Last updated: January 02. 2014 6:58PM - 202 Views

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COLUMBIA — The annual Girl Scout Cookie Program, the $770 million, largest girl-led business in the country, begins pre-order, door-to-door sales on Jan. 10, ending March 17.


The cookies will arrive for delivery in late February. The sales dates at local retail locations, when customers can buy directly, are weekends from Feb. 21 – March 17. New this year will be a whole grain cookie and a high-tech mobile app to assist girls with their sales.


Making its debut as a new cookie are the Cranberry Citrus Crisps. Each cookie is filled with nine grams of whole grain, tangy cranberry bits and zesty citrus flavor. The seven other returning classic flavors are Caramel deLites, Lemonades, Peanut Butter Patties, Peanut Butter Sandwich, Shortbread, Thanks-A-Lot and Thin Mints.


States Kim Hutzell, President/CEO, Girl Scouts of South Carolina - Mountains to Midlands, “When customers buy cookies, they are supporting the most highly acclaimed financial literacy program for girls in the country, grades kindergarten through 12th.


In addition to helping girls earn money for programs, training and camps, they are helping them develop five essential skills that they will use throughout their lives: goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills, and business ethics. These are all important ingredients in the Girl Scout Leadership Experience.”


The 2014 Girl Scout Cookie Program is getting the latest technology support with COCOmobile, a Girl Scout smart mobile sales app. It lets girls set cookie sales goals, track their progress, and take orders with their Apple mobile devices using iPhones, iPads or iPods touch. Right at their fingertips, girls can get cookie information; enter, view, and edit orders; track recognitions program progress; and email or text order confirmations directly to customers.


Girl Scouts of South Carolina – Mountains to Midlands program participants have demonstrated their entrepreneurial and financial literacy proficiency by increasing sales each of the past six consecutive years. In addition, the average number of boxes sold per participating girl is 220 compared to the national average of 157. Last year alone they sold more than 1.8 million boxes.


The eco-friendly cookie box that packages Lemonades and Thanks-A-Lot has been extended to the new Cranberry Citrus Crisps. The move to “out of the box” film-overwrapped trays first began in 2010. This single change saves tons of paperboard from going into America’s


waste streams and, because more cookies can be shipped on a truck, an estimated several thousand gallons of diesel fuel is saved each cookie season.


The South Carolina - Mountains to Midlands council benefits from the cookie sales program because 100% of the proceeds from the $3.50 per box remain within the council jurisdiction. These proceeds help underwrite troop activities and expenses, girl programming, camperships, membership assistance, program development, training opportunities and girl-focused property improvements.


When girls choose to use their cookie proceeds to purchase materials for a community action leadership project, then the community benefits. Examples of this are often seen in renovations and beautification projects at local schools, churches and children’s centers.


Customers can once again choose the option to purchase cookies for deployed, overseas U.S. troops. The Cookies for Soldiers program works by cookie customers designating all, or a portion, of their purchase to this program. Cookie ordering and distribution is handled by the Girl Scouts. Shipping is arranged and financed by the local chapters of the Blue Star Mothers of America.


For more information log onto www.gssccookies.org or call 1-800-849-4475.


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