A look back: Our 2022 Girl Scout Cookie Season

By Catherine Amoriello

Girls, volunteers and parents/caregivers of Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania (GSHPA) – WE DID IT! We made it through yet another successful Girl Scout Cookie Season. And not only did our girls persevere through challenges thrown their way, but they increased their total number of packages sold from last year!

In March, GSHPA asked girls to share their cookie booth adventures with us on social media and girls delivered! What better way to end the sweetest time of the year than through a recap of all the amazing cookie booths our girls led this season?

Cadette Troop 20322

Girl Scouts at Girl Scout Cookie Booth

Juliette SU 715

Girl Scouts at Girl Scout Cookie Booth

Troop 10645

Girl Scouts at Girl Scout Cookie Booth

Troop 10734

Girl Scouts at Girl Scout Cookie Booth

Troop 11410

Girl Scouts at Girl Scout Cookie Booth

Troop 11411

Troop 20030

Girl Scouts at Girl Scout Cookie Booth

Troop 20393

Girl Scouts at Girl Scout Cookie Booth

Troop 21229

Troop 22125

Girl Scouts at Girl Scout Cookie Booth

Troop 32105

Troop 32109

Girl Scouts at Girl Scout Cookie Booth

Troop 32725

Troop 32727

Girl Scouts at Girl Scout Cookie Booth

Troop 33013

Girl Scouts at Girl Scout Cookie Booth

Troop 33203

Girl Scouts at Girl Scout Cookie Booth

Troop 50603

Girl Scouts at Girl Scout Cookie Booth

Troop 50829

Girl Scouts at Girl Scout Cookie Booth

Troop 51005

Girl Scouts at Girl Scout Cookie Booth

Troop 51441

Girl Scouts at Girl Scout Cookie Booth

Troop 52144

Girl Scouts at Girl Scout Cookie Booth

Troop 52286

Girl Scouts at Girl Scout Cookie Booth

Troop 52299

Girl Scouts at Girl Scout Cookie Booth

Troop 60041

Troop 60413

Girl Scouts at Girl Scout Cookie Booth

Troop 70110

Troop 70430

Girl Scouts at Girl Scout Cookie Booth

Troop 70479

Girl Scouts at Girl Scout Cookie Booth

Troop 71348

Girl Scouts at Girl Scout Cookie Booth

Troop 80065

Girl Scouts at Girl Scout Cookie Booth

Troop 80088

Girl Scouts at Girl Scout Cookie Booth

Troop 80338

Girl Scouts at Girl Scout Cookie Booth

Troops 32525 and 33203

Girl Scouts at Girl Scout Cookie Booth

Troops 40377, 40374 and 40375

Girl Scouts at Girl Scout Cookie Booth

Troops 70417 and 70050

Girl Scouts at Girl Scout Cookie Booth

Catherine Amoriello is a Marketing and Communications Coordinator specializing in writing and editing for Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania. Reach her by email at camoriello@gshpa.org.

Donate Girl Scout Cookies to Operation Gratitude and make a military member’s day

By Catherine Amoriello

Operation Gratitude President and CEO General James Johnson
Retired Maj. Gen. of the U.S. Air Force James Johnson, Operation Gratitude President and CEO

As Cookie Season nears its end, Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania (GSHPA) would like to remind all you cookie lovers that not only are you able to buy cookies to enjoy yourself, but you have the unique opportunity to buy cookies to give back to others through GSHPA’s Gift of Caring donation program in partnership with Operation Gratitude.

Operation Gratitude is a nonprofit that provides care packages to deployed troops, recruit graduates, veterans, military families, first responders and health care heroes. By donating to Operation Gratitude, Americans are able to express their appreciation to all who serve and protect our nation.

Operation Gratitude anticipates sending out 30,000 care packages by the end of May. Through donations received through GSHPA’s Gift of Caring program, each package will include two boxes of tasty Girl Scout Cookies along with other donated goods such as snacks, hygiene products, handmade items and a paracord bracelet. Retired Maj. Gen. of the U.S. Air Force James Johnson, Operation Gratitude President and CEO, said the cookies provide a special taste of home for package recipients.

