Cape Coral Girl Scout Featured on Tagalongs Cookie Box

Olivia Trader

This year, Girl Scout Cookie fans around the country will see the smiling face of a Southwest Florida girl on their box of Tagalongs® cookies.

Olivia Trader of Cape Coral was one of six national winners in Girl Scouts of the USA’s 2018 Girl Scout Cookie Pro™ Contest. Girl Scouts from across the country submitted their “Cookie Pro Résumés,” highlighting the skills they have learned, their memorable customer experiences and their tips and tricks for reaching their program sales goals. Each of the winners participated in a photoshoot to be featured on the new Girl Scout Cookie packaging for the 2020 cookie season.

Olivia can be seen playing guitar alongside other national cookie pros on the front of the popular Tagalongs cookie box. The refreshed packaging for all Girl Scout Cookie varieties features Girl Scouts taking part in a diverse range of experiences, such as camping and canoeing, exploring space science and taking action to improve their communities.

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Olivia knows that being a great entrepreneur is all about connection. Through the cookie program, she’s learned how to use her conversation skills to turn interest into sales and take on leadership positions to make a difference in her community.

“Young cookie entrepreneurs like Oliva learn important business and financial literacy skills that are proven to build their leadership skills and position them for success in the future,” says Mary Anne Servian, CEO of Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida. “And, every dollar from the Girl Scout Cookie Program stays within the local council to support troop activities, community service projects, council programs and more.”

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In addition, the local Girl Scout council will be offering a new cookie variety, Lemon-Ups(replacing Savannah Smiles®). The crispy lemon cookie joins the rest of the 2020 lineup, which includes favorites such as Thin Mints®, Samoas® and Trefoils®. Lemon-Ups will also be available in other select council markets.

Local Girl Scouts are currently taking cookie pre-orders and cookie booths will be open throughout the area from February 15–March 15. To find out when booths are scheduled near you, or to learn more about Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida, visit www.gsgcf.org.

Mints for the Military

By Catelyn Holcomb, Troop 176

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I’m told all of the time that I’m not a typical nine-year-old.  I’m an old soul and have always been more interested in doing things for others instead of myself. My name is Catelyn Holcomb and I’m in troop 176.

When I was a Daisy I learned about the Mints for the Military* program and have set my personal cookie goals around donations instead of actual boxes.  For the 2017 season, I focused on helping others even more than in the years before. I collected more than 1,425 boxes for our troops, which is a personal record.  When a customer said they couldn’t have sugar or didn’t need to eat cookies, I always made the suggestion for a donation and had great success.  I never gave up and learned many important lessons in sales from one booth to another.

Many people walking out of Publix said that they didn’t support our sales because other Girl Scouts haven’t asked if they would like cookies.  Even more said they didn’t know about the Mints for the Military program.  The best advice I can share with other girls is to ask!  The worst someone can say is “no” but without the question, you’ll never have an answer.

This is a fantastic program that helps our greater community nationwide where all Girl Scouts can work together.  For all the troops do for us worldwide, this is the least we can do for them.  I hope that come next cookie season, all Girl Scouts will remember to simply ask for their customers’ support.  And who can say no to a Girl Scout asking to support the troops that keep us free every day?

*Mints for the Military is Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida’s Girl Scout Cookie service project.  Mints for the Military gives cookie customers the opportunity to purchase cookies that are later donated to our active military servicemen and women as well as veterans.

To learn more about the Girl Scout Cookie program please visit http://www.gsgcf.org/en/cookies/about-girl-scout-cookies.html.

A Quick History of Girl Scout Cookies

Thin Mints, Tag-a-longs, and Trefoils – oh my! Next year, the Girl Scout Cookie legacy will turn 100 years old. You know how yummy the cookies are, and that Girl Scout troops use their cookie sale proceeds to help fund their many community service projects and other activities. But how did it all get started?

In 1917, only five years after Juliette Gordon Low founded Girl Scouts in the United States, the Mistletoe Troop of Muskogee, Oklahoma sold home-baked cookies in their high school cafeteria. As it is today, the girls used their earnings to pay for their troop programs.

In July 1922, Girl Scouts of the USA’s The American Girl magazine featured a cookie recipe from the Chicago, Illinois council. Throughout the 1920s, Girl Scouts across the country baked simple sugar cookies, packaged them in waxed paper, and sold them door to door at prices unheard of today: often 25-35 cents per dozen!

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Commercially baked Girl Scout Cookies were first sold in 1934 by the Girl Scouts of Greater Philadelphia Council.  A year later, the Girl Scout Federation of Greater New York took things a step further with commercially baked cookies made using a die in the shape of a trefoil.  In 1936, the national Girl Scout organization began licensing commercial bakers to produce cookies for sale nationwide.

With the sugar, butter, and flour shortages of World War II, the Girl Scout Cookie program was put on hold. Beginning in 1944, Girl Scout calendars were produced and sold as an alternative fundraiser. Girl Scout Cookie sales enjoyed a healthy increase following the war, and the beloved tradition was back in full swing.

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Gulfcoast Girl Scouts gear up for cookie sales, 1950s.

A number of cookie variations have been offered over the years, including sandwich, shortbread, and chocolate mint varieties. Today, new varieties cater to consumers looking for healthier alternatives or gluten-free options.

Perhaps the greatest advance in the sale of Girl Scout Cookies came in 2015, with the online Digital Cookie platform, helping girls build 21st-century business skills.  One thing has remained the same, though. Through the Girl Scout Cookie Program, girls gain confidence and take great pride in their success, all while earning funds and helping make their communities a better place – one cookie at a time.

~Lori Tomlinson is the Manager of Communications and Marketing for Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida, Inc.

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