Cookie dad is on duty
by Lisa Tome
Stu Fowler has an agreement with his fellow dads.
He buys popcorn and other items that their kids sell and they, in turn, buy Girl Scout cookies from him. "They all know we do it for the kids. We have that unspoken rule, if I buy from you, you buy from me," said Fowler.
Fowler, of North East, is the Cookie Cupboard Manager for the Chesapeake Bay Girl Scout Council's Service Unit 1. He also manages the sales for Troop 1240 and was taking more than 1,200 boxes of cookies home with him last Wednesday for distribution to those that pre-ordered.
This year, the local scouts sold eight varieties of cookies - Savannah Smiles, Trefoils, Do-si-dos, Samoas, Tagalongs, and Thin Mints cost $4 per box. The new S'mores and gluten free Toffee Tastic cost $5 each.
About 9,000 boxes of cookies were pre-ordered this year. More than 12,000 will fly out of the booths.
The cookie parents have plenty of stories to tell about booth sales. They battle wind and cold. They also battle each other. There's a lottery to determine which troop gets the best booth sites. Robin Avery, cookie mom for Troop 1003 said that the Royal Farms in Port Deposit is a "wind tunnel."
Vicki McGuigan does a lot behind the scenes. She approaches businesses and asks if they will host the booths. "Only two have ever said no," said McGuigan.
Melissa Combs is the mother of four daughters, all in scouts. She divides up the family orders and if the girls sell to teachers or whatever, they get those on their order form. In all, they sold 500 boxes of cookies. Combs said it's not hard to sell cookies. "People start asking us for them. I try to even out the orders as much as I can. It becomes a competition between them for who can sell the most," said Combs. "They are all quiet but not when it comes to cookies. They will sell cookies."
She will also work seven different cookie booths this year.
In Cecil County, Thin Mints top the best seller list, followed by Samoas and Tagalongs. Savannah Smiles are ordered less than the others.
This year marks the 100th year that Girl Scouts have been selling cookies. Caron Jackson hasn't been selling quite that long, but she has been involved in cookie sales for half her life, 30 years. "They were 50 cents (per box) when I started," said Jackson. Kerisha Phillips serves as cookie mom for Troop 118. She talked about the camaraderie. "We definitely have to have each other's backs A lot goes in behind the scenes. The training for this starts in October," said Phillips. She also said cookie sales have helped her daughter. "She's become a better public speaker and has learned to overcome objections," said Phillips. Scouts also learn goal setting, counting money and more.
There will be booth sales which started over the weekend and will continue on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays at North East Walmart, Royal Farms in Conowingo, Perryville and North East, Frank's Pizza, Wawa, and Lowe's in North East, and Hibbett Sports in Rising Sun. There will be a special booth sales day on Presidents' Day February 20. There will be more than 12,000 boxes of cookies that will be sold in booths until March 5. Service Unit 1 also participates in Operation Taste of Home, which sends cookies to deployed military.
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