“When people talk about this feel of home – Girl Scout Cookies are definitely the type of thing that transmits that. I think we all have an experience with Girl Scout Cookies,” Johnson said.

GSHPA has partnered with Operation Gratitude for its Gift of Caring program for the past two years. The partnership was born of GSHPA’s own connection to the military through Janet Donovan, GSHPA President and CEO, who served as a U.S. Navy Two Star Rear Adm. and holds more than 30 years of military experience. Between Donovan’s military history and Operation Gratitude’s mission to provide quality products that bring joy to its recipients, it was the perfect blend of common interests.

In 2021, GSHPA donated 46,000 boxes of cookies to Operation Gratitude. This year, the organization has a goal of donating 50,000 boxes of cookies. In an effort to reach this goal and spread awareness for the Gift of Caring program, Jess Delp, GSHPA Director of Product Program and Retail; Nancy Levy, Operation Gratitude Director of Donor Relations; and Johnson have all agreed to get a Girl Scout Cookie pie in the face if GSHPA hits its target for donations!

“Normally this wouldn’t be my thing. I’m actually excited that this may generate donations. I think it will be fun for the Girl Scouts,” Johnson said at the prospect of being pied in the face.

The idea for the cookie pie in the face incentive came from none other than a group of Girl Scouts during the Operation Gratitude phonathon event. They decided one lucky Girl Scout will have the pieing honors, selected through a random drawing of all girls who participated in the Cookie Program this year.

As of April 11, more than 32,000 boxes of cookies have been donated to the Gift of Caring program. With less than one week of Cookie Season left, GSHPA encourages customers to use the Girl Scout Cookie Finder to donate cookies online through a troop near them. For those who need help donating through the Cookie Finder, check out the slideshow below to see how you can donate in just five simple steps! You can also reach out to the GSHPA Member Services team at 800-692-7816 or at MemberServices@gshpa.org for assistance.

Donate today and help GSHPA meet its donation goal before Cookie Season ends!

How to Donate Girl Scout Cookies to Operation Gratitude in 5 Easy Steps

Catherine Amoriello is a Marketing and Communications Coordinator specializing in writing and editing for Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania. Reach her by email at camoriello@gshpa.org.

Hanover-based orthodontic practice gives back through Girl Scout Cookies

EDITOR’S NOTE (March 29, 2022) David Ross Orthodontics pledges to purchase two cases of Girl Scout Cookies per troop, not per girl.

By Catherine Amoriello

Dr. David Ross of David Ross Orthodontics
Dr. David Ross of David Ross Orthodontics

Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania (GSHPA) is more than halfway through its Girl Scout Cookie Season and our girls are going stronger than ever! While Girl Scouts work hard to sell their cookies and hone their entrepreneurship skills, it’s important to remember that Cookie Season would not be possible without the support of many individuals. From our bakers, to our volunteers, to our cookie-loving customers, we appreciate all who support our Girl Scouts in reaching their cookie goals. One such supporter of the Girl Scout Cookie Program is Dr. David Ross of David Ross Orthodontics out of Hanover, Pa., and Lutherville-Timonium, Md.

This year will be the fourth year the practice is pledging to purchase two cases of Girl Scout Cookies per girl. As an orthodontic practice that serves a mostly younger demographic, supporting girls aligns with Ross’ philanthropic goals.

“The core of our practice is children. Anything that comes into our focal point of supporting kids, supporting programs that support children or supporting schools has always been the main focus of David Ross Orthodontics,” Ross said.

Dr. David Ross of David Ross Orthodontics with young Girl Scout and Girl Scout Cookies.
A Girl Scout shows her appreciation for David Ross Orthodontics’ support of her cookie endeavors.

