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Get your Thin Mints! Girls scout cookies now for sale

Little girls all dressed in blue, brown and green donning Girl Scout badges and big smiles are now out peddling a product that always flies right out of their hot little hands -- the Girl Scout cookies.

The month-long cookie sale, which goes from Saturday, Feb. 9, until March 9, is the long-standing tradition of the Girl Scouts that began in 1917.

Those were the days when Girl Scout moms did all the baking -- sugar cookies mostly, and sold each box for 25 cents a dozen.

Today, the cookies are mass-produced in factories, but the recipes for a handful of the favorites have been around for several decades.

Over 100 girls from the area are selling eight different types of cookies: Caramel deLites, Lemonades, Peanut Butter Patties, Peanut Butter Sandwiches, Shortbreads, Thanks-A-Lots, Thin Mints and this year's new cookie, Mango Crème with NutriFusion.

The vanilla and coconut flavored shortbread is infused with a mango-flavored cream enhanced with nutrients derived from fruit.

It seems there is a "new" Girl Scout cookie just about every year, which means one of the less popular ones are phased out.

Not returning this year are the "Shout Outs," a gingersnap style cookie that just didn't make the "cut."

"We've ordered 815 cases so far," said Devona Janousek, who is in charge of the over-all cookie sales for the service unit, which includes Detroit Lakes, Frazee and Lake Park-Audubon.

Costs of the cookies have gone up since their quarter-a-box days, as they now sell for $4 a box.

The individual troops get to keep 50 cents of that, while another 20 cents goes toward prizes and awards for the girls.

It remains the largest fundraiser for the pint-sized do-gooders, who use the money raised to fund their activities throughout the year.

"I think that it can really teach them how to set and achieve a goal," said Janousek, "and it teaches them skills on the etiquette of selling -- asking a customer and saying please and thank you, and then learning about money and how to handle it."

Many of the girls will get that hands-on experience as they participate in upcoming "cookie shops," where individual troops work together to man little makeshift shops within area businesses.

This year those cookie shops include:

• Saturday, Feb. 9, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Washington Square Mall.

• Friday, Feb. 15, from 4 to 7 p.m. in Central Market, and 5 to 7:30 p.m. in the Washington Square Mall

• Saturday, Feb. 16, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Central Market.

These events prove to be successful for the cookie-toting girls, as the high traffic of the locations gives the public the opportunity to grab the goodies on the go.

"I think these stay so popular because they've been around for so long," said Janousek, "and for some who were girl scouts themselves, it brings them back because they're exactly the same cookies and you can only get them once a year. They're just good, and everyone loves them."

Everybody, including military members.

This year the girls will also take donations in $4 increments, which will buy one box of cookies for local troops.

Donations collected from a Detroit Lakes, Frazee or Lake Park-Audubon girl will go towards cookie deliveries to members of the Minnesota National Guard unit in Detroit Lakes.