Girl Scout cookies now available for purchase

Starting Feb. 23, customers entering Walmart in Seymour will be greeted by smiling Girl Scouts asking if they would like to buy cookies.

Jackson County’s eight troops will take turns operating the booths at Walmart from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Fridays and from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through March 18.

Samoas, Thin Mints, Tagalongs, Do-Si-Dos, Trefoils and Savannah Smiles are $5, while S’mores and the gluten-free cookie Toffee-tastic are $6 per box. Toffee-tastics are only available by individual sales.

Individual cookie sales started Jan. 1, and forms were due by Jan. 19, said Jenn Phillips, volunteer service unit manager and cookie chairwoman for Jackson County Girl Scouts and leader of Troop 1242 in Seymour.

Proceeds from cookie sales, which is the main fundraiser for Girl Scouts, go toward membership fees, community service projects and activities for troop members to do together.

Girl Scouts who sell at least 25 boxes of cookies can get a badge and pick from various prizes. Selling 400 or more boxes can pay for a membership.

“Earning incentives are a big thing for the girls,” Phillips said. “My daughter is trying really hard to sell 500 boxes because she wants to earn a Bluetooth turtle speaker. Sea Turtles are the cookie theme for this year.”

Phillips’ daughter, Aaliyah Phillips, is a fifth-grader at Cortland Elementary School and has sold Girl Scout cookies since she was in kindergarten.

“Her goal is always 500, but she always wants to go a little extra,” Jenn said. “She is very determined and has been a Girl Scout for six years.”

Growing up, Jenn was a Girl Scout herself, and when Aaliyah was old enough, she took interest in the organization, too.

“She’s a really outgoing young lady, and she has met a lot of new people through Girl Scouts,” Jennifer said. “She is shy by nature but is really funny.”

Aaliyah currently is a junior Girl Scout, but will be bridging over to cadet status in May. Her Girl Scout sash is adorned with many badges that she has earned over the years.

“They’re for all different things, like one is for taking two bags of clothes to donate to Goodwill,” Aaliyah said. “Some of the others are for drawing, singing and selling cookies. I have more for other things, too.”

Aaliyah said the cookies are really good and she always is in a cheerful mood when selling them. The Thin Mints are the biggest seller and are also her favorite cookies along with the Trefoils.

Aaliyah’s younger brother, Johnnie Phillips, is in second grade and helps out by carrying boxes of cookies when delivery time rolls around. His favorite cookies are the Thin Mints and Tagalongs, he said.

“I like to sell cookies and I really liked going to Girl Scout camp last year in Kentucky,” said Aaliyah. “We went swimming, washed dishes, had campfires, did arts and crafts and made our own tie-dye shirts.”

Aaliyah said she likes to get other girls interested in Girl Scouts by telling them it’s super fun, they learn things, do crafts and go on field trips, but they have to earn the money for it first.

Girls in kindergarten through 12th grade are eligible to be in Girl Scouts. During meetings, girls work on earning badges, participate in activities and discuss upcoming projects or events.

“All the girls look forward to different events and Girl Scout Week,” Jenn said. “This year it will be March 11 to March 17, but we’ll celebrate March 12 to March 16 with the girls at school.”

One of the troop’s past events was the girls fishing with their dads and Aaliyah really enjoyed spending that day with her dad, Jenn said.

Jenn’s husband, Tom Phillips, also volunteers with Girl Scouts and has helped in the past with building things for the girls, unloading boxes of cookies off of the truck and loading them into cars. He enjoys helping out and comes up with some great ideas, Jenn.

There are now six troops in Seymour, one in Medora and one in Crothersville with a total of 104 Girl Scout members in Jackson County.

At least five girls are required to start a troop. Each troop must have at least two adult volunteers 18 or older, and then they are required to fill out an application and go through a background check. Once approved, that person also needs to have CPR and first aid training.

Troop leaders can be men or women, and they don’t have to have a child in Girl Scouts to be involved. The leader determines how many girls are in his or her troop and the troop’s meeting and activities schedule.

Cookie orders placed from individual Girl Scouts should be arriving around Valentine’s Day or a few days after. At that time, the customers will be contacted about delivery.

For information about Jackson County Girl Scouts, call Jenn Phillips at 812-521-1704.

[sc:pullout-title pullout-title=”Grade Levels for Girl Scouts” ][sc:pullout-text-begin]

Kindergarten and first grade: Daisies

Grades 2 and 3: Brownies

Grades 4 and 5: Juniors

Grades 6, 7 and 8: Cadettes

Grades 9 and 10: Seniors

Grades 11 and 12: Ambassadors