Cookie sales begin

Published 8:51 pm Saturday, January 15, 2011

Girl Scout Troop 669 sells cookies to Pamela Reid on Saturday. Cookie sales began this month and go through next month.

Girl Scouts from Troop 669 hit the streets this Saturday, pounding the pavement and ringing doorbells seeking cookie lovers.

Troop leader Latricia Russell-Wilkerson admonishes the six girls in her care to hold hands as they walk in a neighborhood off White Marsh Road. At their first house, Keona Bellamy, the tallest girl in the group, softly asks the homeowner if he’d like some cookies.

After he completes the order form and hands it back, Russell-Wilkerson doles out marketing advice on the way to the next house.

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“You guys have to talk nice and loud so that they can hear what you’re saying,” she says. And the old standby: “Remember to say thank you.”

The much-loved annual cookie program began last week, with Girl Scouts all over the nation visiting neighborhoods and peddling eight different varieties of cookies. This year, customers also can purchase boxes to be donated to local shelters and to overseas troops.

The Samoa cookie, a conglomeration of caramel, toasted coconut and chocolate, is celebrating its 35th birthday this year. Other varieties available include Thin Mints, Trefoils, Do-Si-Dos, Tagalongs, Lemon Chalet Cremes, Dulce de Leches and Thank U Berry Munch.

“It’s for a good cause,” Keona said while selling cookies Saturday.

“You get prizes and stuff,” chimed in Cheyenne Boneparte.

Indeed, the Girl Scouts get their own benefits from selling cookies. The proceeds help provide financial assistance for girls who otherwise would not be able to participate. But troops also use the proceeds to fund community service projects.

Even the cookie program itself will help the community. Troop 669 is donating their Gift of Caring boxes to the Genieve Shelter. Hometown Heroes boxes will be sent to the armed forces overseas.

“If you can each one sell 100 boxes, we’ll meet our goal,” Russell-Wilkerson told the girls Saturday.

“We try to make it so if the girls take part in the two fundraisers, they don’t have to pay for any of the events,” she added later.

But there are still more benefits to the cookie program, says Elizabeth Vaughn, community relations manager for the Girl Scout Council of Colonial Coast.

The cookie program creates opportunities for girls to develop leadership and business skills, set and achieve goals and take action to make a difference in the community. Girls learn financial literacy, marketing strategies and communication skills, as well as developing their own personal leadership style.

Russell-Wilkerson, once a Girl Scout herself, said the program definitely makes a difference to her troop and in the community.

“The troop profited a little over $2,000 in cookie sales last year,” she said.

If a Girl Scout doesn’t visit your house in the next few weeks, look for them at area supermarkets, visit or call 757-340-YUMM.