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It1s that time of year

John HartRobin Danos of Citizens Bank orders cookies under the watchful eyes of Juliet LaChappell (left), Deanna Summers, Stephanie Sarantopolous, Leanne Convis, Selina Marshall and Jessica Petrie.
ALL | GrassValleyArchive

Most people recognize them simply by their names: Tagalong, Samoas, and the most popular, Thin Mints.

They arrive every spring, delivered to your door by pint-size personnel espousing values of teamwork and sisterhood.



They are Girl Scout cookies, brought to the masses by girls as young as 6 armed with more than just sweet treats.




From now until the end of February, when orders begin arriving, millions of preteen girls will hawk the baked goods, where for three bills, seller and buyer get rewarded equally, say Brownie and Girl Scout troop leaders.

“These girls are pretty confident of their abilities,” said Susan Sarantopolous, leader of Troop 738 as a half-dozen girls began their selling spree in downtown Grass Valley last week. “They’re not afraid to speak up, and they’re pretty outgoing.”

Every year, the troop sells cookies to pay for an end-of-season trip. Last year, the girls went to a ceremony in San Francisco to welcome junior Girl Scouts into the Cadet level. Girl Scouts progress from Brownies to Juniors to Cadets.

Several of the girls met on the Golden Gate Bridge in a “bridging” ceremony for the new Cadets.

Deanna Summer, a fifth-grader at Union Hill school, said the experience last year was “tiring” but fun.

“It was kind of scary because the bridge kinda wobbled when we walked across it,” said Deanna, who wears a badge on her vest to signify the trip.

“We want to go to Disneyland or Knott’s Berry Farm,” said fifth-grader Stephanie Sarantopolous. “We’d like to raise enough money to go on two trips.”

Ask the girls about their favorite part of Girl Scouts, and the answer is simple.

“Selling the cookies, definitely. They’re so popular,” said fifth-grader Jessica Petrie.

At Citizens Bank near Safeway, a trio of girls wait politely for bank employees to finish their orders.

“I’m buying Thin Mints because that’s what my son likes,” said employee Robin Danos, who admitted she’ll probably buy more later. “We have to spread the orders out,” she said, laughing.

For every $3 box sold, the troop keeps 50 cents, Susan Sarantopolous said.

But Girl Scouts are more than cookies, troop co-leader Sally Convis said. The girls have also built doghouses, planted gardens, and helped install sprinkler systems.

“It’s fun to work with children of different ages and backgrounds,” she said.

But the cookies are not just for the kids. Sally Convis said she’s found a way to eat them frequently. “I like to freeze my cookies. I can even eat them on my diet.”

Sarantopolous admitted she bought 28 boxes of cookies last year.

“They freeze well,” she said sheepishly. “I bring them to all of our meetings.”


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