Ross began the practice’s cookie initiative as a way to eliminate the challenge girls face of having to go door-to-door, or wait for customers to come to them to buy cookies. The initiative not only provides direct support to Girl Scouts and their troops, but gives back to individuals making a difference in the community as well. All cookies purchased by Ross are donated to first responders in Hanover, including police officers, firefighters, nurses and other community heroes.

“We support them [Girl Scouts] and take the cookies to support others in a pay it forward concept, which is how we run our business,” Ross said. “We have always done this, but the pandemic adds to the ‘thank you’ for all the hard work they do. Giving back to them has been so great and something that we want to do.”

In 2021, the practice purchased and donated more than 35 cases, or about 420 boxes, of Girl Scout Cookies. The practice does not have a limit to how many girls it will support through buying cases of cookies, and it welcomes any girl from any troop to get involved by emailing marketing@davidrossortho.com or calling/texting their office in Hanover at 717-637-4131.

And in case you were wondering, yes, Ross not only donates cookies but enjoys them himself as well! The orthodontist’s favorite Girl Scout Cookie is Thin Mints (but they have to be frozen).

Catherine Amoriello is a Marketing and Communications Coordinator specializing in writing and editing for Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania. Reach her by email at camoriello@gshpa.org.

Tips and tricks for your Girl Scout Cookie Booth

By: Colleen Buck

Girl Scout Cookie Booth season is just around the corner! Booths are a great way to increase troop sales while having a fun time. To have a successful booth, it is important to make sure you have everything you will need the day of, including smiles and excited girls! While we have had to adjust the way we hold cookie booths in the past two seasons, it’s important to be prepared to set the troop up for success. Read on for some tried-and-true ways to help your troop have a successful cookie booth season!

Teach girls cookie booth etiquette.

Service with a smile: Don’t forget to thank your customers!

This is a very important first step for cookie booths! Girls and troops are representing Girl Scouts to both their customers as well as the location that has allowed a booth to be set up. It is important to remind girls that stores and other locations may have certain rules in place, so knowing those rules ahead of time will be helpful. Actions like running around the entrance or inside of a store may result in that location not allowing us to return in the future.

No matter what age girls are at the booth, it is also important to remember to smile and say, “Thank you!” Showing customers our Girl Scout spirit will not only encourage them to return as customers in the future, but might even help to increase sales at the booth. Making sure each girl knows the cost of each cookie, what each cookie tastes like, knowing which cookies fit certain dietary concerns and how the troop will use the money earned can help boost sales as well.

Dress for success!

Look good, feel good: wear your Girl Scout uniform with pride!

Whenever we are representing Girl Scouts we want to dress for the part! Uniforms are the perfect way to not only represent Girl Scouts as an organization, but to catch the eye of potential customers. With that said, here in Pennsylvania we all know the weather in March and April can have a mind of its own! Be sure to check the weather forecast the night before a booth, and notify families that dressing in layers is always best. Even if the start of a cookie booth is warm and sunny, the end of a shift may not be.

Dress and prepare for comfort as well. Having one or two camp chairs for girls to take short breaks in can be helpful. Standing for hours on end is difficult, so taking measures to ensure comfort is important and will help the girls recharge throughout their shifts. Similarly, having things like carpet squares to stand on, or hand warmers for pockets can provide comfort and allow for a more successful booth shift.

Create an eye-catching booth.

Advertise with flair: make your booth stand out with bright colors and signs!

Bring the customers to you by decorating the booth with vibrant colors, signs, cookie themed décor and more! This is the perfect time to let the troop’s creativity shine. Little Brownie Baker has some great ideas for booth crafts and decorations that can really help jazz up the presentation and draw in customers. Having fun with the booth and using decorations, signs and even costumes will also create a fun energy that will allow the girls to have fun and the customers to have some fun as well!

Don’t forget, cookie cases and individual cookie boxes make for some great materials to use while crafting. A cookie box pennant to hang above or on the table takes care of advertising what is being sold and checks the boxes for fun and vibrant! For even more awesome cookie booth crafts, Pinterest is also a great resource!

