GREATER WESTFIELD-With more than 32,000 cases of Girl Scout cookies recently delivered to troops throughout Central and Western Massachusetts, local girls are eager to start fundraising efforts.
The Girl Scout Cookie Program is the largest girl-led business in the country, according to Dana Carnegie, communications manager, Girl Scouts of Central and Western Massachusetts.
“It’s a fun and exciting time for everyone involved,” said Carnegie, adding that on Jan. 11, 32,714 cases of Girl Scout cookies were distributed across the region during the annual “cookie drop.”
“This season, we announce two sweet new ways to celebrate young female leaders,” said Carnegie, adding, “refreshed packaging reflecting the amazing experiences cookie earnings make possible for girls, and a new lemon cookie available in select areas.”
Carnegie explained the Girl Scout Cookie Program teaches girls about entrepreneurship as they have fun learning essential skills including money management, public speaking, and decision making, which set them up for a lifetime of success.
“Nine in 10 Girl Scouts say the cookie program has built their entrepreneurship skills and their interest in pursuing entrepreneurship as a career path,” said Carnegie, adding, “so each cookie purchase is an investment in the world-changing business leaders of tomorrow.”
Carnegie noted each purchase stays local to “power amazing experiences and leadership opportunities for girls in our communities.”
“Most weekends during the cookie sales a troop can be found at Mobil in Southwick,” said Domenica Nooney, troop leader for Southern Tri Town which encompasses troops in Southwick, Tolland and Granville. “We are also lucky to have Tractor Supply and Mrs. Murphy’s Donuts that allow us to sell.”
Southern Tri Town includes Troop 11220, senior girls in grades 9 and 10; Troop 12916 for Cadettes in Grades 6-8; Troop 64909 for Brownie girls in Grades 2 and 3; Troop 12664 for Cadettes in Grades 6-8, and Troop 64555 for Juniors in grades 4 and 5. A new group, Troop 65047, is for Daisies in Kindergarten and Grade 1.
Girl Scouts offers a diverse range of experiences to its members – from adventure-packed camping and canoeing, exploring space science and designing robots, to taking action to improve their communities.
“My Girl Scout troop members are unlike any other of my friend groups,” said Mckenna Clark, 12, of Troop 12916. “We sit with each other at lunch, they stick up for me, they always make me feel included, and they are just awesome.”
Allison Kingsley, 12, of Troop 11220, shared a similar sentiment.
“Girl Scouts is important to me because it gives me new opportunities to be a part of the community and helps me learn new skills,” said Kingsley. “Not only does it teach you about responsibility and life skills, but it is also a fun group to be a part of. You are opened up to making new friends, experience new heights, and best of all, having fun.”
Friendship is a recurring theme when talking to girls about the importance of being a part of Girl Scouts.
“I get to spend time with my friends and help people,” said Kylie Hanouille, 9, of Troop 64909.
Katie Corriveau, 12, of Troop 12916, concurred.
“Girl Scouts is important to me because we get to spend time with other girls our age and volunteer at local events like the trunk or treat and the spirit walk,” said Corriveau. “Over the eight past years we have smiled, laughed and made memories together.”
Girls in Westfield are also gearing up for cookie sales and are eager to sell their cases of cookies.
“We have a number of cookie booths scheduled,” said Patricia O’Connor, who oversees several troops in Westfield. “Locations include Westfield Walmart on Jan. 18 from 10 a.m. – noon, and Jan. 25 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. There will also be troops from all over the council at all the Walmarts every weekend until March 8.”
Girl Scout cookies will also be offered for sale Jan. 18-19 at all masses at Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Church, 127 Holyoke Road.
Several girls in Westfield were also eager to share what they enjoy most about being part of the Girl Scout organization.
“Girl Scouts is cool because you get to learn about different things and the leaders are nice and do a lot with us,” said Jaezyah Dunlevy, 10, with Troop 64804.
Morgan O’Connor, 18, of Troop 40222, added she relishes being a part of the Girl Scout organization because of “the experiences you get to have, the people you get to meet, and the things you get to learn.”
For Izabela Rutkowski, 11, her favorite part of being a member of Cadette Troop 40064, led by Diana Jay, is “going on fun field trips and camping trips and doing fun activities.”
O’Connor noted that her Daisy Troop 64936 hopes to raise enough funds to support a trip to the zoo, the Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum, and the Connecticut Science Center. Also, Troop 64804 plans to go to Rocking Horse Ranch in New York for a weekend, and Morgan O’Connor plans to attend the Global Leadership Conference. O’Connor also will be joining Troop 64804 – who she mentors – at Rocking Horse Ranch.
Jay’s troops 40064, 40353, and 64629 meet out of Second Congregational Church and will use some of the proceeds from cookie sales to purchase food for the local food bank.
To find out where Girl Scouts are selling cookies in the coming weeks, visit www.girlscoutcookies.org or use the official Girl Scout Cookie Finder app, free on iOS and Android devices.