Girl Scouts of Texas Oklahoma Plains (GS-TOP) are ringing in the New Year and the 2014 Cookie Program with the roll-out of a brand new cookie and new technology. These new elements will further enhance the world’s largest girl-led business which will take place this year in the Abilene area from Jan. 10 to Feb. 23. Counties in the Abilene Area include: Callahan, Fisher, Haskell, Jones, Kent, King, Knox, Mitchell, Nolan, Scurry, Shackelford, Stonewall and Taylor counties.
“Everyone knows how tasty Girl Scout cookies are, but the public may not realize how important the experience of selling cookies is to a girl and her troop,” said GS-TOP CEO, Becky Burton. “Selling cookies helps girls learn, what we like to call, the five skills: goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and business ethics.”
Burton also offered a few tips for buying cookies: “Ask girls where the money goes — many troops use the proceeds to fund trips and community service projects. Also, ask why they are Girl Scouts — many girls join for the leadership experience and to make great friendships. And most importantly, let the girls know how they did. Selling cookies is hard work and feedback helps them get better and grow into leaders.”
New this year to the Cookie Program:
• New Cookie – Cranberry Citrus Crisp: A sweet addition for the cookie season: the Cranberry Citrus Crisp is full of tangy cranberry bits and zesty citrus flavor. Filled with nine grams of whole grain and made with real fruit, this “all-occasion” cookie has no high-fructose corn syrup and no artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners.
• New Technology: Cookie Command (CoCo) is an online marketing and planning center for girls where they can set goals and track their progress, plan their sale, use marketing tools to track and promote the sale to their customers, and share achievements with their troop and cheer on their fellow Girl Scouts. CoCo is going mobile this year with the debut of the CoCo Mobile App. Girls can now use CoCo on the go using their iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch.
• Expansion of Eco-Friendly Packaging: The Cookie Program will also expand the use of eco-friendly packaging this year. An eco-friendly package for the Thanks-a-Lot Girl Scout Cookie was introduced in 2010. This single change saved 150 tons of paperboard from going into America’s waste stream. Plus, this packaging made it possible to ship more cookies on a truck, saving an estimated 2,600 gallons of diesel fuel a year. This year, eco-friendly packaging will be used for the new Cranberry Citrus Crisp, Thanks-a-Lot and Lemonade Girl Scout cookies.
Cookies are $4 per box. The public can purchase their cookies in many ways, including direct sale (where girls start off with an initial stock of cookies to sell directly to customers), order taking, online marketing and booth sales outside of retailers and in local malls. Haven’t seen a booth? Just visit www.girlscoutcookies.org  and enter your zip code to find a booth near you. Or, go mobile and download the Cookie Finder app to your Apple or Android phone and find a cookie booth, vote for your favorite cookie, and learn more about the Girl Scout Cookie Program.
Girl Scouts of Texas Oklahoma Plains serves more than 23,000 girls and 8,700 adult volunteers each year in 81 counties from Fort Worth up through the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles. The council has area service centers located in Abilene, Amarillo, Fort Worth, Lubbock and Wichita Falls. Founded in 1912, Girl Scouts of the USA is the leading authority on girls’ healthy development, and builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place.
For more information on the Girl Scout Cookie Program, how to join, volunteer or donate to the Girl Scouts, call 800-582-7272 or visit www.gs-top.org .