Cindy Mackiewicz has never actually sold a box of Girl Scout cookies in her young life.
But the 9-year-old Elyria girl is not letting that stop her from setting a lofty goal in this year’s cookie campaign.
The first-year Girl Scout wants to sell 2,014 boxes of cookies — preferably the caramel, coconut and dark chocolate ones known as Samoas. They’re her favorite.
“I’m ready, and I want every single prize,” said the McKinley Elementary School fourth- grader. “My dad and my grandfather are going to help at their jobs, and my mom is going to do it through Facebook. People my dad works with have been waiting for cookie sales.”
The wait ends Monday.
Hundreds of Girl Scouts in the Girl Scouts of North East Ohio chapter will begin taking orders for the eight varieties of cookies being offered this year.
And, while some cookie connoisseurs will see this as a surefire way to wreck those weight- loss resolutions, seasoned Girl Scouts will tell you that the annual cookie sale is about more than the tasty draw of Thin Mints or Tagalongs — even if they are delicious. The annual cookie sale has taught Girl Scouts the value of hard work and the spirit of entrepreneurship for years.
“They learn very fast that not everything in this world is free,” said Carol Roy, who has been a troop leader for more than four years.
Her daughter, Brianna Roy, 9, of North Ridgeville, has an ambitious goal of selling 600 boxes. She wants to go camping.
“Everything we do, we do because of the money we earn through cookie sales,” Roy said of Junior Girl Scout Troop 50160. “We can’t go on group outings, participate in service projects or even have our meetings. We need money for crafts, supplies and snacks, and that comes from cookie sales.”
The annual cookie sale is a nearly 100-year- old tradition that is the nation’s largest girl-led business and the leading financial literacy program for girls, according to information from Kim Graves, spokeswoman for Girl Scouts of North East Ohio. Designed for girls in grades kindergarten through 12, it is a key element of the Girl Scout leadership experience.
“My mom was a troop leader, and I remember our house being full of cookies for like half a year,” said Marci Saxon of North Ridgeville.
Saxon will now assume the responsibility for her daughter, Rose Saxon-Housun, a 7-year- old Brownie with a goal of surpassing the more than 300 boxes of cookies she sold in 2013 by another 300 for 600 boxes. She wants to push her troop total to the max so the group can go to a Girl Scout-sponsored concert this summer at Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga Falls.
“My dad takes the order form to his job and my parents will let me go around our entire development,” Rose said Friday.
Amy Eldridge, Rose’s leader of Brownie Troop 50206, said teaching the girls about entrepreneurship is not just about handing them an order form and telling them to collect names. Today, a lot of girls will attend a cookie rally to learn more about the product and how the $4 cost of each box is divvied up to support the organization.
According to 2013 figures when the cookies were $3.50 a box, the troop earned 64 cents for each box sold. Troop 50206 sold almost 2,000 boxes last year.
“They all know how much money we need to do certain activities and work hard to reach those goals,” Eldridge said. “Everything is girl-led. My daughter Maddie’s goal is to get a ticket to a Cleveland Indians game so she can walk on the field and be recognized along with other Girl Scouts from Northeast Ohio.”
For six girls in Stephanie Malik’s group, the payoff for selling hundreds of boxes of cookies will be a trip to Savannah, Ga.
“We will travel to the hometown of Juliette Gordon Low, the founder of Girl Scouts,” Malik said in an email.
Melissa Novak, leader of Junior Girl Scout Troop 50172, said the fourth-grade girls have decided on a service goal.
“One of our girls has a father who is in the Army and stationed in Korea,” Novak said. “Although Girl Scouts of USA has a program called ‘Operation: Sweet Appreciation,’ that provides for cookies to be purchased as a donation to our troops overseas, those cookies are randomly shipped to military units. This particular Army unit has always taken it upon themselves to purchase cookies themselves. Our girls thought it would be a great service to them if we could get enough donations so that they would not have to buy their own. In addition, our girls have decided to use some of their own earned profit to pay for the cost of shipping the cookies.”
- Visit www.gsneo.org or call (888) 9-Thin Mint to be connected to a Girl Scout troop selling cookies in your neighborhood.
COOKIE SALE 2014 TIMELINE
- Order taking begins Monday
- Order delivery begins March 8
- Cookie booth sales at grocery stores, malls and other public sites begin March 14
- Sale ends March 30