By EMMALEE C. TORISK
Thirteen years of selling Girl Scout cookies has given the now 18-year-old members of Troop 870, based in Trumbull County, much more than the ability to talk to complete strangers, or to quickly make change.
“Girl Scouts has taught us that there’s always something to strive for, always a next step,” said Elizabeth Pospisil, a senior at Lakeview High School and the Trumbull Career & Technical Center. “It’s taught us that we can make something of ourselves.”
In the fall, Pospisil plans to attend Ohio State University, where she’ll study biomedical engineering. Her troop mates — Alana Landers, a senior at Liberty High School, and Chelsea Johnson, a senior at Howland High School — also are college bound; Landers will head to Baldwin Wallace University for psychology, Johnson to the University of Akron for zoology.
Girl Scouts “builds courage, confidence and character,” Landers said. “It has made me the person I am today.”
Late Wednesday afternoon, the members of Troop 870 — plus their longtime leader and Elizabeth Pospisil’s mother, Renee Pospisil — were stationed at a cookie kiosk inside Southern Park Mall, where they fielded requests from customers for the eight varieties of cookies available just once a year.
The annual cookie sale is the primary fundraiser for Girl Scout troops across the U.S., Troop 870 included, and the booth sales, which run through March 30, are the conclusion to this year’s campaign. Though the sale began in early January, with delivery of those preorders commencing earlier this month, the booth sales are often most profitable, said Renee Pospisil.
Each box of cookies sells for $4, with an average of 64 cents per box going toward individual troop activities. It’s the country’s largest girl-led business and the foremost financial literacy program for girls.
All three members of Troop 870 explained that the cookie sale isn’t only a huge deal to them; it’s also something their customers look forward to each year. The addition of new flavors is a part of each new campaign, but the favorites — including Thin Mints, a chocolate and mint-flavored cookie, and Samoas, a blend of caramel, coconut and dark chocolate — tend to remain consistent, they noted.
“People hunt us down and say, ‘When is cookie season?’” Johnson said.
“It’s like a feeding frenzy for cookies,” Landers added.
Even Renee Pospisil remembers the enthusiastic response to Girl Scout cookie sales, back when each box cost just 75 cents. She recalled traveling around the neighborhood on a bicycle to take orders, then weeks later using a wagon to deliver dozens of boxes. “I remember absolutely loving it,” she said of her nine years as a Girl Scout.
The three troop members echoed their leader’s sentiments and reminisced about spending the past 13 years, from kindergarten to their senior year of high school, learning how to build a proper campfire, completing community service projects and getting to know one another, among other pursuits.
As a result, they’re now like more like sisters than friends, they said.
“A lot of people think [Girl Scouts] is just selling cookies and camping,” Johnson said. “It’s much more than that.”
To find a cookie booth near you, download the “Cookie Locator” app, visit the “Cookie Locator” website at http://cookielocator.littlebrownie.com, or call 1-888-9-THIN-MINT.