Local Girl Scouts held a “Cookie Rally” this past weekend to gear up for the 2019 Girl Scout cookie sales. (DHI Media/Kirsten Barnhart)
Local Girl Scouts held a “Cookie Rally” this past weekend to gear up for the 2019 Girl Scout cookie sales. (DHI Media/Kirsten Barnhart)

VAN WERT – On Saturday, area Girl Scouts got together to hold a “Cookie Rally” where the girls geared up for the 2019 Girl Scout cookie sales. Local troop leader Pamela Cassidy said the Girl Scouts and the cookie sales teach girls valuable lessons that they can use throughout their life.

“Just by being in this group you learn better social skills,” said Cassidy. “Girl Scouts teaches the girls to learn to get along with the other girls and to come out of their shell.”

“Part of it is also learning to do the right thing,” continued Cassidy. “We tell the girls that you need to do the right thing even if nobody else is doing it or nobody is watching.”

Cassidy said the Girl Scouts program helps to build integrity and teaches girls to take risks as long as it doesn’t put them in danger. The program also teaches about leadership.

Cassidy said that the goal of the cookie sales is about more than just raising money.

“It teaches the girls how to talk to people and [it also teaches] some safety,” said Cassidy who noted that when girls go door to door, they must go with a partner or an adult. “Younger girls, kindergarten through fifth grade need a parent with them. Sixth grade and up have to have a buddy with them.”

Danni P. has been a Girl Scout for around seven years and has enjoyed coming out of her shell.

“It’s helped me be less shy because I can talk in front of people,” she said, noting that she has been able to make new friends.

Danni said that the cookie sales also help her practice her social skills.

“It’s fun because we get to be out and around other people and socialize with other people rather than just our own troop,” she said.

The cookie sales also teach goal setting. Depending on how many cookies are sold, rewards can be earned. The money raised helps support troop activities and needs throughout the year. The money is also used for community service activities.

“We’re planning to do birthday bags for the local food pantries,” said Cassidy. “That will include everything you need for a birthday party in a bag – cake mix, foil pan to bake it in, frosting, candles, and we try to something that can count as a present.”

During the Cookie Rally, girls set sales goals, role-played selling cookies at a mock cookie booth, saw the rewards they have a chance to win, and more.

The cookie sales started Jan. 4 and order forms are due Jan. 30. However, those wanting cookies past that will still be able to order them until Feb. 22 when cookies are delivered. The Girl Scouts will be around town at various businesses for the next few weeks selling cookies. Most cookies are $4 a box. There is a gluten-free option available for $5.

Girls kindergarten through senior in high school are eligible to be in the Girl Scouts. Interested girls can sign up at gswo.org.

People who wish to volunteer can also do so on the website. Adult volunteers must pass a background check which is renewed every three years.

Maggie C., who has been in the Girl Scouts for seven years, encourages other girls to join.

“You get to learn different parts about the world and how to make it a better place,” she said.

Maggie noted that her favorite part about the Girl Scouts has been collecting badges and that her favorite badge to obtain so far has been babysitting.

“I enjoyed seeing how the kids learn differently and seeing how they function,” she said. “Most people think that Girl Scouts isn’t fun because badges doesn’t sound like fun but you get into it, and it is really fun to learn how to do things and how to make the world a better place.”

The Van Wert Girl Scouts have troops in Middle Point, Convoy, and Van Wert. Girls are able to attend whichever troop meeting fits their schedule best.