Have fun!

When it comes to running a cookie booth, the most important thing to remember is to have fun. Customers will naturally be drawn in to a booth where girls are energetic, smiling, conversational and happy to be there. Be prepared, create a visual booth that draws people in and remember that Cookie Season helps provide our girls with amazing skills and opportunities for the future!

Your one-stop shop for all things Mega Drop

By Catherine Amoriello

EDITOR’S NOTE (March 11, 2022) Because of the predicted snowstorm for March 12, several Mega Drop events have been postponed. Please refer to this document for any updates.

FACT CORRECTION (March 11, 2022) Cookie booths will be open beginning March 12.

(Original blog post from March 9, 2022)

The wait for Girl Scout Cookies is almost over as we near Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania’s (GSHPA) annual Girl Scout Cookie Mega Drop on March 12! The Mega Drop is no small, spur-of-the-moment event but rather a carefully crafted machine that moves thousands of cookies to troops across GSHPA’s 30-county footprint.

Girl Scout loads Girl Scout Cookies into car.
Volunteers within GSHPA’s 30-county footprint will come from far and wide to pick up their cookies at this year’s Mega Drop distribution event.

The Mega Drop involves multiple GSHPA staff members and volunteers who are stationed at various distribution locations. With an event this large and complex we know you’ve got questions, and lucky for you, we’ve got answers.

GSHPA Mega Drop FAQ

What is the Girl Scout Cookie Mega Drop?

The Mega Drop is an all-day distribution event where Girl Scout Troops stop at a distribution site near them to collect cookies to provide to their customers.

Where does the Mega Drop take place?

Mega Drops take place at several locations within GSHPA’s footprint. Locations include Parks Warehouse in Harrisburg, Susquehanna Mall in Selinsgrove, PNC Field in Scranton and York Water Company (Mount Rose location) in York.

When is the Mega Drop?

This year’s Mega Drop will be held on March 12 and begin at 9 a.m. at all distribution locations. All Mega Drops will run until 2 p.m., excluding the York location which will remain active until 3 p.m.

How many boxes of cookies get distributed at the Mega Drop?

This year, almost 404,000 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies will be distributed to troops across GSHPA’s 30-county footprint!

Can I come watch the Mega Drop in action?

Yes! The public and media is welcome to witness the amazing endeavors of the Mega Drops in real time at any of the distribution locations. Additionally, the “That’s What Cheese Said” food truck will be providing delicious food for purchase at the York location from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

If Girl Scout Cookies are being distributed on March 12, when will I receive the cookies that I ordered?

If you ordered cookies within the initial order time frame (between Jan. 6 and Feb. 6), your cookies will be in Girl Scout hands by the end of the day on March 12! After March 12 you can reach out to the Girl Scout you ordered cookies from to inquire about the status of your order and delivery.

Oh snap – I just realized I haven’t bought any Girl Scout Cookies yet! Can I still buy cookies?

Of course you can! You can purchase your favorite Girl Scout Cookies using the Girl Scout Cookie Finder. Through the Cookie Finder, you’ll easily find where cookie-selling booths are being established in your local area and when booths will be open. Booths will be open starting March 18 and cookies will be available for purchase until April 17. Customers can also find troop links to order online.

I personally don’t need any cookies, but I want to help the cause! Is there any way I can make a donation of some sort to the Girl Scout Cookie Program?

Absolutely! In addition to buying cookies for yourself you can also donate cookies online to Operation Gratitude and help GSHPA reach its goal of donating 50,000 packages to military members at home and overseas.

GSHPA Mega Drop History

The annual Mega Drop was established at GSHPA in 2019, making it a relatively new event for the council. While GSHPA has always distributed cookies, volunteers often had to find time during the work week to pick up their cookies which could make for a stressful experience for girls, volunteers and GSHPA staff alike.

