This year, when a Girl Scout comes to your door selling cookies, you'll choose what you want and she'll give you the boxes then and there.
Girl Scout cookies go on sale starting today (Friday, Feb. 1), and local Girl Scouts are now selling them directly, rather than taking your order and delivering them later.
"They will have cookies with them when they're selling them," said Billie Waddell, a program specialist who works out of the Champaign office of the Girls Scouts of Central Illinois.
Local Girl Scouts will begin hosting cookie booths around the area beginning Feb. 15, and will do so until March 15, Waddell said.
The council's website, http://www.girlscouts-gsci.org , has a booth locator. To find it, go to the website, where you'll see a banner that mentions Girl Scout cookies. Click the arrow to the right of it until you see a banner that says "Cookie Locator." Click on it, and you'll be able to type in your ZIP code to see where you can buy cookies nearby.
Waddell said selling cookies helps Girl Scouts develop confidence and leadership skills, and allows them to raise money for their troops.
She said local troops plan exciting programs.
"(Cookie sales provide) a great opportunity for the troops to get a little money to be able to do that," Waddell said.
In order to allow for direct selling the cookies, troop leaders had to put in cookie orders in advance, Waddell said. ABC Bakeries, which bakes the cookies, helped by providing historic data to help leaders decide how many to order. Troop leaders also used information about how many cookies their troops sold in past years to help them order, as well, Waddell said. They adjusted those numbers if they had more or fewer girls in their troops, she said.
And, if they need more cookies, troop leaders can also order more, she said.
Girl Scouts are also taking orders to share cookies with U.S. troops overseas through Operation Cookie Share.
"Girl Scouts of Central Illinois kicked off the Operation Cookie Share effort in 2010 and since that time, over 190,000 boxes of cookies have been shipped to the women and men of our armed forces at home and abroad," according to a news release.