It’s cookie time.
Every year at about this time, it’s great to know a Girl Scout, because they can hook you up with the good stuff: Thin Mints, Samoas, Trefoils, Tagalongs, Do-si-dos, Savannah Smiles, S’mores, and Toffee-Tastic, a gluten-free option.
All the area Girl Scout troops are overseen by Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania (GSHPA), which oversees more than 17,500 girls across 30 counties in central and northeastern Pennsylvania. The GSHPA calls cookie season “the largest financial investment in girls annually in the United States and a powerful entrepreneurship incubator for the next generation of female leaders. Research has shown that more than half of female entrepreneurs and business owners are Girl Scout alums. At a time when girls’ needs and issues collect fewer than eight cents of every dollar granted by philanthropic foundations in the country, each and every Girl Scout Cookie purchased supports the change-makers of today and tomorrow.”
Don’t know a Girl Scout? You can find Girl Scouts selling cookies near you by visiting girlscoutcookies.org or use the official Girl Scout Cookie Finder app, free on iOS and Android devices. Or you can call 800-692-7816.
GSHPA officials say girls not only discover their inner leadership potential but also use their earnings to power amazing experiences for themselves and their troop, including travel, outdoor adventure and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programming.
The GSHPA also has something called the S’mores Executive Club, which is designed to celebrate and recognize girls who go above and beyond in sales. Members are invited to serve as members of an advisory board and receive an exclusive patch along with two local amusement park tickets.
One such scout is Riley Venosh, 10, who lives in Archbald and is a member of Troop No. 50162.
“I really enjoy Girl Scouts,” she said. “It teaches me a ton of things I wouldn’t be interested in or wouldn’t have tried if not for Girl Scouts.”
Riley set herself a goal of selling 1,000 boxes of cookies this year, about 200 more than she sold last year.
“It was exciting and fun,” she said of her experience selling 800 boxes last year. “It was little overwhelming because it was my first year selling girl scout cookies.”
She’s confident she can meet her 1,000 box goal this year.
“I sold over my goal last year so I wanted to challenge myself this year,” she said. “I also get a lot of help from my mom and MiMi [Riley’s grandmother] because they have a lot of friends who buy from me. My dad and step mom also help by asking all of their friends and coworkers. I feel like everyone loves girl scout cookies and they can’t say no .”
In fact, the product has such a reputation that Riley said she asks, “‘would you like to buy Girl Scout Cookies?’ and they usually just sell themselves. Most of my sale come from my mom and step dads bowling league. While they’re bowling I walk around and sell.”
Riley has another tip for Girl Scouts looking for customers.
“Sell to your uncles who love playing Xbox,” she said. They will need snacks. My favorite part of selling cookies is seeing how excited everyone is to buy them.”
Riley stresses that the funds raised from Girl Scout Cookies stay in the area.
“The money from cookie sales helps the troops be able go on different trips and learn new things. Some parents don’t have enough money to send their daughters to camp, so selling cookies helps with the cost of that.”