PLANT CITY – At 14, Kadien Harwood is already a Girl Scout cookie selling veteran.
“Always smile. That’s what’s most important. Let them know that you are happy to be there,” said Kadien, who joined Girl Scouting as a kindergartner.
Kadien and fellow Cadettes Troop 499 members 13-year-old Morgan Maxey and 14-year-old Ling Xiong spent a recent Friday evening selling cookies in front of Outback Steakhouse. The dozen members of the troop are taking turns hawking the treats outside Plant City businesses to reach a goal they set two years ago.
“We’re going to Washington, D.C., this summer,” said Kaiden’s mom, Kimberly, the troop’s leader for nine years.
If the troop can sell 2,500 boxes this year, their trip becomes reality.
A total of 21,000 Girl Scouts in this region are selling cookies, said Jennifer Medeiros, spokeswoman for the Girl Scouts of West Central Florida.
Sales end Sunday.
The Girl Scout cookie line-up includes Do-Si-Dos, Dulce de Leche, Samoas, Tagalongs, Thank U Berry Munch, Thin Mints, Trefoils and Savannah Smiles. The price is $4 per box.
Last year, area Girl Scouts sold 1.9 million boxes, generating $1.2 million in profits for the troops, Mederios said.
The cookie drive is the biggest fundraiser of the year for the Girl Scouts, she said. Besides bringing in cash, the girls also develop such life skills as planning, decision making and dealing with the public, Medeiros said.
One of the decisions they make is how to spend the money, she said.
For information about where to buy Girl Scout cookies, use the cookie locator at www.gswcf.org/cookies or call 1-800-881-4475, Ext. 1838.
Customers who purchase five or more boxes of Girl Scout cookies at a cookie booth can enter a drawing for five cases (60 boxes) of cookies.