TILLAMOOK - Tillamook County's 37 Girl Scouts have already pre-sold 4,500 boxes of cookies - and the real sale hasn't even started yet.
On Feb. 17, Troop Leader Kristi Herder was headed to pick up another 1,100 boxes to sell at booths outside local grocery stores. Girl Scout cookie sales begin Feb. 18.
The scouts will be selling the cookies on selected days outside Fred Meyer and Safeway through March 13. (Want to find your closest cookie sale? Visit cookielocator.littlebrownie.com.)
A first in the last three years that Herder has been a troop leaderr, local Girl Scouts took on door-to-door pre-sales. Herder said the younger Brownies went out with older girls, using their "cuteness factor" to help sell. The area's top sellers? Herder said Thin Mints and Samoas are the clear winners, with Tag-A-Longs in the top three.
"We would be doomed if we did not have Thin Mints and Samoas," Herder said with a laugh.
Boxes of cookies are $4 each. All of the proceeds from cookie activities remain in the district where the cookies are sold. Of each box, about $1.90 goes into the Girl Scouts program for training, maintaining camp properties and financial assistance for participants; 6 cents goes to service unit grants for troops and volunteers; and about 95 cents goes back to the local troop that sold the box.
Last year, cookie sales raised about $5,225 directly for Tillamook County's troops. The girls used that money for a trip to Great Wolf Lodge in Grant Mound, Wash.
Herder said this year, cookie funds will go toward a sleepover at the aquarium and a trip to the Girl Scout lodge in Beaverton.
Money will also go toward the girls' community service project - putting on a fundraiser for the local animal shelter.
Girl Scouts is open to all girls in grades K-12. Annual membership dues are $12 per year, and financial assistance is available for those who qualify.
There are currently Girl Scout Troops in Tillamook, Rockaway Beach, Garibaldi and Bay City - and more are possible.
"We have enough girls that want to join, we just don't have enough (troop) leaders at this time," Herder said.
For more information on becoming a leader or getting your child involved in Girl Scouts, e-mail Herder at firstname.lastname@example.org.