Stretching out their cookie sales resulted in an opportunity to ride in style.
From presales to cookie booths, 15 members of Girl Scout Troop 1239 in Seymour combined to sell 6,017 boxes of Girl Scout cookies between Jan. 1 and the third week of March.
For averaging more than 400 boxes per girl, the troop earned the Baker’s Dozen cookie reward. That allowed them to pick from a list of the 13 incentives offered by Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana.
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Since the troop had chosen to get their $40 membership fee paid in past years, Troop Leader Missy Casner and the girls wanted to go a different route this year.
They went with lunch, ice cream and a limousine ride with the chief executive officer, Jackie Ford.
They voted to eat at The Cheesecake Factory in Greenwood, so Sunday afternoon, a 32-foot-long Xtreme Transportation Cadillac Escalade limousine arrived outside Chillicen in downtown Seymour.
After taking some pictures outside the limo, 14 girls, Casner, Ford, her executive assistant, Leah Wilkerson, and parent Chad Dixon got on board and received a police escort out of town on their way to Greenwood.
When they arrived back in Seymour, they ended the day with treats at Chillicen.
“I felt privileged to be able to help set it up,” Casner said. “The fact that I was able to help pull it together, it’s hard to explain in words, but I just feel very satisfied because I can guarantee that these girls will never forget this experience. They will say, ‘Remember when we were in Girl Scouts and we rode in the limo.’ Helping to plant that memory is very fulfilling to me.”
In the limo, the girls enjoyed glasses of Sprite or white grape juice, used fun signs to take selfies and sang along to music.
Ford said that was one of the most fun parts of the day.
“We were trying to find the right music, so that was a little bit of a discussion to pick a song or an artist that everybody would like,” she said.
Dixon played the music the girls requested on his cellphone.
“They have a lot of different interests. They like to listen to country, rock ‘n roll, current pop,” Ford said. “They know all of the words to the songs. I heard some songs I was not familiar with. They had motions to go along with the songs. It was literally a fun time.”
The limo was equipped with a fireplace and had different colored lights and a reflective ceiling.
Girl Scout Macy Casner said she had never seen the inside of a limo.
“When I first saw it, I was like, ‘I have no words of what to say,’” she said. “I thought that the limo looked like the one in the movie ‘Zootopia’ where it was white outside. When we got inside, there was this fireplace and all of these lights and so many things.”
Alyssa Fields hadn’t been in a limo before.
“It was amazing,” she said. “I never felt so happy. It was like a party in the limo. Since there were so many seats, we could all fit.”
Avery Williams was impressed with the limo, too.
“That was really, really amazing,” she said. “I’ve been in a limo before, but that was really nice. It was big. It had lights and sounds. I think all of the other girls loved it, too. We all were singing along to songs and were all just laughing and talking and having a good time.”
Once they were seated at The Cheesecake Factory, Missy said she wanted to make that a memorable experience. She wrote a song for the waitresses to sing to congratulate the girls on their cookie sales.
“They said, ‘We will do it,’” she said. “It was cool because I didn’t think they were going to do it.”
Fields said she enjoyed the meal and the waitresses singing.
“The meal we had at Cheesecake Factory was pretty great. I had a blast,” she said. “The Cheesecake Factory staff even sang to us for doing such a good job selling cookies. I had the Hershey cheesecake, and it was really good.”
While at the restaurant, Ford was able to talk to each of the girls about Girl Scouts, school and their interests and activities.
“To hear from that age group, it’s always just super,” she said. “It just helps me do my job and also give me a little lift up.”
On the ride back to Seymour, Macy said they sang more songs.
“We broke out into song the whole way back. There was a window where the driver was sitting, and I’m sure we annoyed the driver,” she said with a laugh.
Both Missy and Ford expressed appreciation to the Seymour Police Department, Xtreme Transportation, Chillicen and The Cheesecake Factory for making it a great experience for everyone.
“Everybody was really, really supportive. It was just a great day,” Ford said.
Troop 1239 is among six that chose that incentive and was the first one to have Ford join them, she said.
The idea for the limo incentive came last year from a Cookie Think Tank focus group. Those people tried to come up with different options for cookie sales rewards and landed on the limo ride.
Ford said she was happy to see six troops pick that incentive. Troop 1239 is the largest among the group, she said.
“It’s pretty impressive because it’s a per-girl incentive,” she said. “It’s at troop level, so every girl that meets this would meet the requirements.”
Macy was Troop 1239’s top seller with 1,217 boxes of Girl Scout cookies, followed by Williams with 1,083.
For the cookie booths, the number of boxes sold was split among the girls who helped sell them outside Walmart.
“I liked shouting ‘Girl Scout cookies’ in front of Walmart,” Fields said. “The time spent selling cookies was fun. We’re always doing fun and exciting things while learning. I’m happy to be a Girl Scout.”
Missy said the weather wasn’t the greatest during the booth sales, but the girls persevered, and that helped them earn the cookie reward.
“It was a cold winter, it was a brutal winter for selling outside at Walmart, I can definitely tell you that, so they really earned that,” she said.
Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana serves 10 counties in southern Indiana, including Jackson, and 54 counties in Kentucky. Ford said there are more than 900 troops, 10,300 girls and 5,000 adult volunteers.
“We are a mighty force,” she said.
Macy said the troop hopes to earn the limo ride again next year, but there may be fewer members because they will be busy with sports and other activities.
“We’ll push hard to reach our goals,” she said.