By Lisa Patrick
The Ashland Beacon
During the time of year that most people start hitting the gym and trying to follow their new year’s resolution to lose weight and get in shape, the biggest temptation of the entire year comes knocking at their door.
Girl Scouts have begun taking the first orders for cookies. This year the local troops kicked off their cookie season with a Cookie Rally at the National Guard Armory Saturday.
Sandy Arthur, the leader for Troop 5332 with the Greenbo Service unit, began planning the rally around the beginning of December.
“There has not been a cookie rally here locally in the three years that I have been involved in the Girl Scout program,” Arthur said. “I was asked if I would throw one and I partnered with Jennifer Felty from Boyd County to plan the rally together.”
Arthur said that her objectives were first and foremost for the girls attending to have fun and maybe make new friends while learning about the cookies and how to manage the money. Each girl joined a group that went to seven stations set up around the room where they would learn different things about selling cookies for their troop.
The goal setting station is where the girls could look at the prizes; they would get according to how many cookies they sold. The scouts would set their goals according to what prize level that they wanted to achieve. There was another station set up for “swaps” which are little crafts that the girls make and trade with Girl Scouts that they meet from other troops. The girls made little “cookie monsters” out of pom-poms, googly eyes and paper cookies. “Swaps” are a Girl Scout tradition and each one is attached to the Girl Scout vest or sash with a small safety pin so that they are available to be traded with any new scout they may meet.
At the money management station, the girls were given fake money to play with. They were taught how to identify bills, how to make change, and were able to practice their customer service skills.
At the decision-making station, the girls talked about what they wanted to do with the money that they earned. Last year, Troop 1100 used their cookie money to spend the night with the Manatees at the Cincinnati Zoo. This year, Troop 1100 are hoping to put the money toward going to the Columbus Zoo Girl Scout night.
At the safety station, the girls got to participate in a safety quiz. Arthur originally meant for the girls to play Bingo at this station, but it turned out that all of the cards were the same, so she was forced to change the game.
The girls learned about not going up to cars with strangers, not to go into homes of people they didn’t know, and never to sell cookies without their troop leader, one of their parents, or another adult with them. The business ethics station also helped the girls with safety, customer service, and money management. The girls learned that if they went to someone’s home, they were only to walk on the sidewalk and never on the lawn. They were told to use “please” and “thank you” and the proper way to respond when someone told them no. While at this station, the girls received lanyards with cards on them telling them what the cost of each order would be. Cookies are $4 per box. When someone places an order, the scout can look at the card on her lanyard and see exactly how much their order will cost.
This year, the Girl Scouts have debuted a brand-new gluten-free cookie called Caramel Chocolate Chip. The cost for these cookies is $5 per box and will not be readily available in the area. Troops had to order and pre-pay for these cookies back in September, and most local troops opted out. Luckily for those searching for a gluten-free option, the cookies are available on the website that is set up for each scout. Just go to abcsmartcookies.com and find the link for your favorite scout. Cookies orders can be as many boxes of cookies as cookie lovers would like in all available flavors and choose to have them shipped directly to them. Buyers can also choose to have them delivered to by the scout if they live in the area where they are selling them.