cookies

Around 500 local Girl Scouts have begun taking orders for Girl Scout cookies ahead of booth sales, which kick off mid-February.

This year, the Girl Scouts’ former lemon cookie, Savannah Smiles, has been replaced with a new lemon cookie, dubbed Lemon-Ups. Described as a “crispy lemon cookie” with a thin layer of icing, the cookie comes with inspirational messages baked on top.

“They’re things like, ‘I’m a go-getter.’ ‘I’m an innovator.’ ‘I’m a leader,’ all kind of bringing the message of Girl Scouting to life to people who are eating them and just inspiring anybody who’s enjoying them,’ said Katie Dawson, communications manager for Girl Scouts of Central Indiana.

The cookies join Do-si-dos, Girl Scout S’mores, Samoas, Tagalongs, Thin Mints, Toffee-tastic, and Trefoils, and boxes remain $5 each.

Last year, Girl Scouts in the Howard and Tipton counties region sold 92,647 boxes and were the top-selling service unit in the Girl Scouts of Central Indiana council. Dawson stressed that 100 percent of the net proceeds from cookie sales stay in the counties in which they’re purchased.

“Girls use that money toward activities like worldwide travel, outdoor adventure, climbing walls, ziplines, camping. They also use it for hands-on events and our science, technology, engineering, and math programs, as well as community service projects right in their local communities,” she said.

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In addition to the program helping fund various activities, Dawson said the girls, through selling cookies, essentially learn how to run a business and build skills that are essential to that, such as goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills, and business ethics.

“So when people are buying a box of Girl Scout cookies, they’re not just buying a delicious treat, some good cookies, delicious cookies. They’re also kind of investing in a girl’s future so that she can learn all these amazing skills and opportunities,” Dawson said.

The Girl Scout cookie program is the largest girl-led entrepreneurship program in the world, according to Dawson, and she said it’s needed. Dawson cited that research shows women-founded startups generate more money over time and per dollar than male-founded startups but that only 17 percent of startups are started by females.

Through the cookie program, girls are given a strong business foundation they can build upon later in life, she said.

“One day, when they grow older, maybe they will start their own startup and help the economy, help their local communities, all through this amazing cookie program,” Dawson said.

To find out where Girl Scout cookies will be sold at local retailers, download the Girl Scouts Cookie Finder app or visit girlscouts.org.