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Girl Scout cookie program begins Monday with pre-orders

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WATERTOWN - This year, Girl Scouts don’t want to just sell you cookies.

They want you to know more about what they will learn from the process.

The Girl Scouts of the USA’s new cookie marketing campaign includes redesigned cookie boxes to showcase real girls’ voices, what girls do in scouting, how to learn more about the organization, and the five skills girls learn from cookie sales, which include goal-setting, decision-making, money management, working with people and business ethics.

“They’re skills girls are learning at such a young age now,” said Kim Dunne, media manager for Girl Scouts of NYPENN Pathways. “People really know now why girls are selling cookies.”

Besides the skills girls will learn, they will be encouraged to teach others about giving to the less fortunate. For the 2013 Girl Scout cookie season, the NYPENN Pathways Council, which covers 26 counties in New York and Pennsylvania and includes Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties, has selected the Food Bank of Central New York as the beneficiary to its Gift of Caring Program.

Through the program, as scouts offer their sales pitch, they will let people know that if they want to pass on buying cookies for themselves, they can buy a box to be donated to someone else.

“It’s also important for people to realize they don’t have to buy cookies to eat them,” Ms. Dunne said. “You’re supporting the girls still and helping them learn those five important skills.”

Last year, the Gift of Caring program sent 7,776 boxes of cookies to Salvation Army organizations in the 26 counties.

There are no new cookies this year. According to the website of cookie maker Little Brownie Bakers, people may buy Savannah Smiles, a lemon cookie dusted with powdered sugar; Thin Mints, chocolate wafers covered in chocolate and peppermint oil; Samoas, crisp cookies, coated on oatmeal, sprinkled with toasted coconut with a chocolate drizzle; Tagalongs, crispy cookies layered in peanut butter and covered in chocolate; Do-si-dos, an oatmeal sandwich cookie with peanut butter filling; Trefoils, a shortbread cookie; Dulce de Leche, bite-size cookies with milk caramel chips, and Thank You Berry Munch, cookies with cranberries and white fudge chips.

All boxes are $3.50 each.

Girls will take cookie pre-orders beginning Monday. Cookies will come in the week of Feb. 11, and then booth sales — outside stores and in malls — will run from Feb. 16 to March 20.

If people do not know a Girl Scout, but would like to pre-order cookies or find out more information, they may visit the Girl Scout cookies website, www.girlscoutcookies.org.

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