For those who've waited a year for cookies — get 'um on Saturday.


For Girl Scout cookie lovers who have been waiting patiently for the arrival of their favorite Girl Scout cookie, the wait is over. Girl Scout volunteers, girls and staff from the Florida Panhandle gathered on Saturday, Feb. 16, in Panama City to mark the arrival of Girl Scout cookies in the Florida Panhandle. The Girl Scout Cookie Program is the largest girl-led business in the world, generating $790 million in annual sales.



“There’s more than just delicious cookies in each box,” said Raslean M. Allen, Girl Scout Council of the Florida Panhandle, Inc. chief executive officer. “Through the Girl Scout Cookie Program, girls learn skills essential to success in life and develop five financial literacy and entrepreneurship skills — goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and business ethics.”



The renowned Girl Scout cookie lineup includes all eight favorites: Trefoils, Samoas, Thin Mints, Tagalongs, Dulce de Leche, Thank U Berry Munch, Savannah Smiles and Do-Si-Do. Nationally, girls sell more than 200 million cookie packages a year to more than 50 million customers. In 2012, Girl Scouts of the Florida Panhandle sold 663,612 cookie packages. For the first time since 1999, all boxes of Girl Scout Cookies have a new look. The updated boxes include stories of what Girl Scouts do today, the fun they have doing it, and all that girls learn from the experience.



“The theme, “What Can A Cookie Do? A World of Good,” showcases the impact of the purchase of a box of cookies,” said E. Michelle Kyser, Girl Scouts of the Florida Panhandle chief business services officer. “With the earnings from the Girl Scout Cookie Program, girls help others in the community through service projects.  Sending cookies to our military troops overseas is very popular. Some of the Girl Scout troops in our council are supporting children’s homes, Ronald McDonald Houses and their volunteer fire department. The Girl Scout Cookie Program is a vital piece in the Girl Scout Leadership Experience, providing an opportunity to build girls of courage, confidence and character.”



Cookie booth sales will begin Feb. 22 through March 17 in partnership with local businesses. Cookies may be purchased from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Feb. 23 at Lowe’s on U.S. 98 in Destin. For more times and locations, visit www.gscfp.org and look for the Cookie Locator.