Cookie season

Girls Scouts ready to sell again

Local Girl Scouts are gearing up to hit the streets again to sell their popular cookies.

Brownies Troop 52 leader Tylawn Smercina said Girl Scout cookies are a hot commodity and that many people look forward to the cookie season.

"They are really good," she said. "And who can look at those little Girl Scout faces and not buy a box?"

Twins Nicole and Katlyn Sollenberger, 11, are two Girl Scouts who will make cookie sales pitches this year. They are in their third year of selling and said the treats are good for snacks or dessert.

Thin Mints and Samoas are the most popular varieties. The others for sale are Trefoils, Do-Si-Dos, All Abouts, Tagalongs, reduced-fat Lemon Coolers and the new Cafe Cookie, with cinnamon and spice flavors. Cookies are $3 a box.

The youths will take orders Friday through Jan. 27. Cookies will be delivered after Feb. 17, and direct sales at local stores will be held Feb. 18 through March 5.

The Sollenbergers like to persuade people they know to buy the cookies, instead of going door to door as some Girl Scouts do. Katlyn had some advice for first-year scouts.

"Sell to all the teachers you can get," she said.

Fourteen-year-old Kirsten McAlexander, a 9-year scout, said pushing cookies is not too difficult.

"Everybody loves Girl Scout cookies," she said. "There's just something in them."

Her best friend and 10-year member, Challyn Pfifer, 14, agreed.

"The cookies pretty much sell themselves," she said.

Sometimes, people don't want a box and the girls understand that maybe it's because of health reasons or they cannot afford to buy. So they urge first-time sellers to not get discouraged.

Part of the cookies' appeal is that they are only offered once a year, Pfifer said. People can enjoy them and then look forward to that special treat next year.

If they were offered all the time, people would grow sick of them and probably eat too many, she said.

"The whole U.S. would be obese," Pfifer said.

Even so, the cookies sell well, especially at stores, when people can buy and eat them immediately, leaders said.

"We have never brought back one box," Smercina said.

And those sales lead to rewards for the scouts. Troops vote on prizes for members who sell a particular number of boxes. Plus, some profit goes back to the troop as a whole.

"After you sell them, your troop gets money so your troop can go on field trips or have parties," Nicole Sollenberger said.

Pfifer and McAlexander's troop, No. 201, went to Oregon last year and are planning a Mount Rushmore visit this year.

But the benefits stretch to others, as well. Each troop chooses a unique "Gift of Caring" project so that customers are able to buy a box to donate to a nonprofit organization.

Smercina said her scouts are excited for the selling to begin.

"This community is very open and supportive of the Girl Scouts," she said.

She's confident cookies will be as popular as ever as Girl Scouts prepare to sell.

Michelle Perry can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 209, or mperry@craigdailypress.com.

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