It’s that time of year again. You’re feeling the urge… It’s been too long… You can’t fight it anymore… It’s time to contact your dealer… Yes, we’re talking about Girl Scout cookies.

    Cookie sales are live through March 18 and your favorites like Thin Mints, Caramel deLites/Samoas, Peanut Butter Patties/Tagalongs, Shortbread/Trefoils, Do-si-dos/Peanut Butter Sandwich, Lemonades, Savannah Smiles, Thanks-A-Lot, Toffee-tastic, Caramel Chocolate Chip, and S’mores are back.

    Those sweet treats are so much more than a “fix” though. The selling and marketing of the cookies teaches young girl scouts essential life skills and helps them “discover the leader within.” Scouts who sell cookies get to meet new people, learn from competitive selling, and bring smiles to stranger’s faces.

    Girl Scout cookie sales go way back as early as 1917 when the Mistletoe Troop in Muskogee, Oklahoma baked cookies and sold them in its high school cafeteria as a service project. In 1922, The American Girl magazine, published by Girl Scouts of the USA, featured an article by Florence E. Neil, a director in Chicago, who provided a cookie recipe that had been given to 2,000 Girl Scouts. She suggested the troops sell them for 25 or 30 cents per dozen and soon the program took off helping girls develop their marketing and business skills to raise funds for their local Girl Scout councils.

    In 2014, they introduced the launch of the “Digital Cookie” platform for scouts to sell cookies online. Now, at girlscouts.org, you can find a cookie booth near you, join Girl Scouts, volunteer, learn about the cookie varieties and nutritional details, and find out about their entire program, which is about way more than just cookies.

    In Crookston, you’ll find three troops of Girl Scouts with units also in Fertile and Fosston. They’re part of the Dakota Horizons council and have been a staple in the community for decades. Local organizer Marcia Haglund says one of the current troops even has a foreign exchange student.

    If you still can’t stop thinking about the cookies, it’s okay. You can get yours locally by calling Marcia at 289-1489 who will connect you with a Scout, or by checking the “Cookie Finder” app on your phone. And don’t worry about over-indulging. After the winter we’ve had, you deserve it.