Girl Scout cookies go on sale

LIHU’E — Starting today, people can satisfy their craving for Girl Scout cookies that are available only once a year.

Tricia Yamashita, the Girl Scout director for Kaua’i, was among the crowd of troop leaders, troop cookie managers and other volunteers who converged at the Kauai Veterans Center, one of three island sites, to break down the yearly shipment for their respective troops.

Yamashita said, “This year, all of the after-school programs are involved, and booth sales will start as early as Friday (today).”

The booth sales supplement pre-sale orders that were taken by individual Girl Scouts earlier in the late-fall and winter months.

This year, customers craving the annual gorging of Girl Scout cookies are able to help the Scouts by purchasing cookies at various locations throughout the island.

Big Save stores will probably have Scouts in front of all their stores, Yamashita said. “This includes Hanalei.”

Other outlets include Wal-Mart, where Troop 273 Leader Cheryl Perreira will be stationed from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. today, before leaving for a weekend camping trip.

“We’re going to be busy,” Perreira said. “And, there are the orders to deliver, too. We might not be sleeping this weekend.”

Kukui Grove Center, Longs Drug Stores, Sueoka’s, Cost-U-Less, Safeway, Kmart, and Kojima Store are some of the places where the cookies will start appearing as early as today.

Speaking from previous experience, Laurie Yoshida of Brownie Troop 812, at the Lihue Hongwanji Mission, said the first weekend goes by real fast because the cookies are fresh, and all eight varieties should be available. By about the third weekend, sales trickle off because most of the varieties are gone.

This year, Yoshida’s daughter Brittney sold over 200 boxes that will be delivered.

“I took vacation for this,” said Yoshida, who is Gov. Linda Lingle’s liaison on Kaua’i.

Yamashita said this year’s distribution includes in excess of 2,000 cases of cookies spread out over the eight available flavors.

Distribution to the individual troops took place at three sites: one in Kilauea, another at the Kalaheo Neighborhood Center, and the central location at the Kauai Veterans Center in Lihu’e.

In addition to delivery of preorders, Yamashita said booth sales start today, and continue (mostly on the weekends) until early February, or until the flavors are gone.

“Thin Mints are real popular,” Yamashita pointed out. “They account for about 30 percent of all the cookies sold.”

This year’s allotment of Thin Mints included about 280 cases of the popular cookie that Crystal Kaya, cookie manager for Troop 812, said “tastes good when frozen. And, you can crumble them and sprinkle it over vanilla ice cream, too.”

Jacelyn Perreira, a third-year Brownie, said she’s sold about 150 boxes, and her favorite is Tagalongs, “because it’s so chocolatey.”

Members of the Girl Scouts of Hawaii were originally sponsored by Queen Lili’uokalani in 1917. Since then, the Girl Scouts of Hawaii volunteers and staff have enabled thousands of girls to discover the fun, friendship, and power of girls, together, Yamashita explained.

Today, over 6,000 young girls are spread out over a system of over 500 troops, and there are three campsites throughout Hawai’i.

“Gaining Skills, Growing Strong,” the Girl Scout Council of Hawai’i initiative, empowers girls to develop confidence and reach their full potential as leaders and contributors in their communities, she said.

For more information, people may visit the Girl Scout Web site at www.girlscouts-hawaii.org.

For exact times and locations of booth sales, please call the Kaua’i Girl Scout office, 245-4984.

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