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Local Girl Scouts recently practiced their sales techniques for the upcoming Girl Scout cookie sale.

What Girl Scout cookies mean to the girls in our community

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Can you believe it is almost Girl Scout cookie time?

Have you ever wondered how selling cookies makes a difference in a girl's life and what do girls in the Alexandria area do with their "cookie dough" or troop cookie profits?

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By participating in cookie activities, girls learn to plan, build teams, speak up, make decisions, solve problems and manage resources. Over time, the skills girls gain set them on a path to be leaders, in their own lives and in their communities.

Eight Point Plan for success:

1. Plan.

2. Set goals.

3. Speak up.

4. Make decisions.

5. Solve problems.

6. Manage resources.

7. Take action.

8. Make a difference.

Many successful business women today say they got their start selling Girl Scout cookies. During cookie activities, girls are members of a team working toward a common goal, with each girl striving to do her best.

At the troop level, the girls decide how to spend the money they've earned. Examples include special trips to museums, exhibitions and local events, overnight stays at camp and community service projects.

In the Alexandria area, there are more than 160 Girl Scouts ranging from kindergarten through 12th grade.

Daisy (grades K-1) and Brownie (grades 2-3) Girl Scouts begin to learn how to make the world a better place. Girls become involved in their community by touring local businesses and for community service they travel to area senior living homes to sing and enjoy activities with seniors.

Girls at this age are trying new activities, learning social skills and exploring the world around them.

When girls are in 4-5th grades they are Junior Girl Scouts. Last year, a Junior Troop achieved their Bronze Award by providing community service and used their troop profits to make a difference.

The troop provided several activities at the local WINGS shelter and impacted the lives of children who were in transition from their homes. This same troop is now planning an exploration trip to Chicago in 2010.

Girls who are Cadettes (grades 6-8), Seniors (grades 9-10) and Ambassadors (grades 11-12) have the opportunity to achieve their Silver or Gold Leadership Awards.

Through cookie sales girls have created sensory boxes for local community members and schools. Another troop provided a reading tutoring program for area youth.

Also, three Cadette Girl Scouts sold cookies and fundraised to travel to England on a Girl Scout Council international trip last summer.

For many girls this may be a once-in-a-lifetime trip and for others this opportunity just opens the door to a lifetime of travel.

For more information about Girl Scouts, contact Linda Bear, Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin Lakes and Pines membership services manager, at (320) 759-1196 or lbear@gslakesandpines.org.

Cookie information

Cookie Go Day is January 15, with customer delivery scheduled for March 5-14. Cost per box is $3.50. Flavors include Thin Mints, Peanut Butter Sandwich, Shortbread, Caramel deLites, Peanut Butter Patties, Lemonades, Thanks-A-Lot and Daisy Go Rounds.

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