Sewickley area Girl Scouts gear up for cookie sales

Friday, January 4, 2019 | 6:03 AM

Fans of Thin Mints, Samoas and Tagalongs can rejoice as Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania (GSWPA) launch the 2019 Girl Scout Cookie season.

While many are fans of decadent desserts, they may not know where their money goes when they buy a box of the signature cookies.

“For our Girl Scouts, cookies provide the resources that power their adventures,” said Patricia A. Burkart, CEO of GSWPA, in a news release. “From participating in enrichment opportunities like travel and outdoor adventure to educational programming on coding and robotics, and even using proceeds to provide for others in need, cookie customers support the entire Girl Scout experience, including encouraging girls’ entrepreneurial spirit.”

The Sewickley-area based Glen Oaks Girl Scout Service Unit, comprised of more than 200 girls and 60 adult volunteers, used some of their earnings to take a summer trip to Costa Rica, where they participated in a cultural exchange with local students and planted a tree in the rain forest. Cookie sales have also funded educational programs in information technology and engineering.

“The days of sitting there and sewing are gone,” said unit manager Barbara Cooley Thaw. “Not that there’s anything wrong with sewing and cookie sales. But Girl Scouts … keep up with things girls need to know. Cookie money does a lot to supplement that.”

According to the Girl Scouts, the sale of cookies to finance troop activities began in 1917, five years after Juliette Gordon Low started Girl Scouts in the United States, when a troop in Oklahoma baked cookies and sold them in their high school cafeteria as a service project.

Now, said Thaw, only two bakeries make the treats, so “cookie time” is staggered across the country.

This year, GSWPA is offering the following cookie varieties: Girl Scout S’mores, Thin Mints, Tagalongs, Samoas, Trefoils, Do-si-Dos, Savannah Smiles, and Toffee-Tastic, which is a gluten-free cookie. The price is $5 per box.

Scouts started taking orders Jan. 4 and booth sales will start in late February or early March. Previous sale locations include Leetsdale and Quaker Village Giant Eagles and Safran’s Supermarket in Sewickley, though this year’s locations haven’t been finalized. Those who want to place an order can email [email protected]

Even those who are trying to eat healthy after the gluttony of the holidays, or who just don’t like cookies, can still help their local Scouts and support the military through Operation: Sweet Appreciation. Boxes of cookies can be purchased to be sent to veterans and to men and women serving at home and overseas.

“The pictures, letters and cards we’ve received from active military, you wouldn’t believe,” said Thaw. “Nothing tastes like home like a box of Thin Mints.”

To learn more about the Glen Oaks unit, like their Facebook page, Glen Oaks Girl Scout Community.

Natalie Miller is a Tribune-Review assistant news editor. You can contact Natalie at 724-226-4715, [email protected] or via Twitter @natalieNRMiller.