LET THE SELLING BEGIN

ou may crave the longtime favorites Thin Mints, Tagalongs, Trefoils, Samoas or Do-si-dos.

You might prefer to try something new, such as Rah-Rah Raisins, Savannah Smiles or Toffee-tastic.

Either way, you are in luck because Girl Scout cookie sales are underway in Jackson County.

Starting this weekend, girls from five Seymour troops will take turns selling at both entrances of Walmart in Seymour. That will continue for the next three weekends.

Between presales that started Jan. 1 and what will be available at the booths, more than 16,000 boxes of Girl Scout cookies will be sold, said Jennifer Phillips, service unit manager and program coordinator for Jackson County Girl Scouts and leader of Troop 1242 in Seymour.

Proceeds from cookie sales go toward membership fees, community service projects and activities for troop members to do together.

Missy Casner, leader of Troop 1239 in Seymour, said her girls presold about 6,000 boxes of cookies, and they have nearly 2,000 boxes to sell at Walmart. They also will be selling one day at JCPenney in Seymour.

Casner said the 20 girls in her troop like to sell.

“Sometimes, they are actually shy, and it requires them to make eye contact, it requires them to ask things,” she said. “They don’t just hold a box of cookies. They have to ask. A lot of people … want the kid to ask, so it’s getting them used to doing that.”

When some of her girls started selling four years ago, Casner said it was more difficult because they were younger. Over time, she has seen them feel more comfortable selling cookies.

“Now, we’ve got lots of them that really like to get out there and interact,” she said. “The hardest part is when they get told ‘no’ because they’ve got to learn no, which is OK.”

During last year’s cookie sales, Casner’s troop sold more than 9,200 boxes. The Brownies, who are in second and third grades, were the top sellers in southern Indiana and northern Kentucky, Casner said.

The troop didn’t presell as many boxes this year, and Casner said part of the reason is because a box of cookies went from $3.50 to $4.

If they have any boxes left, the girls may do neighborhood blitzes, Casner said. If people don’t want to purchase cookies, they can make a donation to have a box of cookies delivered to local police officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians or veterans groups.

Avery Williams, 6, and Savanna Moore, 8, were among members of Troop 1239 selling cookies the past few weeks.

Avery said she was pleasantly surprised to sell more than 700 boxes in her first year of Girl Scouts. That well exceeded her goal of 325.

“I like going and seeing people, and I like selling Girl Scout cookies. I was really excited doing it this year,” she said.

Now, both girls get to work at the booths to sell more cookies. They helped make a poster that describes each of the cookies.

“I just hope that I sell a lot of Girl Scout cookies, and I know I’m going to have fun, and I’m going to like it a lot,” Avery said.

“It’s really fun because you just get to sell cookies, and you get to ask people,” Savanna said. “You can have some fun selling some cookies.”

Avery said her favorite cookie is Samoas because “they are really coconutty and chocolaty,” while Savanna said she likes Savannah Smiles because she loves the lemon flavor.

Once cookie sales are finished, each troop will use part of its proceeds to give back to the community.

Casner said her troop likes to support organizations that help animals. In the past, the troop also has helped a local homeless shelter, provided gifts to cancer patients and visited with senior citizens.

“It probably ends up being around $1,000 that we give back to the community,” she said. “We’re encouraged to give back, which these girls have no problem giving back.”

Part of the proceeds also help cover girls’ troop membership fees, and they also use a portion to do a fun activity as a troop. This year, they voted to see a demonstration by Justin the Artistic Horse.

“Justin bought cookies off of us, as well. He likes Thin Mints,” Casner said, smiling.

Selling cookies is the main fundraiser for Girl Scouts, but it also has one in the fall selling nuts, candies, magazines and other items.

In Jackson County, five troops meet in Seymour, and one meets in Crothersville. During meetings, girls work on earning badges, participate in activities and discuss upcoming projects or events.

The county currently has 74 girls involved in Girl Scouts along with adult troop leaders and volunteers.

Phillips said the biggest thing she needs is troop leaders.

“There are a lot of girls that still want to join,” she said. “I just need leaders to put with these troops.”

Phillips said she is working on getting troops started around the county.

“I would like to get a couple of Brownstown troops together, and I would like to get at least three more in Seymour to continue to grow,” she said. “We’re trying to get back into the community, ‘Yes, we’re still here.’”

At a glance

Jackson County currently has six Girl Scout troops — five based in Seymour and one in Crothersville.

Girl Scouts is open to girls in kindergarten through high school. The levels are Daisy (kindergarten and first grade), Brownie (second and third grades), Junior (fourth and fifth grades), Cadet (sixth through eighth grades), Senior (ninth and 10th grades) and Ambassador (11th and 12th grades).

Girls interested in joining and adults interested in being a troop leader or volunteer may contact Jennifer Phillips at jphillips23us@yahoo.com.

At a glance

Here’s when and where you can buy Girl Scout cookies from local troops:

Today: Wal-Mart, 1600 E. Tipton St., Seymour, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Sunday: Wal-Mart, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Feb. 26: Wal-Mart, 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 27: Wal-Mart, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; JCPenney, 1224 E. Tipton St., Seymour, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Feb. 28: Wal-Mart, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

March 4: Wal-Mart, 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.

March 5: Wal-Mart, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

March 6: Wal-Mart, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

March 11: Wal-Mart, 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.

March 12: Wal-Mart, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

March 13: Wal-Mart, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The Girl Scout Cookie Finder app can be downloaded for free on an iOS or Android phone or mobile device. Once that is downloaded, click the “Find Cookies” button to learn about opportunities to purchase Girl Scout cookies.

Information also can be found online at girlscouts.org.

Author photo
Zach Spicer is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at zspicer@tribtown.com or 812-523-7080.