Girl Scout Cookies.
Almost 404,000 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies will be distributed at GSHPA’s 2022 Mega Drop.

When Jess Delp, GSHPA Director of Product Program and Retail, learned about the philosophy of Mega Drop at a product program conference in 2018, she discovered a way to distribute cookies in a less stressful (and dare we say more fun?) way. Cookie distribution evolved from a week-long mad dash into a well-organized, single-day event that allows the council to deliver cookies in a more convenient way to majority of the Service Units.

“I love it [Mega Drop] because my goal is to always make things easier for the volunteers. They already give so much of their time and energy to Girl Scouts all year long. To be able to offer deliveries on a Saturday and get so many cookies in the hands of our troops and members is awesome,” Delp said. “The more we can support our girls and volunteers in their cookie endeavors, the better.”

P.S. – Stay tuned for our next blog post on March 12 which will provide LIVE updates from all four of our Mega Drop distribution sites!

Catherine Amoriello is a Marketing and Communications Coordinator specializing in writing and editing for Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania. Reach her by email at camoriello@gshpa.org.

Tips and Tricks for 2022 Cookie Season

This time of year there are more ways than ever for girls to participate in Girl Scouts by learning new skills and reaching new goals. We have some tried and true tips to share with you to make this cookie season the best one yet! Use the tips on this blog post along with the following resources for a very successful season.

GSHPA Volunteer Resources

GSHPA Cookie Seller Resources

GSHPA Product Program Toolkit

Cookie Rookie and Cookie Captain Program

Girl Scouts marketing their booth during the Girl Scout Cookie Program.

2022 Booth Tips

We are always so proud of how creative our girls are and how well they think outside of the box when it comes to cookies. Check out these tips for COVID-19 safe cookie booths:

  1. Print a QR code to your Digital Cookie site on labels, and add those labels to every box sold, or on a thank you card included with each purchase. This way the customer knows how to order more!
  2. Set up a Cookie Drive Thru – work with a local business to secure a safe spot to set up such as a parking lot and offer a drive thru service
  3. Consider using the Digital Cookie App or a credit card processing app to accept payments in a no-contact way. If you collect cash, be sure to use gloves to retrieve the money to allow for minimal customer contact.
  4. Host a virtual booth via social media or Zoom. Be sure to have adult supervision during the booth, as well as a payment and delivery plan in place before the event!
  5.  Take advantage of holidays and bundling cookies. Valentine’s Day is a great excuse to tie a bow around a couple of boxes as a fun holiday promotion, or run a 4 for $20 sale with boxes already grouped together for easy buying.
  6. Create social distance signage for your booth so customers can see from a distance exactly what you are selling. Use a creative booth setup to encourage packing of cookies happening in one spot while payment transactions can happen in another.
Girl Scouts collecting payment at their booth in the Girl Scout Cookie Program.

Extra Tips for Extra Sales

  • Dedicate a day of sales to Gift of Caring – call 10+ people and ask them to order cookies that can be delivered to essential workers, military or others.
  • Reach out to local businesses such as restaurants, car dealerships, etc. to buy cookies from your troop to give to employees or customers as a thank you!
  • Share recipes with your customers to show them all the delicious things they can do with their cookies, other than just eat them straight from the box!
  • Go back to the basics and fill a wagon with cookies and take a walk around your neighborhood
  • Create an order form station at your mailbox to encourage neighbors out for a walk or mailmen and delivery service employees to order cookies in an easy no contact way.

Start Selling Today!

Every girl in Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania benefits from the Cookie Program. From Girl Scout camp to programs to trips and activities with their troop, each girl gets an amazing Girl Scout experience as a result of the program. Not a Girl Scout yet? Join today!

What a Yummy Adventure!

Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania, its members, family and friends attended a number of Open House celebrations in September that highlighted Girl Scouts’ newest member of the Cookie family: Adventurefuls!

