As residents work to keep up with their New Year’s weight-loss resolutions, they’re faced with temptation from the Girl Scouts organization, which launched its annual cookie sales campaign Wednesday.
The Girls Scouts of Central Texas hosted a kickoff party for the campaign Sunday at Texas Skateland in Harker Heights.
“The event is to kick off our cookie selling season,” said Melissa Dietzman, service unit director for the Girl Scouts of Central Texas.
Residents can purchase cookies until Feb. 21.
Members of the organization skated and sampled the cookies they’re selling for the annual fundraising campaign during the party.
“I love when we, as Girl Scouts and leaders, can get together like this,” said Arielle Kittle, co-leader of Troop 6192. “It gives the girls a sense of camaraderie and community. When we can participate in service unit events such as skating, it really shows the girls that they are a piece of a greater whole.”
Girl Scout Cookies have been around for nearly 100 years, according to the organization’s website, girlscouts.org. Selling cookies to raise funds for troop activities began as early as 1917, when a troop in Oklahoma baked cookies and sold them as a service project.
Over the next few decades, Girl Scouts across the country baked sugar cookies with their mothers and packaged them in wax paper bags sealed with stickers. They sold the cookies door-to-door for 25 to 35 cents per dozen, according to the website.
In the 1930s, baking companies also began making cookies for the scouts to sell. By 1951, three different cookies were offered — peanut butter, shortbread and chocolate mints, now known as the popular Thin Mints. By the mid 1950s, the peanut butter variety was replaced by vanilla- and chocolate-based filled cookies.
This year, many of the most popular Girl Scout Cookies flavors are back, including Tagalongs, Samoas, Do-Si-Dos, Trefoils and Thin Mints. A new cookie also was added to the lineup: Savannah Smiles, a crisp, zesty lemon wedge cookies dusted with powdered sugar.
Funds stay at home
All revenue earned from cookie sales after the baker is paid stays with the local Girl Scouts councils, according to the website. On average, the councils receive approximately 65 to 75 percent of the local retail price of the cookies and troops and other Girl Scouts groups receive about 10 to 20 percent of the local retail price.
Girl Scouts councils do not provide any portion of their cookie revenue to the national organization — Girl Scouts of the USA. At the national level, funding comes from licensed bakers who pay royalties to the organization for use of the Girl Scouts trademark.
Ready to sell
The sales campaign not only allows scouts to raise money for their troops, it also teaches them to manage money, market their product, work as a team to accomplish a goal and other positive skills, according to local Girl Scout leaders.
During the kickoff event, Scouts Aubree Halliburton, 6, of Troop 6308, Sarai Jackson, 7, of Troop 6166, and Lauryn Alexander, 11, of Troop 6163, said they are ready to start selling cookies.
“I have been in Girl Scouts for two years. I like selling cookies,” Sarai said.
While most Girl Scouts said they enjoy selling the cookies, many were quick to admit they enjoyed eating them even more.
“Thin Mints are my favorite,” Aubree said.