BY JIM LOCKWOOD
Kaitlyn Pegarella sized up the dozens of boxes of Girl Scout Cookies loaded into the hatchback of her mother’s minivan Saturday during a troop delivery pickup at PNC Field.
“I think this is going to be one long cookie season,” said Kaitlyn, 15, of Nanticoke, a member of Girl Scout Troop 30861 of the Nanticoke/Hanover area of Luzerne County.
Kaitlyn, her mother, Michelle Pegarella, who is the troop leader, and troop member Kayla Sincavage, 16, of Pringle were among the Scouts, leaders and parents who picked up their orders of the iconic cookies during an annual distribution event coordinated by the Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania organization.
Tractor-trailers delivered a whopping 94,416 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies in 7,868 cases, with each case having 12 boxes of cookies.
The eight varieties include Thin Mints, Samoas, Tagalongs, Trefoils, Do-si-dos, Girl Scout S’mores, Toffee-Tastic and Lemon-Ups.
The distribution worked like a big drive-thru. Moving company workers and scouting staffers unloaded shrink-wrapped pallets, unwrapped the cases of cookies and prepared the individual orders for the participating troops. Troop vehicles arriving at designated times drove up and parked in certain spots in the assembly line, and workers packed the cases into the vehicles.
Saturday’s cookie drop at PNC Field was for 79 troops from throughout most of Luzerne County and the North Pocono School District area, said Jessica Mislinski of Dunmore, regional director for Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania.
The organization serves more than 16,000 Girl Scouts across 30 counties in Central and Northeast Pennsylvania. The northeast territory includes Lackawanna, Luzerne, Wayne, Pike, Monroe, Wyoming, Susquehanna and Carbon counties.
Similar mega-drops also were held Saturday in Harrisburg (116,004 boxes of cookies), Lancaster (127,392 boxes), Selinsgrove (59,820 boxes) and York (158,808 boxes), according to GSHPA.
More cookies are on the way to NEPA on Wednesday, Mislinski said. Those drops will include another “giant delivery” at PNC Field for troops from Scranton, as well as distributions in Wayne and Wyoming counties, she said.
“It’s crazy the amount of cookies that we have going through our area right now,” Mislinski said. “It’s wonderfully overwhelming.”
The cookie program teaches Girl Scouts money management, goal setting, decision making, people skills and business ethics, and also supports the community service projects undertaken by the Scouts, Mislinski said.
“They’re just developing those skills along the way, which is just incredible,” Mislinski said. “All of these cookies that you see coming through here are because girls are selling them. It is amazing to see the confidence boost they get from selling cookies.”
Sales methods include preorders, door-to-door, online or holding cookie booths at high-traffic spots where Scouts staff tables with boxes at the ready.
Troop 30861 sells most of its cookies at cookie booths.
“You definitely have to go and ask” prospective customers, said Kaitlyn, who has been in Scouting since kindergarten. Troop 30861 also asks customers if they want to buy boxes of cookies and donate them to cancer patients. The Scouts then give away those donated boxes to patients at an oncology center.
“And when we do, they’re so happy. The smiles on their faces makes it all worth it,” Kaitlyn said.
For information on Girl Scouts and how to buy cookies, visit www.gshpa.org.
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Varieties of Girl Scout Cookies:
- Thin Mints: Chocolate cookies with natural oil of peppermint.
- Samoas: Cookies coated with caramel, coconut and dark chocolate stripes.
- Tagalongs: Cookies layered with peanut butter and covered in chocolate.
- Trefoils: Shortbread cookies.
- Do-si-dos: Oatmeal sandwich cookies with peanut butter filling.
- Girl Scout S’mores: Graham sandwich cookies with chocolate and marshmallowy filling.
- Toffee-Tastic: Rich, buttery cookies with sweet, crunchy toffee bits; gluten-free.
- Lemon-Ups: Lemon cookies baked with motivational messages inspired by bold Girl Scout Cookie entrepreneurs.
The best-selling Girl Scout Cookies:
- Thin Mints
SOURCE: GIRL SCOUTS IN THE HEART OF PENNSYLVANIA
Caitlin Heaney West is the content editor for Access NEPA and oversees the Early Access blog in addition to working as a copy editor and staff writer for The Times-Tribune. An award-winning journalist, she is a summa cum laude graduate of Shippensburg University and also earned a master’s degree from Marywood University. Caitlin joined the Times-Shamrock family in 2009 and lives in Scranton. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-348-9100 x5107; or @cheaneywest