The brownie and salted-caramel Girl Scout Cookie was the star of the show for parties that we held in York, Scranton and Hershey. Attendees were able to sample the Cookie and try Cookie-inspired recipes.

Take a look at some of the highlights from the parties:

Didn’t get a chance to attend? We have another party coming up in Gettysburg on Nov. 7. Hope to see you there!

GSHPA’s Cookie Story Finds Success

Janet Donovan
President and CEO
Girls Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania

A recent Associated Press story regarding unsold Girl Scout Cookies on a national level highlighted the challenges that many Girl Scout Councils faced as we emerge from a nationwide pandemic. This was not the story for Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania.

Like many nonprofits and businesses, Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania (GSHPA) was not immune to the trials COVID-19 forced upon our organization.

But we met those challenges and in many ways exceeded our goals. Our Girl Scouts thought like entrepreneurs. We found creative and innovative ways to reach our membership, our volunteers and to continue to implement our important girl-led programs. Those connections were especially crucial to many girls in our membership during this time of unprecedented isolation.

GSHPA, which represents 30 counties in central and northeastern Pennsylvania, worked hard to seek out that success during this past cookie-selling season, which officially ended in April.

We are proud of our efforts!

In fact, our local inventory controls, unlike the overall theme of the AP story, were actually tighter this year than in years past.   

We did have fewer Girl Scouts participating in the program this year, but our program leadership, which collaborated with every department in our organization (as well as neighboring Girl Scout Councils), projected, budgeted and adapted appropriately.

We found new and exciting ways for our Girl Scouts to sell safely both online and in-person, which included holding traditional cookie booths.

Here are some key highlights:

·         In our S’mores Executive Club, which is an exclusive club that spotlights our brightest entrepreneurs who go above and beyond our product program efforts, the number of girls reaching that benchmark in 2019 was 94. In 2021, that number was 138, an increase of 46 percent.

·         In that same time period, our Girl Scouts increased their average number of cookie packages sold from 178 to 231.

·         When COVID hit in 2020, Girl Scouts sold about 300,000 packages that year in direct sales. This year, and under most of the same conditions, our planning paid off. Our Girl Scouts sold more than 580,000 packages.

In fact, when our council began our booth sales for 2021, we couldn’t meet the initial demand.

“Although our booth opportunities were down 50 percent this year (locations where businesses allow us to sell directly) our girls created safe and innovative ways to continue to reach their goals. During the first two weeks of our direct sales in March, we connected with a sister Girl Scout Council to purchase cookies from them so as to meet the demand of our local entrepreneurs,” said Jess Delp, GSHPA Director of Product Program and Retail.

We are also very proud of the overwhelming success of our 2021 Gift of Caring program. This council-wide service project gives our GSHPA community the chance to donate cookies to military troops overseas and other nonprofit partners.

This year, Operation Gratitude was the recipient of our Gift of Caring initiative, and we easily surpassed our goal of donating 30,000 boxes to troops. Donations were up by 60 percent! Those donations are a testament to the giving nature of our local Pennsylvania communities.

It’s important to note that all proceeds from the Girl Scout Cookie Program remain local and help to fund all of our programs: our camps, outdoor programs, STEAM, leadership training and more.

We know that we will continue to face many challenges as we tackle the rest of 2021 and plan for 2022. But the lessons learned during these past 15 months have certainly shown us that we can adapt and find success in the most trying time period in recent history.

We are grateful to note that we have a strong and resilient GSHPA community to thank for our support as we move forward and we thank the central Pennsylvania community. Your support allowed us to experience the success that we enjoyed.

How you can help

GSHPA has received questions regarding how to reduce the excess cookie inventory of our sister Girl Scout Councils. We appreciate your outpouring of support!

To help, please visit digitalcookie.girlscouts.org/scout/girlscouts2021 where you can donate cookies to first responders, food banks, and other worthy causes. In addition to helping other Girl Scout Councils with their cookie inventory, part of your donation will support local GSHPA Girl Scout Troops as well.

