Starting this weekend, customers entering Walmart in Seymour will be greeted by young girls smiling and asking if they would like to buy Girl Scout cookies.
Samoas, Thin Mints, Tagalongs, Do-Si-Dos, Trefoils and Savannah Smiles are $4, and a new cookie to celebrate the 100th year of Girl Scout cookie sales, S’mores, is $6 per box.
Jackson County’s nine troops will take turns operating the booths at Walmart from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Fridays and from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through March 19.
This year, more than 23,000 boxes of Girl Scout cookies are available for purchase in the county. That includes the 96 girls selling individually since Jan. 1 and boxes of cookies that will be available at the Walmart booths.
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That’s an increase of about 7,000 from last year. A big reason for the jump is four new troops formed in the county in 2016, said Jennifer Phillips, service unit manager and cookie chairwoman for Jackson County Girl Scouts and leader of Troop 1242 in Seymour.
There are now seven troops in Seymour, one in Brownstown and one in Crothersville.
“I am thankful to all of our community for buying the cookies,” Phillips said. “I’m happy, and the council (Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana) is really proud of us, and I’m proud of my girls and all of the new leaders in what we’ve accomplished.”
Once individual cookie sales started, Phillips said each troop leader used an online program to order cookies. They also ordered some to sell at the Walmart booths and some extra boxes of popular cookies.
In January, the troop leaders signed their girls up for selling outside Walmart. That requires two adults and two girls to sell at a time.
Girl Scouts who sell at least 25 boxes of cookies can pick from various prizes. There also is a special badge up for grabs in honor of the 100th year of cookie sales.
“That is a big thing for the girls,” Phillips said. “They work really hard to get those prizes. They love prizes.”
Proceeds from cookie sales, which is the main fundraiser for Girl Scouts, go toward membership fees, community service projects and activities for troop members to do together.
Phillips said she was glad to see the number of troops increase from five to nine this year. In 2016, there were about 75 girls involved in Jackson County troops.
“We did recruitment and just getting the word out there saying we need new leaders,” she said.
Her daughter, Aaliyah Phillips, helped recruit new members and troop leaders.
“She knows how to get the girls excited about Girl Scouts, and the moms get excited about wanting to become a leader because it is a satisfying thing to watch your daughter do this,” Jennifer said.
Girl Scouts is for girls in kindergarten through high school, and at least five girls are required to start a troop.
Each troop has to have at least two adult volunteers. They have to be age 18 or older, fill out an application and go through a background check. Once approved, that person also has to have CPR and first aid training.
Troop leaders can be men or women, and they don’t have to have a child in Girl Scouts to be involved. The leader determines how many girls are in his or her troop and the troop’s meeting and activities schedule.
During meetings, girls work on earning badges, participate in activities and discuss upcoming projects or events.
Jackson County currently has nine Girl Scout troops — seven in Seymour, one in Crothersville and one in Brownstown.
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 a volunteer in Jackson County may contact Jennifer Phillips at 812-521-1704. She also will have a booth set up during Kids Fest from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Seymour High School.
Information also can be found online at girlscouts.org.
Here’s when and where you can buy Girl Scout cookies from Jackson County troops:
Today: Walmart, 1600 E. Tipton St., Seymour, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Sunday: Walmart, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
March 3: Walmart, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
March 4: Walmart, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
March 5: Walmart, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
March 10: Walmart, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
March 11: Walmart, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
March 12: Walmart, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
March 17: Walmart, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
March 18: Walmart, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
March 19: Walmart, 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.