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Some people mark Girl Scout cookie time on their calendars, while others are pleasantly surprised by the annual fundraising campaign. Girl Scouts have sold cookies for more than 100 years, and for Troop 02498 in Black Mountain, it’s the busiest time of year.

This winter the local girls sold more than 12,000 boxes of the delicious treats.

The troop, which meets two Fridays every month at Black Mountain United Methodist Church, has a lot of girls, according to founder Bethany Boyle. She started the troop in 2012.

“There’s normally like 12-16 kids in a troop,” said Boyle, who was a Girl Scout herself growing up in New Jersey. “And typically it’s all one level, like Daisies or Brownies.”

Troop 02498, however, is has 38 girls in four age levels.

Kiersten Hall leads the two youngest groups, Daisies (kindergarten-first grade) and Brownies (second-third grades). Boyle oversees the Cadettes, which is made of girls in grades six, seven and eight. While the troop stays busy throughout the year, cookie season, which comes around every winter, kicks things into overdrive.

“Every troop has a big kickoff, and they work on what are called ‘cookie business badges,’” Hall said. “You learn everything from philanthropy to business marketing to customer relations.”

Cookie season began in January. It's an important time of year because a portion of the money from sales goes to the troop itself, according to Boyle, who was the troop's cookie manager this year.

“This is how we sustain,” she said. “We are a no-dues troop, which is pretty odd; there aren’t many of them out there. We do fundraisers, and we do garage sales. But we really sell a lot of cookies.”

To start the season, Boyle had 350 cases of cookies delivered to her house. Those were gone in three days, she said.

“I couldn’t believe we went through so many,” she said. “Last year we sold 8,931 boxes, and by the time we were four weeks into the season this year we beat that.”

The season kicks off with walkabouts, Hall said, where scouts go from house to house selling the organization’s variety of a dozen varieties. Selling the cookies teaches children valuable lessons, Hall said.  

“My girls were like ‘it’s so cold,’ but I told them I think we should try it,” she said. “That house ended up buying a whole case, so my girls were like ‘OK, OK, now we know to go that extra step.’”

The children can take a lot away from the experience, Hall said. 

"It really helps build their confidence," she said. "We really encourage them to do all the selling and present the cookies and figure out how much change is due."

Once the first few weeks of the season are over, Scouts can set up booths with the permission of property owners. The majority of the cookies sold by Troop 02498 were sold in the Swannanoa Valley, Boyle said.

“We had girls everywhere,” she said. “We had girls who sold at the (Black Mountain) post office and girls near the BP station near Ingles. We also had girls at PetSmart in Asheville and the Lowe’s as well.

The troop's top seller this year was Paislee Cordell, one of the Daisies who sold close to 1,200 boxes, Hall said. 

"We're proud of how well our girls did this year," Boyle said. "It was a very successful cookie season for us." 

 

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