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Girl Scout cookie sales begin!

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Fri, Jan 8th 2016 10:30 am

Want to help a Western New York girl learn valuable life skills? You can! It's as easy as ordering Girl Scout cookies. Boxes will be available starting tomorrow.

The Girl Scout Cookie Program is the world's largest girl-run business. By participating, Girl Scouts learn many valuable lessons and gain five essential skills: goal setting, decision-making, money management, people skills and business ethics.

Last year, almost 12,000 Girl Scouts in the Western New York Council sold 1.75 million boxes of cookies. Sales of the cookies support troop activities as well as the local Girl Scout council.

Elizabeth Stormo, age 8, of Brownie Troop 60811 in Greece, sold more than 1,500 boxes.

"Always smile! People like it when you smile," she said. "Be sure to know about each of the cookies, but always have a favorite to recommend. Mine is a tie between Thin Mint and Peanut Butter Patties. No matter what, you always have to say 'please' and 'thank you' - t hat's just the right thing to do!"

For the second year in a row, Girl Scouts will implement "Digital Cookie/COCO Cookie Command," an online platform for selling cookies. With even more girls expected to participate this cookie season, Digital Cookie/ COCO Cookie Command will provide a more robust, hands-on and entertaining learning experience, including an enhanced cookie website with interactive activities that offer girls opportunities to learn budgeting and resource allocation using a "spend, save and give" model.

Girl Scouts will also continue to sell cookies in person for those who prefer the familiar face-to-face interaction. Boxes of cookies will arrive in late February and Girl Scouts will begin setting up booths at high-traffic public locations in March.

"Digital Cookie/COCO Cookie Command will expand and strengthen girls' skills. This technology is an added bonus for both girls and customers," said Mary Jo Brown, senior vice president of product program and customer service with Girl Scouts of Western New York. "This added layer will give the girl experience in website customization and online marketing while giving customers the benefits of ordering from the convenience of their home.

"Our traditional way of selling cookies will not change. Girls will continue to interact and initiate contact with her customers. Our goal is to educate girls now so they are prepared for the future."

This year's cookies will include the ever-popular Thin Mints along with Caramel deLites, Peanut Butter Patties, Peanut Butter Sandwiches, Shortbread, Cranberry Citrus Crisps, Lemonades (which are celebrating their tenth birthday) and Thanks-A-Lot cookies. There will also be the gluten-free option of Trios, which are a peanut butter oatmeal cookie with chocolate chips.

Returning this year, customers have the chance to donate boxes of Girl Scout cookies to members of the military through the Project Share Program. Last year, customers in Western New York donated more than 12,000 boxes of Girl Scout cookies, which were distributed to members of the military in the area.

The 2016 Girl Scout Cookie Program will wrap up on April 2. For more information about the program or Western New York Girl Scouts, visit http://www.gswny.org.

About Girl Scouts of Western New York

Girl Scouts of Western New York serves nearly 16,000 girls and 7,000 adult volunteers across the GSWNY jurisdiction, including Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Niagara, Orleans and Wyoming counties. The council's administrative service centers are located in Batavia, Buffalo, Jamestown, Lockport, Niagara Falls and Rochester.

Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place. Through the Girl Scout Leadership Experience, girls discover their personal best and prepare for a positive future, connect with others in an increasingly diverse world and take action to solve problems and improve their communities.

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