ST. GEORGE – Members of the Girl Scouts of Southern Utah met on the campus of Dixie State University Saturday afternoon to participate in activities and training related to what the group may best be known for … their coveted and delicious Girl Scout cookies.
However, while the Girl Scouts have become famous for their cookies, the organization does much more than provide the public with tasty treats. It also helps its members learn valuable skills and grow in self-confidence, said leaders and parents at the event.
As part of the “Cookie Kickoff,” Girl Scouts, who ranged from those in kindergarten to high school, along with their leaders, met in DSU’s Northern Instruction Building to learn how best to represent and sale their cookies.
“There’s so much involved than just a box of cookies,” said Lisa Reid, registrar and finance director for the Girl Scouts of Southern Utah.
Younger Girl Scouts were taught about sales and costumer service by their leaders and older Girl Scouts who have been involved in the program for years.
“They learn to communicate with people and selling skills,” Reid said, adding that the program also teaches the girls about goal setting, money management and business ethics. Most of all though, she said it helps the girls develop self-confidence.
“Confidence is the big one,” she said.
One of the older Girl Scouts teaching the younger girls was 16-year-old Lola DeLong, of Ivins. She has been involved with the Girl Scouts since she was in kindergarten and has been the unit’s top seller of Girl Scout cookies for the last five years, having sold between 2,500 and 2,600 boxes.
DeLong said she believed being a part of the Girl Scouts has benefited her a great deal.
“I believe I have a lot more self-confidence and have grown,” she said. “It’s a great way for girls to know they can be a part of something, be confident, be out there, be themselves.”
Reid said many of the girls, particularly the younger ones, are very shy when they start out. As they progress, however, they come out of their shells. One parent who has seen this is Joe Hermann, of St. George, whose 6-year-old daughter, Emma, joined the Girl Scouts in August 2014.
“She’s become more social,”Hermann said. “Before she was really shy. I’d recommend it for any girls,” he said.
Leadership skills also come into play, as shown through the older girls who help teach the younger members of their troops. Some even act as co-leaders of their troops, as DeLong currently does.
As the girls get older and eventually graduate high school, they have the opportunity to start their own troops, something DeLong is also considering.
The Girl Scouts’ cookie program, while teaching the girls positive traits and skills, is also the one major annual fundraiser the organization as a whole, has. Money raised from the sales goes toward the overall unit and the various Girl Scout troops.
The girls also have the opportunity to win prizes for how many boxes they sell, as well as earn “activity credits.” The latter amounts to funds that can be used for camps, special trips and commodity projects.
Some troops spend between two to three years saving up for trips, Reid said.
Currently the Girl Scouts of Southern Utah consist of 20 troops spread across Washington and Kane counties. Over 170 girls belong to the Southern Utah unit, and are led and watched over by 76 active leaders and volunteers.
“We can always use more volunteers,” Reid said.
The Girls Scouts of Southern Utah are also very community and service-oriented, Reid said. Each troop has a particular cause it can raise money and donations for, such as Habitat for Humanity, Dixie Care & Share or the new Switchpoint Community Resource Center. They are also involved in many functions put on by the City of St. George, she said.
“We put in so many volunteer hours in the community,” Reid said.
As for the Girl Scout cookies, the troops begin taking orders Jan. 17, with deliveries arriving the first week of March. People can also expect to see Girl Scout cookie booth spread at various businesses spread across town once cookie-selling season ramps up. Pairs of Girl Scouts may show up on doorsteps with options to order as well
Cookies can also be ordered online through the Girl Scouts of Utah website here.
Individual boxes of cookies will cost $4, with a case running $48.
Individuals who are somehow able to fight the delicious allure of the Girl Scout cookies can still make donations to the organization.
People who want to volunteer for the Girl Scouts can contact Jenny Barrow at [email protected] or call 801-716-5117.
Some facts about Girl Scout cookies:
- The Girl Scouts have been selling cookies since the 1920s
- The no. 1 and no. 2 selling cookies are the Thin Mints and the Samoas
- Vegans can now enjoy Thin Mints thanks to a change up in how they are prepared
- The Samoas turn 40 this year
- Rah-Rah Raisins, an oatmeal cookie with raisins and Greek yogurt-flavored chucks, is a new cookie introduced this year
Email: [email protected]
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