Island Girl Scouts launch cookie sales next week
With Christmas cookies down to the last few crumbs, the Martha's Vineyard Girl Scouts' cookie sale begins door-to-door on December 28, just in time to fill the void.
The annual cookie sale runs until Sunday, March 14. There are eight varieties and each is $4 a box.
Alice Robinson, the Martha's Vineyard Service Unit cookie manager, said in addition to door-to-door order-taking, in February Girl Scouts will have the option of selling boxes of cookies directly to customers. They may also hold booth sales, setting up tables outside of local businesses, for example. Another option is for cookie customers to email their orders to Girl Scouts they know.
"Because people on the Island are spread out, they should be looking for booth sales, or if they know a Girl Scout and haven't been contacted, please call her," Ms. Robinson said. If all else fails, contact her at 508-693-4555, and she will make sure that no one craving cookies is deprived.
So will Girl Scouts such as Kirsten Schuele-Van Aken, age 11, the Island's top cookie seller last year.
"She's been a cookie-selling machine since kindergarten," Ms. Robinson said of Kirsten, a sixth-grader at Oak Bluffs School.
Kirsten is one of 11 girls in grades 6-12 who belong to teen Troop 80827, run by leaders Helen Anderson and Jill LaPiana. Including the teen troop, there are 83 registered Girl Scouts on Martha's Vineyard.
Kirsten said she sold more than 300 boxes of cookies last year. Her secret?
"Always go back to the same customers, and always spread out to lots of different neighborhoods," she said. "Don't go out to sell only in good weather, because in bad weather people tend to be home."
For Kirsten, any time is cookie-selling time. "Do as much selling as you can during the school week after school, because people go away on weekends," she advised. "But do sell on weekends, too, and on school vacation days, when you have the whole day to spend."
Thin Mints were the most popular variety among Kirsten's customers, followed by Peanut Butter Patties and caramel deLites tying for second. This year, Daisy Go Rounds offer something new. The smaller, cinnamon-flavored cookies come packaged in 100-calorie portions, perfect for school lunches or for people who are dieting. All of the revenue for cookie sales, after paying the baker, remains in the area where the cookies are sold and directly or indirectly benefits Girl Scouts in those communities.
Ms. Robinson said Kirsten's teen troop makes 60 cents per box direct profit. Another portion of the profit goes to the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts Council, to which the Martha's Vineyard Girl Scouts belong.
The Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts serve more than 40,000 girls aged 15 to 17 and 17,000 adult volunteers in 178 communities.
Troops may opt out of sales prizes to make a higher profit, Ms. Robinson said. Recognition for individual sales starts with 15 boxes sold, with prizes ranging from patches, stuffed animals, water bottles, tee-shirts, and sweatshirts, to an iPod for selling 1,000 boxes.
Although the cookie sale is an important fundraiser, Ms. Robinson said it also is valuable in helping Girl Scouts develop leadership and other important skills as well. The cookie program allows girls to set goals, learn money management, and develop marketing skills.
The earliest written mention of a Girl Scout cookie event dates back to December 1917, when the Mistletoe Troop in Muskogee, Okla., baked cookies and sold them in its high school cafeteria as a service project.