How Many Boxes Would You Like?

The Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri (GSEM) will kick off its annual Cookie Program, taking orders and raising money to benefit Girl Scouts, this Saturday, Jan. 12.

Orders will be taken through Feb. 3.

GSEM is excited to offer a new cookie as part of its 2013 product lineup. Mango Crèmes are vanilla and coconut sandwich cookies with a mango-flavored crème filling.

In addition to Mango Crèmes, GSEM will offer Thin Mints, Caramel de Lites, Shortbreads, Peanut Butter Patties, Peanut Butter Sandwiches, Lemonades and Thanks-A-Lots.

Did you know that five of the top 10 cookies sold in the United States are Girl Scout Cookies? Sales of Thin Mints surpassed Oreos in 2012, making Thin Mints the No. 1 selling cookie in the country.

There will be many opportunities for consumers to buy cookies this year. Girl Scout troops across eastern Missouri will go door-to-door taking initial orders.

Troops will take additional orders until March 17. Cookies will be delivered beginning Feb. 27, and cookie booths — for people who didn’t order any or enough cookies in advance — will be set up in various locations between Feb. 27 and March 17.

The Girl Scout Cookie Program is the largest girl-led enterprise in the country, engaging girls with five skills they will use throughout their lives:

• Goal setting

• Decision making

• Money management

• People skills

• Business ethics

Many successful women leaders tell us that their first entrepreneurial experience came from selling Girl Scout Cookies.

All cookies are sold at $3.50 per package. Proceeds from the Cookie Program stay within the community to benefit local girls. Troops use the money for everything from field trips to community service projects.

With these funds, Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri can also deliver programs for girls, provide training for adult volunteers and maintain our three local Girl Scout camps.

The Girl Scout Cookie Program is the largest girl-led business in the world. Girl Scouts have been selling cookies for more than 80 years.