MICHIGAN CITY — It’s cookie time again!

Friday is the official date that area Girl Scouts can sell those time-tested tasty treats so many have grown to love over the 101 years they’ve been available.

Eleven Michigan City troops with 122 girls ages 5-18 will be offering the same eight varieties they did in 2017: Thanks-A-Lot, Lemonades, Shortbread (Trefoils), Thin Mints, Peanut Butter Patties (Tagalongs), Caramel deLites (Samoas) Peanut Butter Sandwich (Do-si-dos), and, the very popular, Girl Scout S’mores.

While many customers are familiar with the traditional Girls Scout cookie choices and most titles are self-explanatory, there are few that the public might not be as familiar with.

A Thanks-A-Lot is a shortbread cookie with fudge on the bottom and embossed with the word “Thank You” in one of five different languages. The Girl Scout S’mores cookie, is described as a “crispy graham cookie double dipped in yummy crème icing and finished with a scrumptious chocolatey coating.” Sales were underestimated last year for this newcomer, and it became quite sought after; in fact, according to www.girlscoutcookies.org, it was the most popular flavor to launch in the 100 years of Girl Scouts selling cookies.

The cost per box is $4 and the girls will be selling the cookies until March 4. Many girls will have cookies on hand to sell while other troops’ Scouts take orders and then fill those quickly. Customers can also find Girl Scout Cookie booths around the city at businesses such as Lowe’s, Menard’s and Al’s Valueland.

A total of 1,425 cases have already been delivered to leaders. Diana Roose, who retired as a Girl Scout leader after 30 years and now volunteers with special events such as the cookie sale, is pleased with the excitement she’s seen so far among both Leaders and Scouts.

“The Leaders are very prepared. They are ready to hit the road on Friday,” she said on the day of the Cookie Rally Wednesday held at Lake Hills Elementary School.

The volunteer-ran Cookie Rally, the only one of it kind in the Northern Indiana-Michiana Council, gave the Scouts a chance to learn more about the sales incentives; they received a special Cookie Rally patch for their attendance and can earn their first incentive badge for selling a minimum of 30 boxes. At the event, they could also try a favorite cookie and make a fun cookie-sale-themed craft.

But, most importantly, the rally was the perfect opportunity for Detective Kay Pliske of the Michigan City Police Department to talk to the girls about safe selling practices.

“They have to stick with a buddy, not ever go into anyone’s house and not do this at night,” Pliske explained. She added that the girls are instructed to immediately give any monies received to an adult.

“Safety is a big priority,” said Roose. “ I want them to be safe and have a good experience.”

Pliske said many of the girls are repeat sellers and are very familiar with the instructions, as the Leaders do a great job of discussing safe selling at the troop level prior to selling season.

At the rally, Torey Morris, a 10-year-old Junior Girl Scout in Troop #00028, shared, “I like to sell Girl Scout Cookies because they make people happy.” Her favorite cookie is the Shortbread variety. Also in the same troop, 10-year-old Suezin Schneider likes Thin Mints, the top-selling Girl Scout Cookie, the best and was looking forward to her first year of selling.

Last year the Michigan City troops alone sold 1,984 cases of cookies. Other troops from other cities within the same Northern Indiana –Michiana council may be selling in Michigan City as well. The council, with nearly 10,000 girls, spans 22 counties, 20 of which are in the northern one-third of Indiana and two in Southwest Michigan. While La Porte and Westville are in the Northern Indiana-Michiana, Chesterton is in the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northern Indiana council.

Roose commented how the cookie sale helps the Girl Scouts develop skills they will use throughout their lifetime. These include strategizing, planning ahead, selling skills and accounting basics, to name a few.

She explained that some of the proceeds from the local cookie sales will go to support the upkeep and operation of four council camps including Camp Soni Springs in Three Oaks, Michigan.

“It just doesn’t support the camps,” Roose clarified, “but it helps support kids going to camp, and it supports the troops themselves as well so they can do things they want to do.”

Roose explained that only two bakeries produce Girl Scout cookies: ABC Bakery, which is a Nabisco bakery, and Little Brownie Bakery, a Keebler bakery. Girl Scouts of Northern Indiana-Michiana uses ABC Bakery. While five of the varieties cookies are a national requirement, the council has the option to choose which other three they want. This explains why some areas of the country sell different Girl Scout cookies and there are sometimes two names for the same cookie. Five of the eight varieties the girls are selling — Girl Scout S’mores, Thin Mints, Thanks-A-Lot, Lemonades and Peanut Butter Patties — are vegan. A special gluten-free cookie, called Trios, is available again for the second year.

The 2018 theme for cookie sales this year is “Stand Up! Stand Out!”

For more information on Girl Scout cookies, go to www.girlscoutsnorthernindiana-michiana.org or www.girlscoutcookies.org.

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