The beginning of January marks the start of every cookie connoisseur’s dream, the Girl Scout Cookie Program! Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri launched the 2019 Girl Scout Cookie season on Saturday, January 5, celebrating the largest financial investment in girls annually in the United States and a powerful entrepreneurship incubator for the next generation of female leaders. All proceeds stay local, meaning that when customers purchase delicious cookies from a Girl Scout, they’re giving back to their wider community. 

Girl Scout cookies are currently available from a number of local scouts including: Sadie Jackson and Morgan Jackson 660-216-3750; Kierstyn Moore of troop 9085 at 660-216-9813; MaKenna Musgrove 660-342-3439; Lena Vangorkom of Troop 9085 at 660-299-0301; and Kayleigh Mathes 309-299-8904. Watch the Memphis Democrat Facebook page for additional contact information.

Through the Girl Scout Cookie Program, eastern Missouri G.I.R.L.s (Go-getters, Innovators, Risk-takers, Leaders)TM not only discover their inner leadership potential but also use their earnings to power amazing experiences for themselves and their troop, including travel, outdoor adventure, and science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programming. Many girls put their earnings toward impactful community projects, from supporting animal shelters and food banks to working with local and state legislators to affect change. Additionally, #cookiebosses are learning five crucial skills—goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and business ethics—while doing incredible things. 

From whitewater rafting to horseback riding at a working dude ranch in the Ozark Mountains, Girl Scouts are doing remarkable things made possible by each and every cookie sale. Aria Pelikan, a 10-year-old Girl Scout and a #cookieboss, has always set small and large goals for herself when it comes to selling packages of cookies. At the beginning of the program, Aria decides a weekly goal she can meet and then focuses on the adventures she ultimately wants to experience. Because of the Girl Scout Cookie Program, Aria visited a sea turtle rescue center in Texas where she witnessed newly hatched turtles being released into the water.  

“I got to see a once-in-a-lifetime experience, it took about 30 minutes for more than 100 turtles to safely get into the water,” Pelikan said. “Seeing the turtles get to the water made me feel good inside, I knew that they were all safe!” 

Through “Troop to Troop,” a community service initiative, charitable customers can donate $5 to provide one package of cookies to members of the United States armed services. Last year, more than 91,000 packages of Girl Scout Cookies were gifted to the USO of Missouri. This year, local Girl Scouts are working toward donating 100,000 cookie packages to the USO of Missouri.  

Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri’s cookie line-up includes: Toffee-tastic®, a gluten-free option that features a rich, buttery cookie with sweet, crunchy, golden toffee bits; which joins classics like the Thin Mints®, Samoas® and Trefoils® varieties. Also, available are Savannah Smiles®, Tagalongs®, Do-si-dos® and S’moresTM.