Troops get to keep just 70 cents per $4 box of cookies they sell during their annual fundraiser. So a local troop started "Sweetie Pies," baking apple and cherry pies and selling them for $12.95 a pop.
And they get to keep every penny.
"It's a lot of work, but it's really fun," sophomore Ali Lin, 16, said. "We learn a lot of stuff like cooking and business marketing."
"It's fun to learn stuff with all of your friends," sophomore Rachel Caldwell, 16, said.
Last week, four of the 10 members of Troop 40392 sang and danced while baking a special order of the pies. The girls, who all go to Glacier Peak High School, placed peeled apples, oats, cinnamon, flour and their secret ingredient in a bowl at the Hidden Meadows kitchen, just south of downtown Snohomish.
The girls started the business venture three years ago when they wanted to attend the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, B.C. They use their profit from the cookie sales to purchase the ingredients and make the pies.
"What they earn selling cookies is not much," troop leader Carol Robinson said. "The girls get older and get bigger goals."
Before the Olympics, they earned $1,200, which allowed eight of them to go four days to Vancouver and watch a women's hockey game.
Now, their goal is the $3,000 per girl needed for a trip to Europe next summer. There are also plans to travel to New York and to San Francisco within the year.
Their sales are usually done between September and December. This is also the same time they pick their ingredients for their pies, such as apples and berries, which is new in the menu this year.
After that, they prepare the pies and freeze them, so the buyer can have them freshly baked.
The troop is not selling any pies, but people can start ordering by calling Robinson at 360-668-6116.
Last week, the group did 10 pies on a special order. Most of the troop members are juniors and there are no plans to continue with this business after they leave the Girl Scouts. That's why they are hoping other Girl Scouts take over in the future.
"This way, it will get the longevity that it deserves," junior Charlotte Robinson, 17, said.
The girls have learned skills they believe will help them in their prospective careers, such as teamwork and business management.
Junior Karen Beech, 16, believes the sales skills she is learning can help her in a career of molecular biology.
"It could help with lobbying, getting grants and permits to do research," the 16-year-old Beech said.
Alejandro Dominguez: 425-339-3422; firstname.lastname@example.org.
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