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Sewickley area Girls Scouts ready for cookie sale

| Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013, 8:57 p.m.
Justin Merriman | Tribune-Review
Girl Scouts cookies at St. Paul Episcopal Church in Mt. Lebanon, on Thursday evening. Justin Merriman | Tribune-Review

Kent McGaughey has been the “cookie guru” of the Glen Oaks Girl Scouts in the Sewickley area for about eight years and is gearing up for another season of Thin Mints, Trefoils, Tagalongs and Samoas, among other favorites.

The unit, which includes about 300 scouts ranging from Daisies to Ambassadors in 24 troops from Glenfield to Leet Township, kicked off its cookie sales Jan. 4 in the area.

McGaughey said cookies are being sold for the second year for $4 a box. The deadline for orders is Jan. 23 and cookies will arrive at the Fair Oaks Volunteer fire hall Feb. 16 for distribution.

The average number of boxes sold each year is about 19,000, the highest ever being about 21,000, McGaughey said.

It takes about four hours for about 15 volunteers to unload and organize all the cookies but only about two hours to distribute to all the Scouts.

This year, booth sales will be held at Giant Eagle in Leetsdale and at Safran's Supermarket in Sewickley starting at the end of the month or early February.

McGaughey said those who want specific times and dates can use an app, “Cookie Locator,” released by the Girl Scouts national headquarters last year in Apple's App Store and on the Android operating system to locate booth sales in their area.

For those wanting to purchase cookies in a more traditional way, McGaughey said they can contact him at 412-952-0886; Barbara Cooley Thaw, Glen Oaks Girl Scouts manager, at or Beth Fox-McManus, cookie booth coordinator for Glen Oaks, at

“We can either put them in contact with a scout or take the order and apply it to a troop or let them know of an upcoming booth sale. We can do whatever fits the situation,” she said.

Thaw said when she started as a leader in 1994, cookies were $2.50 per box, but even though the price has risen from years past, McGaughey said the profits for Scouts stays the same. The girls receive 70 cents per box, which troops set aside for trips or events.

Thaw said leaders are encouraged to let the girls lead and make the decisions. Typically younger troops use their money for field trips to places such as Carnegie Science Center, snowtubing, water parks or theaters. As they age, troops can use their money for camping or overnight adventures.

“We have had troops here in Glen Oaks take their scouts to Europe. Needless to say, they saved their cookie money for years. Also, troops use the cookie money to pay for supplies (badges, badge books, awards and craft items), day camp held at Walker Park or annual registration fees.”

Heather Weihe's Junior Girl Scouts troop might be going to Splash Lagoon in Erie County later this year. Last year, they used the money to learn how to canoe at Camp Roy Weller in Bruceton Mills, W.Va.

She said prizes still are given to scouts who sell the most cookies. This year, girls who sell 2,013 boxes will receive a Kindle Fire. Those who sell 30 will receive a badge, and there are a variety of other prizes for sales in between the two amounts.

Weihe, who has been a Girl Scouts leader for six years and recently started a new Daisy troop, said selling cookies teaches the girls leadership and responsibility, how to deal with money, set a goal and strive to achieve it, how to work as a team and community relations as they learn how to talk to adults.

Thaw agreed.

“With my fourth-grade troop, we play act how to speak to someone. We stress being safe (always with an adult), polite (thank them, regardless of if they purchase), to be knowledgeable about their product and more,” she said.

Joanne Barron is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-324-1406 or

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