Girl Scouts teach business skills in Cookie Program

NEW ORLEANS — Girl Scouts from across southeast Louisiana will start selling Girl Scout cookies Friday, Jan. 17, as they run the largest girl-led business in the world.
“There is no better example of entrepreneurship among youth today than the Girl Scout Cookie Program,” said Alisha Moore, vice president of sales at Girl Scouts Louisiana East.
While nationally Girl Scouts sell more than 200 million boxes annually, last year southeast Louisiana Girl Scouts sold more than 1 million boxes of cookies with 214 girls selling at least 500 boxes each, including three “Cookie Moguls” who sold more than 2,000 boxes each.
Through the cookie program, girls are able to earn money towards fun and exciting girl-planned program activities, as well as contribute to their council’s ability to provide Girl Scouting in the community.
“The annual Girl Scout Cookie Program is likely a girl’s first experience at running a business,” said Moore.
According to Moore, it’s through “learning by earning,” that girls develop five valuable life skills such as goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills, and business ethics. While family support is important to the success of the sale, the council encourages customers to purchase the cookies directly from the girls themselves.
The cookie sale has developed many female entrepreneurs since the program began in the early 20th century. Prior to the sale, the Girl Scouts Louisiana East council sponsors its own Smart Cookie U, a girl-led financial literacy program at a local university for girls who will work on financial literacy badges based on the five skills. This year’s Smart Cookie U is being hosted at LSU on Jan. 11.
Girl Scouts will take initial cookie orders Jan. 17 to Feb. 2, and will sell them at booth locations throughout the council’s 23 parishes Feb. 28 to March 16.
Cookies are $4 per box upon delivery, and are preservative-free, kosher, with zero trans fat per serving. This year’s cookie line-up includes eight varieties: Thin Mints, Samoas, Trefoils, Tagalongs, Do-Si-Dos, Dulce de Leche, Thank You Berry Munch, and Savannah Smiles.
Customers will be able to find the location and times of Girl Scout cookie booth sales online or through the Cookie Locator mobile app, downloadable from the iTunes store, or by calling **GSCOOKIES from a mobile phone.
All cookie proceeds remain within the council’s jurisdiction, funding troop activities with the remainder helping the council to maintain properties, train and recruit volunteers, and support council initiatives.
This year’s theme of “What Can a Girl Do — A World of Good, Her Own Way” also encourages girls to use their cookie money to complete a Take Action project that positively impacts others.
Additionally, Gift of Caring remains a popular community service project in which girls encourage customers to buy cookies for donation to a non-profit, service or military organization selected by the troop. Last year 19,000 boxes of cookies went to over 250 different organizations.
Girl Scout’s mission is to build girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place.
The local council, Girl Scouts Louisiana East, serves girls 5 to 17 in the parishes of Ascension, Assumption, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberville, Jefferson, Lafourche, Livingston, Orleans, Plaquemines, Pointe Coupee, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. Helena, St. James, St. John, St. Mary, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne, Washington, West Baton Rouge, and West Feliciana.
For more information about Girl Scouts, call the council office in New Orleans at 504-733-8220, or visit its website at www.gsle.org.

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