Meadville Tribune

Local News

January 9, 2012

'Smiles' all around as Girl Scout cookie sales begin

MEADVILLE — There is a lot of preparation that goes into the annual Girl Scout Cookie Rally hosted by Crawford Central School District’s service unit.

And Senior scout Brittany McCartney is one of the many volunteers who work endlessly to see that it’s an enjoyable and educational night for everyone involved.

But even just minutes before scouts from the unit’s 13 troops were set to arrive at Neason Hill Elementary on Thursday night, McCartney found herself a bit preoccupied.

After all, lofty goals oftentimes require strategic planning. And with the Meadville freshman not set to return home from school on Friday until much later than the fellow scouts in her neighborhood, she needed to devise a plan, a very good plan.

Friday marked the opening day of the Girl Scouts Cookie Program, which is one of the most recognizable fundraisers in the country. It is also that one day a year that McCartney and three other scouts embark on a friendly competition to see who can sell the most boxes of cookies in their neighborhood of roughly 30 houses.

“We race when we get home to see who gets them first,” McCartney said. “But they will all be home first. So I need to think of something. ... It’s fun. It’s a mini competition.”

That competition could go a long way in helping the 15-year-old McCartney reach her goal of selling more than 500 boxes of cookies before booth sales begin on Feb. 24. McCartney said with Girl Scouts celebrating their 100th anniversary this year, she wants to do something extraordinary.

“I decided I’m going to go all out this year,” McCartney said. “I’m going to make it the best cookie selling year I’ve ever had.”

According to Cory Begg, public relations and advertising manager for Girls Scouts Western Pennsylvania, the Girl Scout Cookie Program is the largest girl-led business in the country. She said it generates more than $750 million for girls and communities nationwide.

Last year, 3,118,248 boxes of cookies were sold in western Pennsylvania. Of those sales, 46,000 were sold in Crawford County.

The program serves as a literacy program for girls and teaches them to set goals, make decisions, learn people skills, money management, business ethics and much more.

“It’s a good thing for the girls,” said Sara McCartney, service unit manager for the Crawford Central attendance area. “It gets them out in the public. It gives them confidence.”

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