Article from Casa Grande Dispatch
By: Staff Writer Melissa St. Aude
In a successful season selling cookies, Girl Scout Troop 306 raised enough money to pay back the Casa Grande firefighters union that helped provide the funding to start their troop.
“The girls decided that this was what they wanted to do with the money,” said Lisa Clegg, troop leader. “The firefighters did so much to help get our troop started and we wanted to pay them back and thank them.”
Rene Watkins, the troop’s co-leader, said paying back the money will allow Professional Firefighters of Casa Grande Local 3752 to support another troop or organization.
“It could help get another troop started,” she said.
Troop 306, which has 17 scouts — seven Daisies, eight Brownies and two Juniors — visited the McCartney Road fire station Wednesday to give $300 to the firefighters.
Clegg started the troop about a year ago but found it difficult to plan activities without money.
The local firefighters union came to the rescue, donating $300 in seed money for the troop.
“Running a Girl Scout troop gets costly,” Clegg said. “I was taking money out of my own pocket to keep the troop going.”
Each year, Girl Scouts around the country sell cookies as their primary fundraiser. Money raised is used to pay for various service projects and activities.
In January, area Girl Scouts received 2,404 cases of Girl Scout Cookies containing 28,848 individual boxes. Cookie sales were held through February and into March and most area scouts were dispatched throughout Casa Grande, Arizona City and other communities to sell cookies.
“I liked selling cookies,” said 8-year-old Jenna, a member of Troop 306. “It was a lot of fun.”
For Jenna and her troop mates, this was the first year they sold cookies.
“Our troop has mostly younger girls,” Clegg said. “They’re cute, but they don’t push. Still they did OK.”
Troop 306 sold 5,000 boxes, which garnered about $1,000 for the troop. The sales were divided between door-to-door sales and cookie booths at stores.
“We averaged about 50 boxes per booth that we did,” Clegg said. “That’s OK, but some troops do 200 boxes at their booths.”
As well as donating $300 back to the firefighters union, the girls also donated $100 to a local organization that provided the troop with first aid training and purchased dog toys and food for an animal shelter.
Some money was used to treat the girls to a pizza party and a day of bowling.
Clegg said the troop bank account still has enough money to fund activities until next cookie season, when she expects her group of seasoned cookie-sellers will do better.
Besides raising money for troop activities, projects and summer camp, Girl Scout cookie sales teach girls life skills such as goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and business ethics, according to the Girl Scout website.
The $700 million Girl Scout cookie-selling effort is the largest girl-led business program in the country, according to the website.
Eight-year-old Shelby, a member of Troop 306, said she learned a lot working at cookie booths.
“I liked asking people what cookies they wanted and getting them for them,” she said.
Six-year-old Kaylee, whose favorite cookie is the Thin Mint, said she also enjoyed working at the cookie booths.
“It was fun,” she said.
Watkins said that all the girls in the troop enjoy knowing that their hard work could help others.
“They all decided that giving back was something they wanted to do with the money,” she said.