It’s time for girls in green, blue and brown vests to be seen traipsing through neighborhoods toting wagons full of cookies.
Times have changed since the first cookie sale in 1917 — the girls are no longer making their own cookies and the flavors are decidedly different — but Girl Scouts taking over neighborhood streets and setting up tables in front of stores annually hasn’t, and Saturday marks the start of the centennial year of cookie sales.
Cookie sales will run through March 5 and can be purchased from booths throughout the area as well as online.
Troop 526 leader Molly Epps is challenging her Scouts to sell 3,000 boxes this year to help the troop “sleep with the fishes.”
If the troop reaches their goal, they will spend the night at the Ripley’s Believe it or Not Aquarium — something Kacie Epps said she’s looking forward to.
“Last year we sold about 6,000 boxes,” Molly Epps said. “One girl can generally sell 300 boxes, just on her own.”
Although the troop has an incentive trip in their sights, Epps said the troop’s real focus is Operation Cookie Drop.
Throughout walk-about week as well as during booth sales, Scouts collect donations that are then used to send Girl Scout cookies overseas to those deployed.
Troop 526’s goal this year is 275 boxes for Operation Cookie Drop.
Operation Cookie Drop is fifth-year Scout Zoey Epps’ favorite part of cookie season.
“I like collecting the donations for the cookies for those overseas,” she said. “It is like a prize for them going over there to do that for us.”
Molly Epps said their troop tries to focus more on the Operation Cookie Drop.
“We try and focus on not being the top sellers, but working as a team,” she said. “Everyone is working toward the same goal.”
The girls are at the forefront of the season, she added, being the ones to create the signs, talk to their potential customers and distributing the cookies.
“This isn’t just about the cookies,” Epps said. “The girls are learning financial skills and business skills and communication skills. I like to see the girls working together instead of competing against one another.”
This year marking the 100th year of cookies sales is special for the girls, Molly Epps said, giving them a sense of pride being a part of such a legacy.
The special anniversary is being celebrated with the release of the S’mores cookie, a graham cracker with marshmallow dipped in chocolate.
The classics like Thin Mints, Caramel DeLites and Peanut Butter Patties will also be available, among others.
Since the beginning, the profits from cookies sales have gone to help each troop not only earn rewards and patches, but to also help fund their registration fees and even pay for their uniforms.
Molly Epps said every $4 box of cookies goes toward helping a scout experience things they normally wouldn’t without Girl Scouts.
“I feel all girls should be strong and independent and scouts helps with that,” she said. “We just encourage everyone to come out and support us.”
Walk-about Week continues through Friday, and the Epps girls will be knocking on doors with their blinged out wagon asking neighbors to help them sleep with the fishes.
To find a booth location and times visit girlscouts.org or download the Cookie Finder app.