Local Girl Scouts will soon help residents ring in the new year on a sweet note.

Members of area troops will begin taking Girl Scout cookie orders Saturday, kicking off the annual fundraiser that supports local scouting programs.

This year, the Girl Scout Council for the Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana, which oversees scouting in Warren and 63 other counties in western Kentucky and southern Indiana, aims to sell 2.16 million boxes of cookies during the fundraising campaign, which will continue until March 20.

Felicia Bland, outreach coordinator for the Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana’s Caveland Service Center, said the initial goal for local Girl Scouts is to sell 17,559 cases, up 3 percent from their goal a year ago. By the end of the cookie program in March, she said they hope to have sold 22,671 cases.

Cookies are priced this year at $3.50 a box.

Offerings include the classic Thin Mints, Samoas, Tagalongs, Do-si-dos, Trefoils, Lemon Chalet Cremes and Dulce de Leche cookies. The Thank You Berry Much cookie - last season’s hit flavor - will return for a second year.

Cookies will be delivered between Feb. 14 and Feb. 23.

Bland said the cookie program is vital to girls’ leadership development.

“By participating in the program, Girl Scouts learn skills such as goal setting, business communication, teamwork and money management, which result in girls having more confidence and a higher self-esteem,” she said in a news release.

Scouts taking orders travel in pairs and are accompanied by an adult. Booths will be set up at various locations starting Feb. 26 for additional sales.

Girls will receive badges according to the number of boxes of cookies they sell, with a special badge going to “stellar sellers” who sell 2,011 boxes of cookies, Bland said.

Proceeds from the cookie program and the Desserts First event in January at the Carroll Knicely Conference Center, where the public samples desserts made by restaurants from Girl Scout cookies, help troops pay for their activities and adventures. The funds also go to help the Girl Scout council support its programs and maintain its camp properties on Barren River Road.

“So when you see a Girl Scout selling cookies this winter, remember that the benefits of buying a box of Thin Mints or Samoas go beyond satisfying your sweet tooth,” Bland said. “Your purchase will provide the foundation for her to lead a successful life and create a brighter future.”

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