FAIRFIELD COUNTY — Starting today, the 100 or so Girl Scouts in Fairfield County will be making the rounds selling their cookies as an annual fundraiser.
But according to Cherie Ellis, community development manager of the Mountains to Midlands Council with Girl Scouts of America in South Carolina, the Girl Scouts group is not limited to cookies, campouts and crafts.
Last fall, Girl Scouts partnered with Fairfield Elementary School for a Daisy Power Project that provided incentives for children to read and provided assistance, if needed, for them to join a Brownie group, the precursor to Girl Scouts.
FES Assistant Principal Tiffany Simpson and two FES teachers are leaders in the program that currently includes about 20 girls. The girl scouts hope to start up a group in the Greenbrier area. Currently there are groups in Ridgeway and in Blair. In September Girl Scouts did a leadership training and healthy living session at Camp Longridge in Ridgeway.
The South Carolina Mountains to Midlands Council benefits from the cookie sales program because 100 percent of the proceeds from the $3.50 per box remain within the council jurisdiction. These proceeds help underwrite troop activities and expenses, girl programming, camperships, membership assistance, program development, training opportunities and girl-focused property improvements.
When girls choose to use their cookie proceeds to purchase materials for a community action leadership project, then the community benefits. Examples of this are often seen in renovations and beautification projects at local schools, churches and children’s centers.
Pre-order and door-to-door sales will be made this year using a high-tech mobile app. Cookie delivery is scheduled for late February. New Cranberry Citrus Crisps (including nine grams whole grain) will be for sale along with classics Caramel deLites, Lemonades, Peanut Butter Patties, Peanut Butter Sandwich, Shortbread, Thanks-A-Lot and Thin Mints.
The Fairfield County Girl Scout Cookie Rally will be held Jan. 11 at First Baptist Church at the intersection of U.S. 321 Bypass and S.C. 34. Check in begins at 9:30 a.m. with cookie activities from 10 a.m. until noon.
Registration for Girl Scouts is $15 per year. Girls can register for Girl Scouting at the Cookie Rally tomorrow.
With $770 million profit the annual Girl Scout Cookie Program is the largest girl-led business in the country. The 2014 Girl Scout Cookie Program is getting the latest technology support with COCOmobile, a Girl Scout smart mobile sales app.
It lets girls set cookie sales goals, track their progress, and take orders with their Apple mobile devices using iPhones, iPads or iPods touch. Right at their fingertips, girls can get cookie information; enter, view, and edit orders; track recognitions program progress; and email or text order confirmations directly to customers.
Said Kim Hutzell, president/CEO of Girl Scouts of South Carolina - Mountains to Midlands: “When customers buy cookies, they are supporting the most highly acclaimed financial literacy program for girls in the country, grades kindergarten through 12. In addition to helping girls earn money for programs, training and camps, they are helping them develop five essential skills that they will use throughout their lives: goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills, and business ethics. These are all important ingredients in the Girl Scout Leadership Experience.”
Girl Scouts of South Carolina – Mountains to Midlands program participants have demonstrated their entrepreneurial and financial literacy proficiency by increasing sales each of the past six consecutive years. In addition, the average number of boxes sold per participating girl is 220 compared to the national average of 157. Last year alone they sold more than 1.8 million boxes.
Outreach to troops overseas
Customers can once again choose the option to purchase cookies for deployed, overseas U.S. troops. The Cookies for Soldiers program works by cookie customers designating all, or a portion, of their purchase to this program. Cookie ordering and distribution is handled by the Girl Scouts. Shipping is arranged and financed by the local chapters of the Blue Star Mothers of America.
For more information log onto www.gssccookies.org or call 1-800-849-4475.