Girl Scouts sell cookies, learn life lessons

WASILLA, Alaska (KTUU) For more than a century, Girl Scout cookies have been a tasty tradition in America. Many troops in Alaska will begin booth sales on Friday, but some say the fundraiser encourages girls to become leaders in the community.

"Statistics show one out of two women business owners in our nation are Girl Scout alum. So the lessons that Girls Scouts learn are lifelong and they give them the courage and confidence to take these skills into other areas of life," Dacia Idom, Communications manager for Girl Scouts of Alaska said.

Each colorful box is decorated with images of Girl Scouts in action and lists how the program helps develop the troops. From money management to business ethics and people skills, "I used to be really shy," Elizabeth Leonard with Troop 952 said.

Leonard, along with her two sisters is a self-proclaimed "cookie-aholic." Leonard said that's anyone who sells more than 2,000 boxes each year. Last year, the three siblings were the highest selling trio in the state. this year the girls will use profits from the sell to fund an educational trip to Europe in the summer.

Only two companies in the U.S. are licensed to sell the cookies. When they arrive at the cookie warehouse in Wasilla, volunteers work to load pallets into the cars — or rented U-hauls for the troops. "This is my 37th year doing Girl Scout cookies," Ola Williams said.

Williams is the cookie lead for the Mat-Su Valley. She's also in charge of quality control, inspecting any questionable or possibly damaged boxes of cookies before they leave the warehouse. It's a job she knows comes with a lot of responsibility, "the cookies have to be in top quality when they leave here." Williams said.

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