GREAT FALLS — Girl Scout cookie booths are back, and whether your fix is tagalongs, thin mints or do-si-dos, leaders say sales haven't been this sweet since 2019. Tiffany Thurston, Volunteer Support Manager for North Central Montana, says it’s a welcome start after Covid forced in-person fundraising to stop last year.
“For the girls it's a huge part of their sales and a large part of their goal reaching happens at the booths,” she said.
The pandemic left cookie troops around the nation with backlogs of boxes, but leaders stayed positive. “We didn't hold the girls responsible for it and we took boxes all throughout Montana and Wyoming and delivered numerous boxes to first responders,” said Recruitment Manager for North Central Montana Mary Jacobsen. “It was just wonderful.”
Now, a new year means new goals and a returned sense of excitement. “I have a pretty small troop,” said Shai Simpson. “Just a few of my friends from school, but we do have big ideas.”
Simpson has been a top cookie seller in the region for years. “This season, I have a new goal to sell four-thousand boxes,” she said. The 12-year-old has sold 20,000 boxes of cookies during her years in Girl Scouts.
She says the annual campaign is just one of many things she enjoys about Girl Scouts. "I definitely enjoy the archery that we get to do at camps, we do a lot of things on boats,” she said. “And when we’re selling cookies we learn some really awesome business and people skills.”
Through booth sales she’s learned how to communicate with others and misses the connections that come with slinging sweets. “I get a lot of people that say they were Brownie Scouts when they were younger,” she said. “One lady gave me an old book that was a brownie handbook that she told me was hers when she was younger."
Nationally, the cookie drive brings in $9 million for local clubs each year. Proceeds benefit the girls through camps, service trips and scholarships.
“It’s their baby, they raise the money, they learn skills from it and they choose what to do with it,” said Jacobson.
Booth sales start Friday; you can download the Girl Scouts Cookie Finder mobile app or visit the website.