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Be Local: Girls Scout Cookie Sales Aid Local Programs

WHEELING — Did you know that each time you purchase a box of those delicious Girl Scout cookies from your local troop members, you also are helping the local economy?

Members of the Girl Scouts of Black Diamond Council in West Virginia kicked off their cookie season across the state, and beyond, on Jan. 10.

Through March 22, Girl Scouts in the Ohio Valley will set up cookie booths at local grocery stores and venues so you can stock up on boxes of Thin Mints, Samoas, Tagalongs, S’mores, Trefoils, gluten-free Toffee-Tastic, Do-si-dos and Lemon-ups.

A Girl Scout Cookie app, Cookie Finder, allows customers to plug in their ZIP code to find a specific cookie booth near them. This allows customers to Be Local when purchasing their Girl Scout cookies.

Customers also can order cookies online and credit their cookie purchases to specific local Girl Scouts. Each box costs $5.

According to the Black Diamond’s website, proceeds from the sales stay local and have led to support for animal shelters, food banks and more in communities – all while teaching girls crucial skills like goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and business ethics.

Girl Scouts from each troop decide how they want to use the proceeds.

“Girl Scout Cookies are not only delicious, but the cookie program also provides an opportunity for our girls to learn entrepreneurial skills that will serve them in leadership roles,” said Beth Casey, CEO of Girl Scouts of Black Diamond.

“Girl Scouts is the largest leadership development organization for girls and develops the next generation of women business leaders. This program is crucial to the success of our mission,” she added.

Studies show that about 53 percent of women entrepreneurs and business owners are former Girl Scouts, and that women-founded start-ups generate more revenue over time and per dollar than male-founded start-ups. Yet, only 17 percent of start-ups are women-founded.

As for the Girl Scouts Cookie Program, it began in 1917 as a way for troops to finance activities. The Girl Scout Cookie Program is the largest girl-led entrepreneurial program in the world.

Today, the program encourages girls to discover their inner leadership potential and use their earnings to create experiences for themselves and their troop-including travel, outdoor adventure, and science, technology, engineering and math programming.

Nationwide, more than 1 million Scouts sold about 200 million boxes of the cookies.

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