Girl Scouts in action at last year's cookie season kickoff event. Credit: Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania
It really is the most wonderful time of the year when the Girl Scouts come around with their trademark cookies.
On Thursday, the Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania will kick off the cookie season with a pop-up cookie booth set up in front of The Shops at 16th and Chestnut streets in Center City.
"From the booth experience, the girls really gain a lot of skills — people skills and other skills like money management, counting change," said Girls Scouts manager Amanda Harrity, who will be leading cookie sales this year for her fifth season running. "You have these shy little Daisy Scouts, you put them in a booth, suddenly they’re like a CEO of a company. It's really a big confidence booster."
"Many adults come to me and say, 'I learned so many skills from the Girl Scouts cookie program,'" she added.
Only a few Girl Scouts will be taking the day off school to sell cookies from the booth tomorrow — with parental approval based on the professional learning experience they'll receive — but from tomorrow through March 9, Girl Scouts selling cookies will start popping up everywhere around Philadelphia.
In Philly, the most popular cookies are generally Thin Mints, Caramel DeLites and Peanut Butter Patties, Harrity said.
But this year, the Girls Scouts in Philadelphia will be offering two new flavors.
One is the Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Shortbread cookie. Philadelphia is one of just 20 markets that will be selling this new cookie, for people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.
"Girl Scouts within our council are very glad to have it, because some of them have celiac disease," Harrity said.
The other new type of cookie this year, which will be sold nationwide, is the Cranberry Citrus Crisp, which is made with dried cranberries.
The Girl Scouts booth at 16th and Chestnut streets will be open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m on Thursday. Girl Scouts accept payment by cash or card, and boxes of cookies cost $4 each.
Oodles of flavors
For years, the most popular Girl Scout cookie has been the Thin Mint. But just how popular is it?
2012: Over the two-month Girl Scout cookie season, Thin Mints outsold Oreos — which are available all year round.
2013: Thin Mints were the No. 2 top-selling cookie in the U.S., after the double-stuffed Oreo.