Thank you!


Troops to Troops

Many people will tell you Girl Scout Cookie season ranks right up there as one of the best times of the year. For some, the joy comes from trying the year’s newest flavor, for others, it’s the comfort of their favorite classic variety that brings back special memories.  

For military service members deployed overseas, reminders of home can be few and far between, but the Girl Scouts of America and national nonprofit Operation Gratitude are working to change that. For nearly 20 years, the Girl Scouts have partnered with OG to send the treasured treats to Soldiers, Airmen, Marines, and Sailors as a way to say “thank you” and to assure them that their service and sacrifice have not gone unnoticed.  

Operation Gratitude received their first donation of Girl Scout Cookies during their 2004 “Patriotic Drive”-  just a year after OG was officially founded. The first donations were from individual Girl Scouts or their troops who chose OG as their “Gift of Caring” recipient. These types of donations grew every year after, and soon, the Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles named Operation Gratitude as an official Gift of Caring charity. Other regions in California and throughout the country followed suit. Eventually, the number of boxes designated to Operation Gratitude became so large that the Girl Scout regions had the donations shipped directly to them from the warehouse, and they would arrive by the truckloads! 

The cookies are included in hundreds of thousands of Operation Gratitude Care Packages distributed across the globe to service members stationed so far from home. These brightly colored cookie boxes contain so much more than a special snack, but also bring smiles to the faces of their recipients who know someone stateside is thinking of them.  

The Girl Scouts’ participation with Operation Gratitude doesn’t end with the cookie deliveries. In addition to individual scouts, troops and councils donating these items, they also volunteer at Operation Gratitude Care Package Assembly Days and participate in a variety of service projects like hosting OG collection drives, crafting Handmade with Love items or paracord bracelets, and handwriting notes of encouragement and appreciation. The time, effort, and personal touch by volunteers that goes into Operation Gratitude Care Packages are what service members say makes the biggest difference.  

In 2021 alone, the Girl Scout Cookie donation to Operation Gratitude is expected to total around a quarter of a million boxes. As Operation Gratitude’s mission grows, so, too, does the impact of the Girl Scouts’ donations. Cookies and other items the organization contributes are also being included in care packages delivered to first responders and healthcare heroes who protect and serve our communities in a different, but equally important way.  

Through their partnership with Operation Gratitude, the Girl Scouts are connecting communities, giving back, and making a real difference. Though COVID-19 has put a temporary pause on some of Operation Gratitude’s larger in-person assembly efforts, there are still plenty of ways for Girl Scouts to get involved. For more information on virtual volunteerism, visit https://www.operationgratitude.com/express-your-thanks-virtual-groups/.  


Written by our friends at Operation Gratitude

The Perfect Pairing: Girl Scout Edition

When you think of a perfect pairing for a Girl Scout cookie, what comes to mind? For me, it’s usually a glass of milk. But have you ever considered pairing your cookie with a glass of wine, beer, or even a whiskey?

Well, we did! As a thank you to our volunteers on Volunteer Appreciation night in April, we held a virtual Girl Scout Cookie Pairing and we’ve compiled our favorite tips below to share. Let us know what you think!

Toffee-tastic

  • Beers: For a buttery cookie such as Toffee-tastics, you’ll want to pair this with a scotch ale to bring out the caramel flavor.
  • Wines: To pair a Toffee-tastic with a wine, we recommend something with a stronger flavor. You could even pair this with a local cider!
  • Spirits: For a spirit, we suggest pairing with a flavored vodka (think caramel, vanilla, or anything sweet).

Bonus tip: If you prefer something non-alcoholic, we recommend dipping a Toffee-tastic in your coffee or hot chocolate!

