APPLE VALLEY — With energy to burn, Samantha Haskell danced and waved her colorful sign that announced to every passing vehicle that Girl Scouts cookies have arrived.
After they received 720 boxes of assorted cookies on Saturday, Samantha and her family set up a roadside stand in Apple Valley to sell the popular Girl Scouts cookies that are celebrating their 100th anniversary.
Samantha, 9, a Brownie from Troop No. 55, said her taste buds fell in love with the new S’mores cookie, a crispy graham cookie double-dipped in creme icing and finished with a chocolate coating.
“I joined the Girl Scouts so I could be a better person and to have the chance to sell these yummy cookies,” Samantha said, "The S’mores cookie tastes just like a s’more, but without the mess. They’re so yummy.”
Several local residents who tried the square-shaped S’mores cookie said they rival the Girl Scouts Thin Mints cookie and should be added to the Scouts’ yearly cookie lineup.
“The moment I bit into a S’mores cookie it automatically became my favorite,” said Alicia Piko, 41, of Hesperia, who stopped by Samantha's stand. “Thin Mints used to be my favorite, but it just fell to second place in my books.”
Because the organization contracts with two major bakeries to produce more than two million boxes of cookies a year, the Girl Scouts had the opportunity to develop two types of S’more cookies. The non-chocolate covered S’mores cookie is a crunchy graham sandwich cookie with a creamy chocolate and marshmallow-flavored filling.
Charlene Engeron, the Girl Scouts High Desert Region Manager of Product Sales, told the Daily Press boxes of the S’mores cookies are flying off the shelves.
“We’re selling them so fast that it’s really surprising us,” Engeron said. “The new cookie was created for the 100th anniversary of Girl Scout cookies.”
Engeron said the High Desert office received and distributed 160,000 boxes of cookies to troop leaders on Saturday. She added the local office has a few thousand more boxes in their cupboard as a backup.
“The Girl Scouts are taught marketing and business skills during cookie season,” Engeron said. “It’s also a great opportunity for them to gain and sharpen their leadership skills.”
Samantha, who joined the scouts two years ago, said the Caramel deLites/Samoas is still her favorite cookie, but the new S’mores cookies have dethroned Thin Mints for her second favorite.
Samantha’s parents, David and Karen Haskell, said they’re proud of their daughter’s drive, determination and hard work.
“She quite the go-getter and she is excited to be a part of Girl Scouts,” said David Haskell, 42, who is heavily involved with the troop. “We are a very service-oriented family that loves to help the community.”
This year’s local Girl Scout cookie offering includes Lemonades, Thank-A-Lots, Peanut Butter Patties, Peanut Butter Sandwich, Shortbread and Gluten-Free Trios.
Troop 55 is part of the Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio Council, which serves more than 10,000 girls in San Bernardino and Riverside with the support of some 5,000 adult volunteers.
Proceeds from cookie sales help fund local Girl Scout community projects, summer camp and other learning opportunities.
To buy Girl Scout cookies, visit www.girlscouts.org for a list of local sales booths or ask your local Girl Scout family.
Rene Ray De La Cruz may be reached at 760-951-6227, RDeLa Cruz@VVDailyPress.com or on Twitter @DP_ReneDeLaCruz.