It's easy to think of the cookie program as girls simply hawking treats, but there's something more behind the annual ritual, especially this year. For the first time since 1987, the Girl Scout curriculum has been revamped and now features a stronger focus on the financial literacy and business lessons behind the cookie sales.
The organization offers new badges — those ubiquitous adornments on Scouts' uniforms — focused on the cookie trade that girls such as Erin can earn after completing several steps that essentially frame sweets sales like a real-world business.
Scouts at each level, from the 5- and 6-year-old Daisies to the high school Ambassadors, learn about customer relations, business plans, research and development, marketing and sales analysis, all in the name of cookies.
Nebraska Girl Scouts sold more than 2 million boxes of cookies last year, and 200 million were sold nationwide.
"Some of the younger girls are looking at apps, technology and ways to organize their cookie program in ways I hadn't thought of," said Theresa Cassaday, chief communication officer for Girl Scouts Spirit of Nebraska, the state's arm of the national organization.