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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Cookie sales offer lessons in life skills for Girl Scouts

Sunday, January 12, 2003

(Photo)
Jill Hopson goes over the checklist with daughters Rachel and Sarah and fellow Girl Scout Hannah Uthoff.
SIKESTON - For the next two weeks a special group of salespeople will go door to door throughout the community in hopes of interesting residents in their merchandise.

And in this case they'll be welcomed with open arms. Few can resist the temptation of Girl Scout Cookies.

All the old favorites are back, like Thin Mints, the signature item in the Girl Scout Cookie line which accounts for about one out of every four boxes of Girl Scout Cookies purchased in the U.S. each year.

And then of course there are the ever-popular Trefoils, Tagalongs, Samoas and Do-si-dos.

The newest additions to the cookie line-up include Aloha Chips, made with macadamia nuts and white fudge crisps; Ole' Ole' cookies, reduced fat crunchy pecan cookies in powered sugar; and a shortbread cookie with a fudge bottom called All Abouts.

This year the cookies will be sold through Jan. 27. The boxes are $3 each and payment is not expected until the cookies are delivered from Feb. 17 to March 2.

"I think what people like about Girl Scout Cookies is that it's a decent product at a pretty reasonable price," said Jill Hopson. "And you want to support these kids when they're going door to door and having to ask people to buy the cookies."

Girl Scout Cookies have come a long way since they were made in the kitchens of Girl Scout members, where mothers volunteered as advisers.

Today, the yearly activity is seen as having a number of benefits. With every purchase approximately 70 percent of the proceeds stays in the local Girl Scout council.

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.

By selling the cookies, girls learn life skills such as goal setting, teamwork, planning, decision-making and customer service. The customer benefits by getting a quality product and supporting girls in the community.

This year the Cotton Boll Area Girl Scout Council is encouraging the girls to focus on their dreams and goals through the cookie sales.

Hopson well remembers her years of wearing a uniform and knocking on doors in hopes the occupants would buy a box or two. Of course it didn't hurt knowing that the girl selling the most boxes would win something.

"It really does teach you a lot," said Hopson, now the mother of two involved in the Girl Scouting program. "I think I learned about approaching people you don't know very well and it teaches good manners. The girls also learn the rules of how to sell cookies in a safe manner."

Hopson's daughters, 7-year-old Rachel and 10-year-old Sarah, are geared up this year in hopes of selling box after box.

"This is Rachel's first year to sell Girl Scout Cookies and she's so excited," Hopson said. "She's gone literally to the doors with Sarah so she pretty well knows what to expect. They both enjoy it. Rachel's looking forward to it and is already talking about how many boxes she wants to sell.... 500," said a wide-eyed Hopson.

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