Cookie time

Famous treats make life lessons, community projects possible for local Girl Scouts

Leadership, service and responsibility – these are the traits that make a Girl Scout.

The group is famous for their highly-sought cookies each spring, but there is so much more that goes into forming our young female leaders right here in St. Charles Parish.

Beginning in kindergarten, local girls can join the international coalition of more than 2.4 million. Their sisterhood can be found in 90 countries, and more than 50 million American women today were once members of the Girl Scouts during their childhood. More than 200 St. Charles girls are currently part of the organization.

The group provides an opportunity for young girls to blossom into strong adult leaders. It sticks with its members from youth through adulthood, with multiple levels of members from Daisies in kindergarten and 1st grade through Ambassadors for senior girls, and finally as adult volunteers.

Christy Crotwell is the co-leader of a St. Charles Parish Brownie group for girls in 2nd and 3rd grades. She said the the lessons learned in Girl Scouts are invaluable for her young members’ lives.

“They really start to be responsible for themselves,” Crotwell said.

Jennifer Greene, co-leader of a local Daisy troop for kindergarten and 1st graders, said that the group’s activities will help to shape the young girls into strong young adults.

“They are learning the basic values about respecting others and respecting themselves, and I think it really helps build their confidence,” Greene said.

Patches and events revolve around teaching Girl Scouts about becoming a leader, living healthy, learning and improving financial literacy.

And adult Girl Scouts say that the experiences they learned through the group have made a huge impact on their lives.

“Growing up as a Girl Scout has been an amazing experience that has formed me into the confident young woman I am today,” said Kate Induni, a senior at Hahnville High School. “Girl Scouting has strengthened my morality, leadership, and value of community service. Throughout my years in Girl Scouting I have accumulated lifelong friends, indelible memories, and a network of exemplary women whom I know I can trust.

“This program has taught me that with determination and hard work I can accomplish anything I aspire.”

Besides learning valuable life lessons and skills, local Girl Scouts give back to the St. Charles community every year.

Greene’s Daisy troop held a toy drive and a holiday cookie party where they delivered fresh-baked treats to community helpers, like policemen, firemen and pastors.

Linda Dugas said her Junior Troop of 10 4th and 5th grade girls promoted the arts this year by volunteering with the River Region Performing Arts and Cultural Center in Norco.

“We straightened the props room for plays and ballets, and spent several hours cleaning and organizing the room,” Dugas said.

Crotwell’s Brownie Troop also gave back to the community in multiple ways this year. Her 17 girls planted a flower garden at a community church where their meetings are held and participated in Operation Pillow Pet, donating 70 of the stuffed animals to Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children, or CASA.

But none of these events would be possible without the group’s famous cookies.

“Eighty percent of our funds come from cookies for my troop,” Dugas said. “If they sell a lot of cookies, then we can do a lot of events. There’s a lot we can do with the cookie money.”

Last year, over 1.1 million boxes of cookies were sold in Southeast Louisiana. In St. Charles Parish alone, nearly 29,000 boxes were sold. But some scouts are setting their sights even higher this year.

“We have quite a few troops this year who have set high goals for themselves since they want to travel to Washington D.C., Savannah, Ga. and elsewhere to attend Girl Scouts 100th Anniversary events being planned,” said Alisha Moore, director of sales at Girl Scouts Louisiana East. “Everyone is excited about celebrating 100 years of Girl Scouting – we’ve even added a new cookie his year, called ‘Savannah Smiles.’”

The new cookie is a bite-sized lemon wedge dusted with powdered sugar, named in honor of the city where Girl Scouts were founded in 1912.

Cookies are $3.50 per box and a map of booths selling the coveted cookies can be located online or through a smart phone application introduced last year called Cookie Locator.

And the booths will be extra noticeable this year as scouts are given the chance to “bling” their cookie selling stations to gain extra attention and win troop prizes.

Girl Scouts began in the early 20th century with members baking their own cookies and selling at neighborhood bake sales for 25 to 30 cents per dozen. In 1934, a Philadelphia Girl Scout council began selling commercially baked cookies, leading the national organization to license its first commercial baker two years later beginning “the world’s largest and longest bake sale.” Although cookie production was halted during World War II due to limited supplies, scouts began selling calendars and continue to do so today. Production resumed in 1947.

Eight varieties of cookies will be sold at this year’s booths: Thin Mints, Samoas, Tagalongs, Do-Si-Dos, Trefoils, Dulce de Leche, Thank U Berry Munch and Savannah Smiles.

Selling cookies helps the girls to develop five essential skills: goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and business ethics.

Cookie sales in St. Charles begin tomorrow with booths at the following locations:

March 2, Winn Dixie, Airline Highway in Destrehan, 5-7 p.m.

March 3, Winn Dixie, Airline Highway in Destrehan, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

March 3, H&R Block, Highway 90 in Luling, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

March 4, Winn Dixie, Airline Highway in Destrehan, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

March 9, Winn Dixie, Airline Highway in Destrehan, 5-7 p.m.

March 10, Winn Dixie, Airline Highway in Destrehan, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

March 10, H&R Block, Highway 90 in Luling, 11 a.m.- 1 p.m.

March 10, Winn Dixie on Highway 90 in Luling, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

March 11, Winn Dixie, Airline Highway in Destrehan, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

March 16, Winn Dixie, Airline Highway in Destrehan, 5-7 p.m.

March 17, Winn Dixie, Airline Highway in Destrehan, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

March 18, Winn Dixie, Airline Highway in Destrehan, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.


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