Pretty sweet: Girl Scout Cookie program teaches leadership, interpersonal skills and more

BUCKHANNON – It’s that time of year again: time to enjoy minty-sweet or peanut butter and chocolate treats.

That’s right – it’s Girl Scout Cookie time!

This year, local Girl Scouts, who are members of troops in the Girl Scouts of Black Diamond Council, will be selling eight varieties of cookies including Thin Mints, Samoas, Tagalongs, Do-si-dos, Trefoils, Savannah Smiles, Toffee-tastic and Girl Scout S’mores.

While most people have their very favorite Girl Scout Cookie, and others enjoy all flavors, have you stopped to consider the real reason for the sale? Did you know that, according to the Black Diamond Girl Scout website at www.bdgs.org, the Girl Scout Cookie Sale program is the largest girl-led entrepreneurial program in the world?

The program helps girls develop many lifelong skills including goal setting, decision making, money management skills, interpersonal skills and business ethics.

The Girl Scout Cookie sale in Upshur County started on Friday, Jan. 4, and girls will be taking orders through Feb. 1.

Upshur County Service Unit Administrator and Cookie Chairperson Jannie Hoover said Upshur County Girl Scouts sold nearly 20,000 packages of Girl Scout cookies last year and the more than 100 Upshur County Girl Scouts hope to break that record in 2019.

“Last year, I had girls in Daisy Girl Scouts through Cadette Girl Scouts, and this year I had three girls who bridged up,” said Hoover. “This year we have girls that are Daisy Girl Scouts all the way up to Senior Girl Scouts. Last year, our troop alone sold more than 6,000 boxes of cookies.”

Hoover said she feels the Girl Scout Cookie program helps girls do much more than just earn money.

“They learn to set goals and learn to work together as a group,” she said. “They learn responsibility and confidence when they go out and ask folks to purchase their product.”

Michelle Riffle was an Upshur County Girl Scout and after graduation, she led a group of Upshur County girls from fourth grade until they graduated.

“They worked hard each year selling cookies, so they could go on trips, earn money for their badges, books and uniforms, as well as earn money to help complete service projects to help others in the community,” Riffle said. “By the time the girls graduated high school, nine of them had earned their Gold Award, the highest award a Girl Scout can earn.”

After taking a few years off from Girl Scouting, Riffle said she has been back volunteering as a leader again for four years now, helping with her daughter Addison’s troop.

“Addison has a theme for her Girl Scout Cookie Sale program this year,” Riffle said. “She wants people to be a ‘smart cookie’ and order Girl Scout Cookies.”

Hoover said it’s not too late for girls who want to join Girl Scouts.

“We have troops in all of the schools here in Upshur County,” she said. “We are currently looking for Girl Scouts and Girl Scout Leaders for Hodgesville. We will be signing them up this Tuesday and invite girls and their parents to attend to learn more about Girl Scouting.”

Hoover, who has volunteered as a Girl Scout leader for eight years in Upshur County, said the Girl Scouts of Black Diamond Council website allows folks to log on and enter their zip codes to learn where Girl Scout Cookie Booth Sales will be once cookies arrive.

The booth sales are located at different locations where the girls will set up to sell the cookies once the cookies are shipped to local Girl Scout groups.

“When the cookies come in, they are delivered to the Buckhannon Fire Department – and they come in around Feb. 22 and March 1,” Hoover said. “Once they are delivered, the troop leaders come and pick up the cookies for their troop. Then the troop leaders split them up for each Girl Scout to pick up the boxes they sold and deliver.”

Hoover said after the girls deliver their cookies, there are more cookies available from the cookie cupboard, and the troops set up for their booth sales.

“The girls really love selling Girl Scout Cookies – they have a wonderful exciting time and take it very seriously,” she said. “My daughter Abby Hoover gets so excited every time she gets a new cookie order. We appreciate the support of the community and helping the girls develop these skills.”

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