As the three tractor-trailers pulled into the parking lot at Gerber Scientific on Kelly Road near the Vernon-South Windsor line over the weekend, Girl Scouts from surrounding towns began to get giddy.
Yes, the cookies had arrived.
''The best part of it is the excitement,'' says Michelle Schifley, the service unit manager for all the Vernon Girl Scout troops. "It is a a lot of fun.''
Just how many cookies were there? The three tractor-trailers were full. Schifley alone took home 137 cases, each with 12 boxes in a case.
The cookies are supplied by Louisville, Ky.-based Little Brownie Bakery and the scouts make 75 cents in every $4 box of cookies sold. Cookie season lasts until the end of March.
Each spring, the Tolland Girl Scouts sell their cookies and also try to have booths at local businesses in town. "In the past, we've been at Dunkin' Donuts, Star Hardware & New Alliance Bank," said Laurie Lavertu, coordinator of the Girl Scout Cookies Booths.
Girl Scout Cookies have been around for more than 70 years. In 1933, Girl Scouts of Greater Philadelphia Council baked cookies and sold them in the city's gas and electric company windows. Just 23 cents per box of 44 cookies, or six boxes for $1.24 helped girls develop their marketing and business potential and raise funds for their local Girl Scout council program. In 1934, Greater Philadelphia became the first council to sell commercially baked cookies.
During cookie season, girl scouts learn firsthand how to run their own cookie business. They learn how to set goals and meet deadlines, manage money, build people skills working with customers and develop business ethics. They also decide how their team will spend earned money.
The proceeds of Girl Scout cookie sales support troop funds and go toward programs for more than 44,000 girls in the state.
The biggest sellers, according to the Girl Scouts are:
• 25 percent - Thin Mints.
• 19-percent - Samoas.
• 13 percent - Tagalongs.
• 11 percent - Do-si-Dos
• 9 percent - Trefoils
So what's Schifley's favorite?
''The Do-Si-Dos,'' she says. ''I like the peanut butter. Give me some milk, and I can put a whole sleeve in there, just like cereal.''
A lot of orders from family, friends and business associates of the scouts' parents have already been taken. Many troops in the area will begin setting up booths over the next two weeks for sales to the general public.
"With this crazy weather, most girls have been unable to sell door-to-door, and we really need to fundraise for our great community projects!" said Lavertu. She said that Tolland Girl Scouts has over 170 girls engaged in local activities that help them build confidence and learn more about the world around them.
Tolland Girl Scout troops will be holding cookie booths in and around Tolland on Fridays and Saturdays in March. Booths will be set-up at places such as Star Hardware, Dunkin Donuts, New Alliance, Over the Rainbow Toys, 7-11 and Burger King-Vernon (Reservoir Rd).
Tolland Girl Scouts will be at:
in Tolland on Thursday, March 10, 3:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. and on Friday, March 18, 3:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m.
in Tolland on Saturday, March 12, 12 p.m.-2 p.m. and Saturday, March 19, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
off Exit 67 in Vernon on Sunday, March 13, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
on Saturday, March 19, 11 a.m.-2 p.m
Star Hardware, 642 Tolland Stage Rd., Saturday, March 26, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
in Vernon on Sunday, March 27, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Click here to see other times and dates for local Girl Scout cookie booths.