Girl Scouts–Arizona Cactus-Pine Council

by Mike Hunter

GirlScoutsThe Girl Scout Cookie Sale is in full swing now, running from Jan. 27 to March 9, and Girl Scouts–Arizona Cactus-Pine Council is running it all as direct sales — eliminating the pre-sale stage of previous years. Evidenced by the experience of other councils, eliminating pre-sales and doing direct sales only is expected to increase sales by about 15 percent, according to Heather Thornton, communications manager.

While cookie sales fund a lot of Girl Scout program, the sale itself is part of the program — involving goal-setting, money management, decision-making, people skills and business ethics. It’s the largest financial literacy and entrepreneurial training program for girls in America. Additionally, Thornton notes, it opens the opportunity to travel for a lot of girls because they are able to earn their own way.

“We aim to build leaders with a philanthropic heart — who have eyes to see the needs and hands willing to take on the work,” says Tamara Woodbury, CEO of GSACPC. “Girl Scouting and the cookie program provide opportunities for girls to seize through their own hard work; teaches girls the value of service and skills to set and attain goals.”


  • Last year, Girl Scouts–Arizona Cactus-Pine Council sold 2.9 million boxes of cookies, grossing $11.6 million. This year’s goal is 3.3 million boxes. All proceeds stay within the local council.
  • In addition to raising money for the troops and council, the cookie sale includes a community service “buy a box, give a box” program whereby the customer purchases a box that the troop or council will deliver to its chosen recipient, such as U.S. military stationed overseas or St. Mary’s Food Bank.
  • The Girl Scout program encompasses girls from age 5 to 17 or through high school. There are more than 25,000 girls registered in the Arizona Cactus-Pine Council, and more than 11,000 adults who volunteer as leaders, cookie chairmen, trainers, board members and other positions.
  • Built around the focus areas of STEM, financial literacy, global citizenship, civic engagement, healthy living and environmental leadership, Girl Scouting is the only national leadership program developed as outcome-based. It focuses on girls’ achievement in personal growth and skills and values that promote interpersonal and community relationships. 

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