Girl Scout cookie distribution begins in East Tennessee

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – The time of year has arrived when many across the country will begin to receive their boxes of Girl Scout cookies. But before the boxes get to the hands of customers, they have to first be picked up by the Girl Scout troops.

“Troops and service units are coming to pick up their cookies today,” said Lynne Fugate, CEO of Girl Scouts of Southern Appalachians. “So over the next few weeks, they’ll be delivered to people who preordered.”

Girl Scouts of Southern Appalachians covers 46 localities including cities such as Johnson City, Knoxville and Chattanooga. According to Fugate, the troops in the region could sell up to 1.4 million boxes.

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Although the excitement begins when orders are delivered to designated cities, it takes a lot of work before the cookies land in the customer’s hands.

“We have all of our staff here helping move cars along,” said Fugate. “How many Thin Mints does each service unit get? How many Trefoils do they get? And then we have the professional folks who store our cookies in their warehouse out here loading them correctly. They know how to put more in a car than we do.”

While the community gets excited over the cookies, the cookie sales go beyond the product itself for the troops.

“We have four pillars,” Fugate said. “Entrepreneurship, outdoors, STEM and life skills. And the cookie program is two of those pillars. The entrepreneurship, because these girls are entrepreneurs. They sell face to face, they sell online, and so they’re learning about goal setting and money management. But the life skill part is also learning how to talk to people.”

The proceeds made from the sales go to benefit each of the troops, allowing them to do what they love with their fellow scouts.

“We can make money and do fun things like got to Dollywood and camping and stuff,” said Allie Johnson, a member of Troop 353 out of Unicoi, Tennessee.

“[I enjoy] doing fun things,” said Charity Johnson, a member of Troop 353.

While cookie preorders are completed, the public will still have a chance to purchase cookies through booth sales beginning on Feb. 16. Information about those booths can be found here.

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