S’mores

  • Beers: For a beer pairing, you can’t go wrong with a Russian imperial stout. Pairing the sweetness of the cookie with the roasted flavor of a dark stout will make you feel like you are roasting marshmallows over a campfire! For a beyond perfect pairing, don’t miss the local S’mores stout from Maxie’s in Cumberland County.
  • Wines: For wines, S’mores appeals to two flavor pallets, anything from a more subtle rosé to a drier merlot. You can’t go wrong!
  • Spirits: A unique spirit that pairs with several cookies, but especially S’mores, is peanut butter whiskey. We recommend Ole Smokey or Skrewball.

Bonus tip: Put your S’mores cookie in the microwave for 10 seconds to get the same gooey marshmallow as if you roasted it over a campfire!

Lemon-ups

  • Beers: For a unique cookie like Lemon-ups, you’ll want something light and airy to bring out the citrus flavor. Lemon-ups pair well with an IPA or a Hefeweizen which brings out the bright, citrus flavors of the cookie. For a local brew, head up to Troegs and check out First Cut or Joyous, which packs the perfect fruity punch.
  • Wines: For wines, you can’t go wrong with your favorite sparkling or white wine.
  • Spirits: The ultimate spirit pairing for Lemon-ups—a limoncello Moscow mule! For this easy perfect pairing, you’ll need limoncello, vodka, lemon juice, ginger beer, and lemon slices (for serving, of course).

Trefoils

  • Beers: For beer, we recommend an IPA but steer clear of anything bitter since the cookie doesn’t have as much sugar to counteract the flavor.
  • Wines: The Trefoil cookie’s light buttery flavor makes it the perfect match for a wine that is bright, fun, and lively. We recommend a semi-sweet Riesling.
  • Spirits: For spirits, you can mix and match a flavored vodka! And, if you are looking for a local option, check out Mason Dixon Distillery in Gettysburg. Their perfect pairing? Lavender lemonade!

Do-si-Dos

  • Beers: The Do-si-Do is a unique, versatile cookie that pairs well with nearly anything—from blonde ale to a dark coffee porter! The porter will accentuate the peanut butter flavor, while bringing out the sweetness of the oatmeal cookie.
  • Wines: For a wine, we recommend a merlot or zinfandel to highlight the cookie’s oatmeal caramel flavor.
  • Spirits: For spirits, we paired our Do-si-Dos with a butterscotch spirit. If you want to go local, head up to Hazards Distillery in Mifflintown to try their butterscotch flavored moonshine.

Samoas

  • Beers: For Samoas, you want to be sure to pair the cookie with something that won’t take away from its flavor. For beer, we recommend steering clear of a blonde or pale ale. Try out a chocolate stout, brown ale, or amber ale instead.
  • Wines: We recommend pairing a Samoa with a sparkling wine or a dessert wine. This is especially perfect for those with a sweet tooth!
  • Spirits: Of course, with a coconut cookie, you can’t go wrong with a coconut rum or even a cream liqueur, such as Bailey’s Irish Cream.

Tagalongs

  • Beers: For a perfect beer pairing, you’ll want something that compliments the sweetness of the cookie without overpowering it. We recommend a Vienna lager or imperial stout.
  • Wines: You’ll want a wine with an assertive flavor, but not overpowering. Think cabernet, madeira, or anything with a bold flavor to cut with the sweetness of the cookie.
  • Spirits: The ultimate perfect spirit pairing with a peanut butter cookie? Peanut butter whiskey, of course! Test out this Skrewball martini recipe to mimic the Tagalong cookie: Skrewball, chocolate syrup, and vanilla vodka.

Thin Mints

  • Beers: Similar to Tagalongs, Thin Mints pair perfectly with an imperial stout.
  • Wines: For a wine, steer clear of anything that will overpower the cookie. Try out a dry merlot, malbec, or port wine.
  • Spirits: Check out the Bailey’s with Mint or a Coffee Liquor, it will elevate the mint flavor for you.

Bonus Tip: If you are looking for a fun, kid friendly pairing, have some Thin Mints and Cheddar cheese, it’s so tasty!

Let us know your favorites in the comments below!


Written by Rachel Lilley, Volunteer