Streets may be snow packed, but that did not stop Girl Scouts across the county from beginning their cookie sales over the weekend.
County scouts sold 20,000 boxes of cookies last year and hope to match, if not surpass, that amount this year.
But this year cookie sales are a little different. Last year Girl Scouts changed the way scouts sell cookies from taking orders, to having the cookies on hand to sale.
“I think it works better this way,” Marion County cookie cupboard manager Brenda Soyez, said. “With the cookies on hand they’re easier to sell.”
Junior Girl Scout Jaden Slifer also likes having the cookies on hand versus ordering them. Her goal is to sell 450 boxes this year, 50 more than she sold last year.
“I like it better,” she said, “because I don’t have to wait to sell more.”
Scouts from Marion spent Friday evening sorting their cookies and participating in a kick off celebration before officially beginning cookie sales Saturday.
Each troop orders a certain amount of cookies before sales begin and divides them among the troop. Soyez sent her scouts home with 60 boxes of cookies to start.
“If they sell out, or need another flavor I keep extra,” Soyez said.
Extra is an understatement for anyone who walks into her cookie storage area at the Historic Elgin Hotel. Around 150 cases or 1,800 packages of cookies are housed there and Soyez expects scouts to sell all of them.
She also likes having the cookies on hand because it teaches the scouts responsibility.
“Where as before the girls simply turned in order forms, now they have to keep track of their inventory and money paid to them,” Soyez said. “Cookie sales are a big deal and it takes a lot of time and effort and the girls learn a lot.”
“I’ve learned to be more responsible,” Slifer said, “and how to talk to people.”
Another relatively new program the scouts have kicked off with cookie sales is Cookie Share.
Cookie Share gives people who may not want cookies, because of diet or health reasons, a chance to donate packages of cookies to others.
“It’s for people who want to support the scouts, but don’t want the cookies,” Peabody Scout leader Tina Spencer said. “I encourage the girls to ask if someone wants to donate a box to someone else.”
Customers can choose to donate boxes to military troops and their families, Kansas Food Bank, local food pantries, or Catholic Charities.
“It’s a great way to help the scouts and others,” Spencer said.
Cookies are on sale through March 9. All seven classic flavors are available plus this year’s signature flavor Cranberry Citrus Crisp. Scouts will be selling door to door this week, and will have booths in front of local grocery stores including Carlson’s and Dale’s in the coming weeks.
Cookies sales make up the majority of the troops funding for the year.