By Tony Wittkowski | City Reporter | The Times Herald
In the back room of the Port Huron Music Center, Brooke Wolschlager rummaged through boxes of Thin Mints, Tagalongs and Do-si-dos in search of her allotted cookies.
The 10-year-old has been with Girls Scouts for four years and likes selling cookies.
“I joined Scouts because I wanted to sell cookies,” Brooke said. “Now my favorite part is being with my friends and being able to go on trips with them.”
Girl Scouts in the Port Huron area began their annual cookie sale Friday.
During the six-week direct sales portion, Port Huron residents can expect Girl Scouts to be stationed at businesses such as Family Video, 1002 Lapeer Ave., Port Huron; the Girl Scout Service Center at 2186 Water St., Port Huron Township; Tractor Supply at 1400 32nd St., Port Huron Township; and Kroger stores at 2907 Krafft Road, Port Huron, and 1215 24th St., Port Huron Township.
For Brooke and Girl Scout Troop 71513, work began with the 95 boxes of pre-ordered cookies they sold in January.
The fourth-grade Junior Girl Scouts spent an hour with parents and volunteers going through their order sheet and separating cookies based on type.
Amid the organized chaos was Fort Gratiot resident and troop leader Misty Kruse, who could be seen corralling the Junior Girl Scouts to the task at hand when they went astray.
Kruse and another volunteer had driven to Imlay City to load their cars with the cookies.
“My favorite part about working with Girl Scouts is the girls themselves,” Kruse said. “They are energetic and creative, and they challenge me every time we get together. I couldn’t ask for a better group of girls to work with.”
Kruse got involved when her daughter joined as a first grader at Thomas Edison Elementary School.
“When my daughter was old enough, I got involved,” she said. “I was in Scouts for four or five years since elementary school, and my mom was a troop leader.”
By participating in the cookie sale, Kruse said the girls learn key skills, including decision-making, money management, goal setting and people skills.
Among those who improved their people skills was 9-year-old Hannah Radigan, a first-year Girl Scout.
“I expected it to be fun, and it was,” she said. “I learned I have to make the customers feel like they are appreciated when they buy the cookies.”
Kruse said this time of year is important for Girl Scouts, as 80 percent of their funding comes from cookie sales in the winter and fall.
The day before Kruse drove to Imlay City, parents and other troop leaders met in front of the Girl Scouts’ local headquarters at 2186 Water St., Port Huron Township.
Workers unloaded boxes from a semitrailer into the parents’ awaiting vehicles.
Waiting in the cold behind a long line of dedicated parents were Marysville residents Barb Barnes, Lisa Hall and Jesse Jacob.
Barnes and Hall were in Girl Scouts and wanted to continue that tradition with their daughters, so they could benefit from the nonprofit organization in the same way.
“I think it builds self-confidence for girls,” Barnes said. “They try things that they normally wouldn’t do in other situations.”
(Author’s Note: This article was originally published on Feb. 13, 2015)