Prepare for the upsell: Girl Scout Cookie season arrives at US bases across Japan
Stars and Stripes February 9, 2023
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — Girl Scouts at this U.S. airlift hub in western Tokyo have stockpiled thousands of Tagalongs, Samoas, Thin Mints and other cookie varieties ahead of their annual sales campaign.
“Cookies are limited, when they're gone, they're gone,” Air Force Maj. Jacelyn Splichal, community chair for the troops at Yokota, told Stars and Stripes on Saturday. “So, come out and support the Yokota Girl Scouts.”
The girls will be selling the famous treats on Saturdays and Sundays, Tonni Mendoza, an Air Force spouse, scout co-leader and cookie manager, said at the Scouts’ hut on Yokota’s east side.
At U.S. bases across Japan, Girl Scouts will be staked out in common areas plying their baked goods. Sales were already underway this week at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, near Hiroshima.
Cookies are available at spots around the base from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays through Sundays, Jeza Nadonza, a Girl Scout mother, posted this week on Facebook.
The Iwakuni Scouts ordered more inventory this year than last, Rebekah Henry, the Troop 834 overseas committee co-chair, said by phone Wednesday.
“We ordered 6,950 boxes of cookies,” she said. “We had a new cookie come out last year, the Adventurefuls, and it sold really quickly.”
The Iwakuni troop has grown to 40 members, Henry said.
“We have a whole lot of new Girl Scouts this year that are just joining us, and they are just so excited that we are opening up more cookie-selling times to accommodate the desire,” she said.
She expects cookie sales to last for two to four weeks until they are sold out.
At Yokota, cookies will go on sale from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays until March 11 or when the supply runs out. The Scouts will set up in the community center lobby just outside the commissary. Cookies are $5 a box, except S’mores, which go for $6 per box.
The sale of Girl Scout Cookies, the one fundraiser the organization undertakes each year, helps the troops purchase supplies, equipment and patches and pays for the Scouts’ activities.
“We get to go on adventures, and we get to do a lot of cool things,” Korra Warner, 7, a veteran of two previous cookie campaigns, said at Yokota on Saturday.
Cookie sales provide real-life business experience, for which the Scouts prepared during a rally Saturday on the base. At a practice cash register they rehearsed customer interactions and learned to interact with customers and counted change.
“It's really just an opportunity for them to get excited about their learning basic entrepreneur skills,” said Splichal, 40, of Allenton, Mich.
The girls also sampled the cookie varieties at a tasting booth and at another booth created posters and thank cards.
Thin Mints are the most popular cookie among the purveyors, according to an informal poll.
Thin Mints are also so popular with customers that the Yokota Scouts ordered 70 more boxes of them than any other type of cookie, Mendoza said.
“I like the Thin Mints because they are so chocolatey and minty,” said Alexis Nunez, 13.