Local Girl Scout Ashleigh Flanagan was the top cookie seller in Brooklyn last year.
By Linnea Mumma | [email protected]
Girl Scout Cookie Season is officially underway. Over the course of cookie season, Girl Scouts will collect orders for cookies from their networks through their online Digital Cookie storefronts, where customers can purchase cookies for immediate shipping. Customers can visit www.girlscoutsnyc.org/findcookies to find local troops to support. For those who prefer to pick out their Girl Scout Cookies in person, Girl Scouts across the city will host their in-person booth sales throughout March and April.
This year, due to the rising costs of goods and services nationwide, cookies in New York City will increase to $7 a box in order to better support Girl Scout programming. All proceeds from the Girl Scout Cookie Program in New York City remain in the five boroughs to help fund the Girl Scout Leadership Experience, with a portion of each sale going directly to the troop to support their activities. The new price will allow a 50% increase in the amount of funds that go directly back to NYC troops, empowering those involved in the program to make the most of their Girl Scout experience.
The Girl Scout Cookie Program is the largest girl-led business in the world. It helps girls develop five essential skills that set them up for success: goal setting, decision making, money management, business ethics, and people skills.
“Every year, Girl Scouts across all five boroughs of New York City get to showcase their own businesses and learn how to deal with money, all while making new friends and meeting new people during Girl Scout Cookie Season,” said Meridith Maskara, CEO of Girl Scouts of Greater New York. “I’m always so proud to see girls challenge themselves to reach new heights through their cookie goals. They always rise to the occasion and show off what it means to be a Girl Scout.”
Proceeds from the sale will also go towards supporting Troop 6000, which launched in 2017 as a first-of-its-kind program to serve families living in temporary housing in the New York City shelter system. This past year, Troop 6000 expanded to serve the influx of asylum seekers that came into New York City. Girls in Troop 6000 have their own digital cookie sale website, as well as in-person booth sales throughout March and April.
For those who want to support Girl Scouts and give back, boxes can be donated to service organizations to bring joy to those in need through the Gift of Caring program. This year, all donated cookies will be distributed to food pantries in NYC, providing a pick-me-up to families facing food insecurity.
“Being a top Girl Scout cookie seller gives my troop the money to do the activities we want to do, such as going to the Statue of Liberty, camping, and gardening. We also get to buy and donate needed supplies to our local homeless shelter with the funds that we raise from cookie sales,” said Ashleigh Flanagan, local Girl Scout and 2023 Top Cookie Seller in Brooklyn.
Girl Scouts who sell more than 500 boxes of cookies qualify to become members of Girl Scouts of Greater New York’s Cookie Executive Committee. “Cookie Executives” are invited to participate in regular professional development workshops, inform and plan the Girl Scout Cookie Program in New York City, choose incentives girls can earn, and more.
Avi Spatz, Julia Lin and Mai McCarthy claim the titles of top Girl Scout cookie sellers overall, having sold 11,763 boxes of cookies in total during the 2023 season.
The Brooklyn Downtown Star/Greenpoint Star asked last year’s top Brooklyn seller, Ashleigh Flanagan, about how she succeeds in selling cookies and what the task has taught her. She responsed to questions via email, with assistance from her mother. Her answers have been condensed here:
“I make videos to post on my parent’s social media with my Digital Cookie link promoting my sale and knocked on doors in my Bay Ridge neighborhood. But my favorite way to sell cookies is to find a popular place where people are walking by and set up a pop-up cookie booth. I want inspire other Girl Scouts to know that anything is possible if you are willing to put in the work.”
Selling cookies helps me work on my business strategy skills. I come up with ideas of new places to sell at, I practice my responses for when people say “no thank you” to me, and I sharpen my change making skills.”