GSOH end cookie season: Part 1


CAMP MOLLY LAUMAN—Recently, just under 200 girls in the local service unit of the Girl Scouts of Ohio’s Heartland came together as troops at Camp Molly Lauman in Lucasville, Ohio and laid another brick in the foundation of the 100-plus-year history of the signature girl scout cookie legacy in America. Closing a successful season of sales, local Girl Scouts negotiated away 37,241 units outside grocery stores; to teachers, peers and family members; and took on social media for requests of support for their program.

For over 100 years, Girl Scout troops across the country have been celebrating success through their signature cookie program that people look forward to every year.

According to the national organization, “The sale of cookies by Girl Scouts had humble beginnings, born as a way for troops to finance activities. The first known sale of cookies by Girl Scouts occurred in 1917, when the Mistletoe Troop in Muskogee, Oklahoma, baked cookies and sold them in their high school cafeteria as a service project. As the Girl Scout Cookie Program developed and evolved, it not only became a vehicle for teaching five essential skills—goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills, and business ethics—but it also enabled collaboration and integration, as early as the 1950s, among girls and troops of diverse backgrounds as they worked together toward common goals.

“Today, nearly 1 million Girl Scouts participate in the Girl Scout Cookie Program, generating nearly $800 million in cookie sales during the average season. All of the net revenue raised through the Girl Scout Cookie Program—100 percent of it— stays with the local council and troops. With over 50 million households purchasing cookies every season, the irresistible treats can be found nationwide and will hold a beloved place in Americana for years to come, continuing to help girls take the lead and, ultimately, change the world.”

This year’s sale of cookies began Friday, January 5 and had a planned run through Sunday, March 17. However, that date was extended due to high demand.

Ohio options included Adventurefuls, which is a brownie inspired cookie topped with caramel cream and sea salt; Classic Thin Mints; Tagalongs; Samoas, Do-si-dos; Trefoils, Lemonups, s’mores, and Toffee-tastic. All options were $5, meaning local service units sold $186,205 in product.

Local favorites were Classic Thin Mints, Samoas, and Tagalongs. Additionally, Junior Level Girl Scouts in fourth and fifth grades sold the most out of local age groups.

Membership Manager for Scioto (Indian Rock), Gallia, and Vinton (Little Racoon) Heather Book interviewed with the Daily Times at the start of the season, claiming that the year was going well, and the organization was looking forward to the Girl Scouts learning along the way.

“The cookie program is the largest girl-led entrepreneurship program in the world. It is important because it instills a lot of useful skills in these future leaders,” Book said. “The cookie program teaches girls five important skills. These skills include goal setting, where these girls set their owns goals with their team and make plans; decision making, where they decide where and when to sell cookies, what to do with earnings, and more; money management, where they develop budgets, take orders, and carry out transactions; people skills, where they learn to speak and listen to customers and their team; and business ethics, where girls act honestly and responsibly during every step of the cookie sale. Through these five skills, all girls develop tools to use in the real world through and after school.”

Book is passionate about the program, saying that the skills developed from the lesson are instrumental to forging strong young women.

“From succeeding in class to the job and in life; they leave being able to make clear, concise, and good decisions,” Book said. “They will go from juggling the management of their allowance to their paycheck. They’ll be taught to work with others, from playground games to workforce partnerships. Finally, we develop ethical leaders who will properly build the world of tomorrow. So, this program is about a lot more than cookies.”

Outside of being an educational opportunity, the program is also financially rewarding for the troops who engage in the activities. According to Book, the program is instrumental to the financial well being of troops, since the profits from sales can go towards camp fees, extracurricular learning experiences, and more engaging and beneficial activities.

Reach Joseph Pratt at (740) 353-3101, by email at [email protected], © 2024 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved.

This is part one of a two part series. Part two of the series will publish in the Daily Times on Saturday, April 27, 2024.

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