Disclosure: Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan is a sponsor of Ann Arbor with Kids. I am also a Girl Scout volunteer.
UPDATE: GSHOM is ending cookie booths after March 15 due to COVID-19 Coronavirus. If you see troops this weekend be sure to stock up. There are typically bonus booths in April. They do not know if the season will resume for these.
It’s Girl Scout Cookie Season again. Ann Arbor area troops picked up their initial orders this week. Cookie Booths start on Friday, February 21 and run through March 23. There will be bonus booths in April.
Girl Scout Cookies are the biggest Girl-Led Business. Through the program, the girls are learning important life skills as well as earning money for their troop.
Girl Scout Cookie Booths
We love holding Girl Scout Cookie Booths! The Girl Scout Cookie Booths Locator will help you find the time and date of Cookie Booths near you. If you plan to shop at a cookie booth, please bring cash or a check. Some troops have a credit card reader, but not all troops do. Even the troops that have a card reader prefer cash or check so they don’t lose the fees out of troop proceeds.
Thank you to the many stores and other locations that host Girl Scout Cookie Booths. In the Ann Arbor area, Busch’s, Kroger, Lowe’s, Walmart, Tractor Supply Company, Discount Tire and more have made their locations available on select days and times through a signup process open to all troops. Other venues work directly with individual troops.
If you have a venue and would like to host a cookie booth, send me an email. As both a volunteer as an Area Product Manager and a troop cookie parent, I can connect you to a troop or put you in touch with council to establish a council booth.
Ann Arbor Girl Scout Cookie Benefits
In addition to tasting great, Girl Scout Cookies benefit local Girl Scouts in our area. All of the profits from the sale remain within our local council, Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan (GSHOM). GSHOM includes Ann Arbor, Lansing, Jackson, Kalamazoo, and Saginaw. The proceeds are split between GSHOM and the individual troop. Council proceeds help to support camps (both resident and day camps) and other programming. It also funds financial aid to allow all girls to join Girl Scouts.
Troop proceeds are used for troop activities. This year as Cadettes my daughter’s troop is planning a trip to western Pennsylvania for outdoor adventures. They are planning to go White Water Rafting and Cave Spelunking. They are planning to visit Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water House (with a tour if they have enough funds). We are definitely planning on several cookie booths to help pay for the trip.
This is their third big trip. In 2019, they went to Washington, D.C. They toured the capital, museums, and the monuments. In 2018 they went to the Smoky Mountains. They visited Cumberland Gap, Dollywood, and Clingman’s Dome. My daughter was also intrigued to stop at the Colonel Sanders Museum on the way down and get fresh hot Krispy Kreme donuts.
In past years, my daughter’s troop has had a pool party, gone to the Adventure Park in West Bloomfield, and spent a weekend in Mackinac. They stayed at a campground in Mackinaw City, visited a Dark Park and spent all day Saturday on Mackinac Island.
Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan has amazing facilities. While many councils are downsizing, our facilities have been improving over the years. The funds from Girl Scout cookies are a big component of their upkeep and improvements. Council proceeds also help fund amazing programs.
My daughter’s troop typically camps a few times a year. Plus, she has attended both Girl Scout Day camp and resident summer camp. Camp activities include swimming, boating, archery, climbing, and more. Several years ago she stayed in the Adventure Cabins at Camp Merrie Woode and complained about the distance to bathroom facilities. Since that time, bathrooms have been added to the area.
Not only do the girls benefit financially from selling Girl Scout cookies, they also learn important life skills like money management, goal-setting, and marketing. As the adult guiding girls at Cookie Booths, I have seen shy girls come out of their shell as they approach people about buying Girl Scout Cookies.
Locally, Girl Scout Cookies have also inspired activism. As of 2012, only sustainable Palm Oil is used in Girl Scout Cookies. Local Ann Arbor Girl Scouts were the driving force for the switch.
In addition to buying cookies for yourself, you can donate cookies through the Hometown Heroes program. At the Council level, these cookie donations are split between Food Banks (Food Gatherers and Gleaners) and the Ladies Auxiliary of the VFW. Some troops select their own Hometown Hero for donations. Some examples are local fire stations or local police departments paired with a station tour.
2020 Girl Scout Cookie News
Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan offers 8 varieties of cookies at booths this year. A box of cookies costs $5 ($6 for the S’mores and Gluten-Free Toffee-Tastic).
New for 2020 is the Lemon Up Cookie. The cookie has a lemon glaze on the bottom and is embossed with inspirational messages.
If you have pre-ordered Girl Scout cookies from a local Girl Scout, they will be receiving them for delivery beginning February 13.
Nationally, Girl Scouts uses two bakers – Little Brownie Bakers and ABC. The Heart of Michigan Council uses Little Brownie Bakers which is a division of Kellogg.
Did you know that Girl Scout Cookies:
- have no High Fructose Corn Syrup
- have no Partially Hydrogenated Oils
- have no Trans Fat
- Use 100% real cocoa in Thin Mints, Samoas, Tagalongs, and S’mores
- Uses sustainable Palm Oil
The Big 3 – Thin Mint, Samoa, Tagalong
The top 3 cookie sellers are the Thin Mint, Samoa, and Tagalong. The Thin Mint leads the way with the Samoa and Tagalong roughly even. We’ve noticed that some families are Samoa families and some are Tagalong families. We’re a Samoa family, but my daughter gets a decent number of Tagalong orders since my brother-in-law’s family is a Tagalong family.
The S’mores Cookie was introduced in our council in 2018. The cookie is made with specialty ingredients from small farms and natural flavors. This does make the cookie more expensive. They sell for $6/box in our council.
S’mores taste great if you microwave them for a few seconds first. The chocolate and marshmallow creams get a little melty. Delicious!
Toffee-Tastic Gluten Free Cookie
GSHOM first offered the Gluten Free Toffee-Tastic cookie in 2015. Toffee-Tastic sells for $6/box because of the increased cost of producing a gluten free cookie. If you want this cookie, I suggest looking for it early in the season. They have already stopped selling them online due to increased demand.
The other GSHOM cookies this season are Trefoils and Do-Si-Dos. The Trefoils are a shortbread cookie in the shape of the Girl Scout Trefoil. Do-Si-Dos are an oatmeal sandwich cookie with peanut butter filling.
Girl Scout cookies offer a wide variety of cookies that can meet a number of dietary restrictions. (Note, please verify on the box if you have dietary issues)
- Vegan – Thin Mints (since 2015)
- Gluten Free – Toffee-Tastics
- Nut Free – Thin Mints, Samoas, Trefoils, Girl Scout S’mores, Toffee Tastic
Girl Scout Cookies
Don’t forget to support your local Girl Scouts by shopping at their local booths. You can find booths using the Girl Scout Cookie Booths Locator.
My favorite cookies are the Thin Mint and Samoas. Which Girl Scout Cookie is your favorite?