About 110 Girl Scouts from different troops around the Service Unit 118, South Highland, gathered Saturday at St. James Episcopal Church to prepare for the best-known, and perhaps best-loved, Girl Scout tradition — selling cookies.
Cookie rallies like this one will be happening all across the nation in the coming weeks, said Tamara Sabine, who serves as cookie manager for the service unit based at St. James, which serves mainly private and religious school troops.
The girls spent the afternoon learning about important changes coming with cookie sales this year, Sabine said, including an app that allows troop members to take orders with smartphones, and the introduction of a link that will allow anyone with access to a Girl Scout to place orders online.
But the biggest change, by far, Sabine said, will be cookie names. The Louisiana East Council chose a new bakery to produce their cookies this year, Sabine said.
The switch from Little Brownie Bakers to ABC Bakers means some of the trademarked names registered to Little Brownie will no longer be used, Sabine said, but there will be a similarly made cookie for each of the familiar brand names.
Those who preferred Tagalongs will now be ordering Peanut Butter Patties; Caramel Delights will satisfy in place of Samoas, Trefoils will be ordered as Shortbreads, and Do-si-dos will be replaced by Peanut Butter Sandwiches. Thin Mints are still Thin Mints, Sabine said.
The Scouts also learned about the new varieties of cookies available, including Lemonades, a gluten-free Trio and Cranberry Citrus Crisps, made with whole grains.
Sabine, who moved to Baton Rouge from South Carolina, said the change is nothing to worry about. Each Girl Scout Region chooses its own bakery, and those bakeries differ throughout the nation, so the cookies troops sell in other areas may differ from those sold locally.
“In fact, we used ABC Bakeries in Columbia, South Carolina, where we lived before, so when we moved here, I had to get accustomed to new cookie names. This switch is back to the familiar for me,” she said.
Besides the comfort food they provide, cookie sales also support — very directly — financially. She said 45 to 65 cents from each box goes back to the troop, and aside from the cost of producing the cookies — a little more than a dollar per box — the rest goes to support regional and national Girl Scout programs, including camps like Marydale and Whispering Pines.
Boxes are $4 each, and will be pre-ordered Jan. 15-31. Cookies will be delivered starting Feb. 25. Online orders will then be available from Feb. 26 to March 13.
“And for all those who are giving up cookies for Lent, that’s no excuse not to buy cookies. They freeze very well,” she said with a laugh.
To find cookies, visit the Girl Scouts’ website and use the cookie locator, http://www.girlscouts.org/content/gsusa/en/cookies/all-about-cookies.html.