Girls crowded into the basement of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church one recent Friday night.
After grace was offered, the girls lined up to devour pizza, fried chicken, mac and cheese and an assortment of fruit and vegetables.
But then, they went to work on crafts, things they can donate to worthy causes.
They would be up all night.
It was OK. It was a Girl Scout lock-in event.
Scouts from the area met for a Team Leadership Council meeting. They would make body scrub and hard candy for donation to a local women’s agency.
Cookie sales was on their mind.
The beloved Girl Scout cookies went on sale Jan. 1 and Scouts will continue to take orders through January.
Members of Troop 903 are especially psyched to sell because so many of their activities depend on their profits.
Kathy Hannah, co-leader of the troop which meets at Summit Elementary School, said it’s a multi-level troop, meaning it’s made up of girls of a wide age range, kindergartners through seventh-graders.
“When the troop started, a couple of the assistant leaders had daughters of different age groups and rather than have several smaller troops meeting at different places and at different times, we decided to for a multi-level troop,” she said, noting it was easier on parents and on Scouts.
The Wilderness Road Council troop is diverse in many other demographics, too. That’s why they depend so much on cookie profits. The troop of 25 girls and about six adult, including troop leader Alisa Borders, gets 50 cents for each box of cookies sold at $3.50 per box.
Two bakeries¸Little Brown and ABC, create the delicacies and different councils get their supply from different bakeries, so they the selection they offer varies. Also, some cookies have different names, depending on which bakery supplies the cookies.
Troop 903 will offer Carmel Delites, Thin Mints, Shortbread, Lemon-aids, Peanut Butter Patties, Peanut Butter Sandwiches, Thanks A lot, which are shortbreads with a chocolate side, and a new one — Mango Creams, which are sandwich cookies flavored with mango and a touch of coconut.
As a troop, the goal is to sell 200 boxes per girl, but each girl sets her own sales goal.
Profits are used to fund any activities they plan, as well as pay troop expenses and purchase badges. Hannah said last year, the girls took a trip to King’s Island and cookie profits were able to cover gas for parents and allowed $20 spending money for each girl, in addition to other troop expenses.
They’re not sure yet what trip they might take next year they have to see how much money they earn, but Hannah’s daughter, Katelyn, 12, is going to help.
“I’m making a notebook with all the interesting things to do in the area,” the Boyd County Middle School student said. “We can look at that and decide.”
Her friend, Emily Borders, 13, has been in Girl Scouts since she was in the second grade. She said she expects to sell a lot of cookies.
“I’m a good negotiator,” she said, explaining she can interest potential buyers in purchasing more boxes than they’d planned.
She said being a Girl Scout is about more than making money and going on trips.
“Some of the girls aren’t as shy as they used to be,” she said, including herself in that number.
They also take on those who are less fortunate.
They took on a project to send cards to a child with cystic fibrosisand candy and other things to a child who frequently travels to Florida for medical treatments.
Melissa Yost, 12, a student at Boyd County Middle School, is new to Girl Scouts. She joined after hearing all the good things Hannah and Borders had to say about their meetings and activities.
She said so far, her favorite activity was collecting jars of peanut butter during the Ashland Christmas parade for donation to River Cities Harvest.
“It seemed interesting so I decided to go and I really liked it,” she said.
Borders said she enjoyed collecting stuffed animals for ambulance drivers to give children they picked up to take to the hospital.
“They can give them a stuffed animal so they won’t be so scared,” she said. They girls got a visit from a driver who let them see the inside of the vehicle.
They also have donated stuffed animals to the Red Cross; hats, scarves, gloves and jackets to The Dressing Room; and food and treats to Ashland Animal Rescue Fund.
As Girl Scouts, members are required to log a certain number of volunteer hours to the community and to the Girl Scouts so they volunteer at the Ashland office, too.
“It’s been a lot of fun,” Borders said. “I look forward to every meeting.”
LEE WARD can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (606) 326-2661.