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Albany, NY. – National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend, starting February 7th, celebrates the world’s largest girl-led business and the five essential skills girls learn by selling Girl Scout cookies.

Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) will mark the celebration with an event in New York City, taking over Vanderbilt Hall in Grand Central Terminal on Friday, February 7, 2014 from 8am to 7pm to give New Yorkers their first taste of this year’s cookies.

“As we celebrate the 97th Anniversary of Girl Scout Cookies, it’s important to note that the nearly $800 million cookie program aims to teach girls how to: set goals, make decisions, manage money, develop business ethics and to work well with others,” said the CEO of the Girl Scouts of Northeastern New York, Mary L. Buszuwski.

When it comes to skill building, statistics show the Girl Scout Cookie Program works. According to a survey from the Girl Scout Research Institute, 85 percent of Girl Scout “cookie entrepreneurs” learn money management by developing budgets, taking cookie orders, and handling customers’ money. Eighty-three percent build business ethics; 80 percent learn goal setting; 77 percent improve decision making; and 75 percent develop people skills.

Locally the Girl Scouts of Northeastern New York (GSNENY) will celebrate the weekend with a Cookie Trivia Contest to drive awareness of the cookie program. The contest will run from February 7 – March 8. Six lucky winners will receive 3 cases/36 boxes of cookies to share with their office, favorite civic group, association or charitable organization. The winners will be announced on March 10th, and will receive their cookies during the weeks of March 17th and March 24th. The contest will be heavily promoted on the Council’s website (www.gsneny.org) and on Facebook and Twitter.

All the revenue earned from cookie activities – every penny after paying the baker – stays with the local Girl Scout council that sponsors the sale. Councils use cookie revenue to supply essential services to troops, groups and individual girls, such as providing program resources and communication support, training adult volunteers, and conducting events. Within the Council there are a wide variety of recognition items, program-and store-related credits, and travel experiences that girls are eligible to earn individually based on their sales.

As part of a girl’s experience in various Girl Scout activities, girls can earn official Girl Scout awards at every level of Girl Scouting, including cookie and financial literacy badges and an annual Girl Scout Cookie Activity pin. In celebration of this special weekend, a brand-new National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend patch is now available as well.

For ease of purchase, customers can find their Thin Mints, Samoas and other favorite Girl Scout Cookies by using the official Girl Scout Cookie Finder App, available free for iPhone or Android, by visiting the newly refreshed official Girl Scout Cookie page at www.girlscoutscookies.org.

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