By Sandra Zunino
Do-Si-Dos, Tagalongs, Samoas or Thin Mints – who doesn’t have a favorite variety of Girl Scout cookie? An event that earns thousands of dollars to benefit the Girl Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay, the annual cookie drive is now underway.
Last weekend, a shipment of 15,528 boxes of the famous philanthropic cookies arrived at the Saint Mark’s United Methodist Church in Easton to meet the first batch of orders from Talbot County troops. Girl Scouts started collecting orders on January 10.
This shipment meets only initial orders, which were submitted by January 26, says Cookie Manager, Beth Devenny. Girl Scouts will continue taking orders until the program ends on March 8. Another 8,580 boxes were delivered directly to the “Cookie Cupboard” to meet the needs of orders taken since January 26 and booth sales, which will start on February 13.
Initial cookie sales were slightly down from last year’s order of 15,996 boxes, according to Beth. She attributes the sales drop to a decrease in troops selling the cookies, as some teen members had graduated or moved away from the program. However, already 3,600 boxes were obtained from the Cookie Cupboard to meet orders taken since the January 26 deadline, so strong sellers were more than making up for the difference.
This year, Daisies, kindergarten through first grade, were allowed to participate in cookie sales for the first time. In past years, Daisies were not expected to sell cookies but the youngest members continued to express the desire to sell them.
For this area, Thin Mints are the most popular cookie with Samoas, a chewy caramel-coconut combination, coming in second. Chocolate and peanut butter Tagalongs are typically the third most popular. In light of the recent peanut butter recall, Little Brown Bakers, manufacturers for the Girl Scout cookies, maintains their products are safe for consumption.
This year the Girl Scouts introduced a new cookie. The Dulce de Leche, was inspired by traditional Latin American sweets. Last year, Lemon Chalet Cremes were introduced to the cookie lineup. “We already have to reorder those,” says Beth. “They are a big seller this year.”
Proceeds from the cookie sales help fund the Girl Scouts organization with about 70 percent going to the Chesapeake Bay Council to help support Girl Scouting in the area. Local troops keep about 55 to 70 cents per box, depending on how many boxes they sell, which helps support activities throughout the year.
For those who don’t wish to partake of the scrumptious treats, Girl Scout cookies can be purchased for Operation “Taste of Home”. In partnership with the USO at Dover Air Force Base, Girl Scout cookies are shipped to soldiers in the Armed Forces.
This year, 30 percent of Taste of Home orders will go to a local charities. Each troop chooses their charity. Talbot Country troops designated various Talbot County Food Banks to receive cookies this year.
The cookie program is more than just a fundraising event; however, it teaches members how to set and meet goals, meet and work with people, handle money, follow through with a commitment, answer questions with confidence, manage time, and develop self-esteem and self-reliance.
The Girl Scouts of the Chesapeake is part of the Girls Scout of the U.S.A., the world’s preeminent organization dedicated solely to girls. The Chesapeake Bay Council encompasses troops all over the Delmarva Peninsula. For more information, visit www.gscb.org.