It’s the most wonderful time of the year — no, not Christmas; it’s Girl Scout cookie time.
Local Girl Scout troops from across Stanislaus, Merced and San Joaquin counties descended on the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds on Monday morning, Feb. 20 to pick up their boxes of Thin Mints, Samoas, Do-si-does, Tagalongs and many other traditional and new cookie flavors to deliver to residents across the Valley as part of a Mega-Cookie Drop.
Girl Scouts started taking orders in January and on Monday, troops in the Heart of Central California division picked up a total of 111,024 packages of cookies to be delivered.
Kelly Caldwell of Troop 1700 out of Ripon was one of the local Girl Scouts picking up boxes in Turlock.
“The key to selling Girl Scout cookies is to give them plenty of options,” said Caldwell, who sold 1,100 boxes of cookies last year.
She’s at 565 boxes of cookies this year, but her grand total could easily double because she has plans to sell additional cookies at booths that will set up in front of different businesses around Ripon over the next few weeks.
Caldwell said that she makes sure to let people who may be on a diet — or just don’t like cookies — know about the Cookie Share program. This program allows customers to support local Girl Scouts by purchasing boxes of cookies that will be distributed by the Girl Scout Council to local military organizations and first responders.
Caldwell has been a part of Girl Scouts for five years and has earned a variety of patches, which are given to scouts for participating in different events, activities or programs. She earned another one Monday for being a media spokesperson during the Mega-Cookie Drop. Caldwell also earned patches for financial literacy, horseback riding, rock climbing, campouts and planting trees.
“My favorite part about being a Girl Scout is making new friends,” said Caldwell.
There were over 75 volunteers helping make the Mega-Cookie Drop run smoothly on Monday, with troops borrowing or renting trucks, trailers and vans to pick up their boxes of cookies.
Flerida Arias, vice president of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and External Partnerships for Heart of Central California Girl Scouts, said that the annual cookie drive is a great way to promote scouts in the community, while teaching valuable entrepreneurial skills to the girls.
“We’re really trying to engage our community partners to become aware of all the opportunities (in Girl Scouts) …Girl Scouts have really taken the lead in terms of leadership. The entrepreneur program is part of that, incorporating goal setting, leadership skills, public speaking, as you can see, and all of that is just sort of braided and has a combined effort where girls are confident, they’re courageous and they just have the character to go out into the world and make it a better place,” said Arias.
If you missed out on pre-ordering Girl Scout cookies, don’t worry, you can still get your hands on a few boxes of the tasty treats. Cookie booth sales will be taking place at different locations in the community. To find a booth near year, go to: www.girlscoutcookie.org.
This year’s cookie lineup includes: Thin Mints, Caramel deLites, Peanut Butter Patties, Trefoils, Toast-Yay!, Lemonades, Peanut Butter Sandwiches, Adventurefuls and Gluten-free Caramel Chocolate Chip.