GLEN CARBON – The Girl Scouts annual cookie program is a tradition known nationwide and a key fund-raiser each year for the organization.

On Jan. 6, 2018, Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois (GSSI) will kick off the annual Girl Scout Cookie Program and celebrate the 101st year of Girl Scouts selling cookies. The Girl Scout Cookie Program not only teaches girls essential entrepreneurial skills, but also powers amazing experiences such as outdoor adventure, hands-on experience in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), and giving back through community service.

During Girl Scout cookie season, each G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader) sets out to sell delicious cookies while also building skills that are imperative for leadership and future success. Each year, almost 1 million Girl Scouts participate in the cookie program, generating nearly $800 million in sales nationwide during the average season.

All of the net revenue raised — 100 percent of it — stays within the regional council area. Councils use cookie earnings to power amazing experiences for girls through innovative and fun programming, while girls and their troops decide how they would like to invest in community projects, travel, exciting activities, and more.

“Supporting the Girl Scout Cookie Program is more than just buying a box of tasty treats,” said Kelly Jansen, GSSI’s Director of Product Program. “Girls truly gain so much from their experience selling cookies. They build confidence and financial skills, as well as work together to set goals and make plans for reaching them. Because the program is girl-led, they take quite a bit of pride in their hard work, responsibility and success.”

This year, girls will sell cookies door-to-door and at booth sales as well as through the Digital Cookie platform, an innovative and educational web-based platform that helps girls run and manage their Girl Scout Cookie businesses online. Now in its fourth year, the Digital Cookie platform continues to bring Girl Scout programming into the future by providing girls with invaluable business and STEM skills that prepare them for 21st century leadership.

Cookie Booths, where Girl Scouts set up shop in front of area establishments, will be popping up all over Southern Illinois on the following dates: January 5-7, February 23-25, March 2-4 and March 9-11.

GSSI will also celebrate the next century of female entrepreneurs during National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend 2018. From February 23 to 25, Girl Scout councils across the country will host events and set up booths for cookie enthusiasts to get their hands on the iconic treats and join in on the fun. To find out when Girl Scouts are selling cookies near you, visit www.girlscoutcookies.org or use the official Girl Scout Cookie Finder app, free on iOS and Android devices.

Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois is a high-capacity Girl Scout council serving approximately 12,400 girls and engaging 5,000 adult volunteers in 40½ counties in Southern Illinois. GSSI Mission: Girl Scouts builds girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. The Girl Scouts organization is the world's largest leadership development organization for girls. In partnership with committed adults, girls develop qualities that will serve them all their lives - like strong values, social conscience, and conviction about their own potential and self-worth. Today’s Girl Scouts not only enjoy camping and crafts, but they also explore math and science and learn about diversity, good citizenship, leadership and teamwork. Girl Scouting is the place where girls experience the fun, friendship and power of girls together. Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois is a not-for-profit organization supported by various United Ways throughout the region. Girl Scouts is a Proud Partner of United Way.

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