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Girl Scout cookies on sale Jan. 5

MONTGOMERY — Girl Scout cookie sales kick off on Jan. 5 for pre-sales, and will be available for purchase at local retailers on Feb. 12. All cookie sales end on March 14.

“We sell in our neighborhoods, dance studios and schools,” said Elizabeth Nichols, a Girl Scout from Mobile.

Nichols, her two younger sisters and mother, who is troop leader for all three girls, sell more than 1, 500 boxes of cookies each year.

“It’s nuts when they call come in,” Nichols said.

The boxes fill the living room and hallways, making a maze of the house. People from their troops then come to the house to pick up the ordered cookie boxes.

“I’ve been doing it since I was in the first grade, and now I’m in the ninth grade,” Nichols said. “I’ve sold gobs and gobs of cookies.”

Nichols encourages people to stock up on cookies because they freeze well for one year.

“Buy a box from everybody,” Nichols said.

Nichols and Aliyah Childrey, a Girl Scout from Montgomery, both find the “Samoas” cookies to be the best.

“They’re probably the worst for you, but it’s my favorite,” Nichols said.

This year’s new cookie addition is “Thank U Berry Much,” a cranberry-and-white fudge cookie.

The scouts learn about dealing with money, writing checks and money management through the cookie sales, earning badges for their participation.

“We set goals to see how many cookies we sell as a group and individuals,” Childrey said.

They also learn about safety, as each girl is instructed to not sell cookies without a parent or adult to supervise.

Selling cookies is fun, but the most difficult part of the sales is “having to carry all those boxes when delivering,” Childrey said.

She has sold about 600 boxes per year, and has set a goal of 800 boxes for this year.

Childrey and her troop donate cookies to the military. People can buy boxes to send to the troops overseas from Childrey and her girl scout troop at sales in February or during the pre-sale time.Other girl scout troops use the profits from cookie sales to donate to charities, fund other projects or trips throughout the year. Each troop decides what it will do with the money.

“When you’re out buying, you can ask them what their troop is doing with the money,” said Molly Smart, marketing and public relations director. “Its always fun to do that.”

The Girls Scouts of Southern Alabama will also sponsor a Thin Mint Sprint 5K Race and Fun Run in Mobile on Feb. 27.

Check out girlscoutcookies.org to find out the locations to buy cookies.