Ask Asha Anderson, an Ambassador Girl Scout from Troop 560 in Northwest D.C., about her favorite type of Girl Scout cookie, and you’ll hear this response:
“Thank You Berry Munch,” she says, “I never really thought that cranberries or fruit would be that good in a cookie mix but it really is delicious and I like it a lot.”
It’s that time of the year: Girl Scouts across the Washington D.C. area are going door-to-door selling eight cookie varieties to raise funds for their troops and for the Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital (GSCNC).
In addition to Thank You Berry Munch, troops will be selling Thin Mints, Do-si-dos, Samoas, Tagalongs, Lemon Chalet Crèmes, Dulce de Leche and Trefoils. Girl Scouts will collect initial cookie orders until Jan. 22 and booth sales will begin at local shopping centers on Feb. 18.
More than 42,000 girls from the D.C. area participated in the Girl Scout cookie program last year, selling more than 4.7 million boxes, or nearly 109 boxes per girl. The GSCNC campaign was the largest national effort, earning $2.8 million to support camping services, service projects, volunteer training, and financial assistance for girls and families.
Julie Carlson, the manager of product sales for GSCNC, says the troops around Washington hope to repeat last year’s success.
“Once you reach the level of our program, the increases [in cookie sales] are modest year to year,” she says. “One thing we know for sure [is that] the greater Washington metropolitan area … surely love Girl Scouting and are extremely generous in their support of the Girl Scout Cookie Program.”
For each $4 box of cookies sold, the troop keeps 69 cents and $2.04 directly supports Girl Scout programs in the D.C. area. All proceeds from the Girl Scout cookie program remain within the Girl Scout councils.
Anderson sold almost 1,500 boxes of cookies last year, and credits her success to the interpersonal skills she learned through the Girl Scout programs.
“Just from growing up in Girl Scouting … I’ve been able to work with adults, work with my other peers, and learn leadership, and I think that a part of that is epitomized through the Girl Scout Cookie selling process,” she says.
The program also operates as a service project. Customers can buy cookies that will be donated to a community organization, such as a homeless shelter or food pantry, through the “Gift of Caring” project.
“For various reasons, some customers do not want to buy cookies for themselves. With Gift of Caring, they have a chance to give to others while supporting Girl Scouting at the same time,” Carlson says.
With revenues reaching $700 million annually, the Girl Scout cookie program is considered one of the largest girl-led businesses in the country, helping young women develop lifelong financial and communication skills.
“I feel like, although [Girl Scout Cookies] are specific to Girl Scouting, they’re a part of the American experience,” Anderson adds. “It’s a national treat that everyone enjoys.”