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Girls Scout cookie season is here

By Marcy Germanotta, Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast

Girl Scout cookie lovers on the Outer Banks will be able to get their Girl Scout cookies starting February 20. That’s when the most loved cookies in the world arrive in the region, delivered by truck loads to a designated “cookie cupboard,” a storage area secured by volunteers. On Saturday, Girl Scout troops will begin to pick up their precious cargo and start the process of delivering to customers. Troops will also start hosting cookie booths in the area. While there are limited booths this year, the Girl Scouts are counting on customers purchasing from this option as well as continued purchases made online through the Cookie Finder App and Digital Cookie online sales.

Flavors this year include the favorites – Thin Mints, Tagalongs, Samoas and Dos-Si-Dos, as well as the more recent additions of Lemon-Ups, S’mores and the gluten-free option, Toffee-tastics. When selling door to door or at booths, Girl Scouts will follow all local safety guidelines along with some extra ones required by the Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast, such as the number of girls and adults managing a booth at any given time. Throughout the Cookie Program, girls are gaining skills such as goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and business ethics. Girl Scouts have been learning these skills since the first cookie official sale by the organization that was started in 1936 when the process of licensing the first commercial baker took place.

Cookie season is a busy season that requires the help of many hands. Girl Scout volunteer Denise Mann is a super star when it comes to the cookie program in our area. She started more than 31 years ago, helping a troop as their troop cookie chair. She did that for several years before accepting the job as the area cookie chair, overseeing many troops and taking on more responsibility for record-keeping and coaching new troop leaders. Now, with 28 years of experience in that role, she says the job has become easier.

“I do seem to operate almost on auto-pilot when it comes to most of the tasks, but there are always new things the Council adds that keeps you on your toes,” she said. “This year, we’ve added the option of using QR codes to help girls market and there are options using Digital Cookie to help connect customers to a troop faster.”

When Mann is not managing the inventory of thousands of boxes of cookies, she serves as the service unit chair for the area, the top volunteer administrator for the nearly 200 girls and 20 volunteers who are active in Girl Scouts in the Outer Banks. She helps recruit members, provides training and also leads two troops – a Daisy troop of five-year olds and a Senior troop with only a few girls. In addition to her unit, she also gives leadership support to neighboring Tyrrell, Hyde and Washington counties, where there are 37 girls and 19 adults involved in Girl Scouts.

“I believe in the Girl Scout mission,” she said. “I was a Girl Scout for a short period as a girl in Manteo and I loved it. While I don’t have any children, I got involved to help out a troop and get my nieces into the program, and I have been a steady volunteer ever since. That’s been three decades ago. I look forward to our community service projects each year. Even with the challenges of the pandemic, we were able to do a food drive last fall and we plan to do a project called Bag of Love this spring, where we donate what we can collect to young mothers in need. We usually do this around Mother’s Day.”

All proceeds from the cookie sale stay locally and help with troop activities, including experiences in the great outdoors, STEM learning, travel and community service. A part of the proceeds also goes to Council to help provide direct services, training and girl opportunities. The annual Cookie Program runs to the end of March. Find a booth near you by using the Cookie Finder or order online. To volunteer or help out, contact Denise Mann. You can reach her by sending an email to customercare@gsccc.org.

Outer Banks Cookie Booth Locations

Sunday, February 21

Troop #2108 Wal Mart 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Troop #2573 Food-A-Rama 10 a.m. to 4:00

Troop #1660 Lowes 12:00 to 2:00

Troop #2603 Seagreen Gallery, Nags Head 12:00 to 5:00

Saturday, February 27

Troop #2139 Wal Mart 10 a.m.  to 6:00 p.m.

Troop #2603 Belk 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Troop #1660 Kellogg, Duck Noon to 2 p.m.

Troop #4039 Village Hardware 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Troop #2573 Food-A-Rama 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Troop #2103 First National Bank 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Troop #2316 Books to Red, Ocracoke 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Sunday, February 28

Troop #2108 Wal Mart 1 to 5 p.m.

Troop #2307 Lowes 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Troop #2573 Food-A-Rama 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Friday, March 5

Troop #4039 Sadler Landscape in Manteo 3 to 6 p.m.

Saturday, March 6

Troop #2603 Wal Mart 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Troop #2103 Ace Hardware (Hatteras Island) 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Sunday, March 7

Troop #1660 Wal Mart Noon to 2 p.m.

Saturday, March 13

Troop #2139 Wal Mart 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Troop #2603 Ocracoke Oyster Co. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Troop #2103 Conner’s Supermarket 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Sunday, March 14

Troop #2307 Wal Mart 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Saturday, March 20

Troop #2103 Island Convenience 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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