BUFFALO - The Girl Scout Cookie Program is America's leading business and economic literacy program for girls.
During the 2012 sale, which began Saturday, Oct. 6, local Girl Scouts will put their sales and marketing skills into action as they strive to reach an unprecedented goal - sell 1.7 million boxes of cookies.
"When a Girl Scout sells you cookies, she's doing more than just handing you a box. She's creating a plan, interacting with customers and working as part of a team," Chief Executive Officer Cindy L. Odom said. "She's building a lifetime of skills and confidence which validates an important part of Girl Scouting which is to inspire girls to reach their full potential."
No matter which cookie is a person's favorite, each cookie has a mission, to help girls do great things. Girl Scout cookies are once again $3.50 per box. All the popular favorites are back with a new packaging look, including Caramel de Lites, Lemonades, Peanut Butter Sandwich, Peanut Butter Patties, Thanks-A-Lot, Shortbread and Thin Mints.
New this year are Mango Cremes. Eat with health in mind as Mango Crmes with Nutrifusion Girl Scout Cookies are a tangy, refreshing tropical treat.
Girl Scouts go greener with new Lemonades and Thanks-A-Lot cookies. These cookies are offered in a tray with film overwrap and no carton. By removing the carton, 300 tons of paperboard a year is saved. Cookies in these film overwrapped trays freeze well, so consumers can stock up.
Over the next two and a half months, girls will take orders door-to-door in their neighborhoods, set up "cookie booths" at convenient locations and organize neighborhood walk-abouts. Participating in the cookie program provides an opportunity for girls to develop budgets, design and implement creative marketing strategies and master the art of both sales and customer service.
They actively participate in setting goals for their sale and in deciding how they will spend the proceeds. Most troops use their cookie revenue to pay for troop activities, special interest projects or for a wonderful trip.
Besides utilizing traditional marketing and sales techniques, Girl Scouts will also use the cookie program as an opportunity to spark some creativity. Some will make formal presentations, others will create displays that outline their troop goals and how they will use the money. Last year, one local Girl Scout set up a "drive-thru" cookie booth in her circular driveway. Her signage directed customers to the booth where each day she had established hours for customers to drive through and purchase cookies.
This year's community service organization is a partnership between Girl Scouts of Western New York and the Niagara Falls Air Force Base to provide Girl Scout cookies to men and women in the U.S. Military and Armed Forces in WNY and overseas.
It costs roughly $320 to provide a year's worth of opportunities and volunteer support for each Girl Scout.
"Through the cookie program, the Girl Scouts of Western New York is able to achieve its mission of developing leadership, decision-making skills, and commitment to community," Odom said.
Young entrepreneurs have been at work in the Girl Scout organization since 1917, when girls baked the cookies in their own kitchens and sold them door-to-door. Their efforts helped build a long-standing tradition of girls working together to achieve their goals and become leaders in their own communities and beyond. The skills they develop and the memories they make will last long after the cookies are gone.