admit the job becomes tougher each year.

"Most people will buy from you, but it's harder to sell when you get older because when you were little, everybody thought you were cute and would buy more from you," said Taylor Renfroe, a member of Troop 206.

Taylor Renfroe estimated she sells about 150 boxes of cookies each year, while Marissa Renfroe of Troop 33 said she sells around 100 boxes of cookies.

Girl Scouts first grade through 12th grade sell the cookies to people they know, such as family, friends, church members, parents' co-workers, Isbell explained.

Taylor and Marissa Renfroe said they usually divide up the street in their neighborhood, ride their bikes or walk around and try to sell cookies. Despite harder job, the girls are happy with the rewards their fund-raiser brings to their troops, they said.

Councils use their cookie revenue toward services such as providing program resources and communication support, training adult volunteers and conducting special events. A portion of the cookie money goes directly to the troop selling the cookies and the balance goes directly to the baker to pay for the cookies, which in the Cotton Boll Area Girl Scout Council's case is Little Brownie Bakers.

The cookie sale helps girls learn all kinds of important skills related to handling money, goal setting, teamwork and meeting the public.

"Not only are the girls raising funds so they can participate in activities, but they're also learning a lot about business that will help them in the future," Isbell said. "It's not just a fund-raising process."

Anyone not approached and would like to buy Girl Scout Cookies may call the Cotton Boll Area Girl Scout Office at 471-1035.