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Want Samoa? Girl Scout sells record number of cookies -- and then some

CNN
Wednesday, March 26, 2014 - 8:44am

Most anyone who has snacked on a Samoa or thrown down a Thin Mint knows they can be hard to resist.

But selling them? One Girl Scout in Oklahoma has found that she, too, just can't get enough.

Having broken her state record for cookie sales two years running, Katie Francis did herself -- and everyone else, ever -- one better this year by selling more than 18,000 boxes of Girl Scout cookies.

"I'm really, really happy," the sixth-grader told CNN affiliate KOCO. "I can go around knowing that I now hold a world record."

The Girl Scouts, of course, are about more than baked goods. Since its founding in Savannah, Georgia, in 1912, the group has grown in its mission to give millions of young women a forum to build "courage, confidence and character," according to its website.

That said, especially in recent decades -- and perhaps especially for those not directly involved in scouting beyond buying a box -- the Girl Scouts have also become synonymous with Do-si-dos, Tagalongs, Trefoils and other popular cookies. Selling them is important to local councils, bringing in money that's used to offer scouting opportunities for some, maintain camps and the like.

Cookie sales' importance is one reason why, every year, you can reliably see Girl Scouts out and about asking you to buy a box.

Katie Francis, though, officially took salesmanship to a whole new level.

"Katie is an example of the entrepreneurial spirit and can-do attitude that exemplifies Girl Scouts," the organization's CEO, Anna Maria Chavez, said Tuesday.

In her four years as a cookie-selling scout, the member of Troop No. 3469 has always been a big-time seller. This time around, she decided to go even bigger -- aiming for not just a state record, but a world record.

Why? Her mother, DeLee Francis, told KOCO admits, "It's very time consuming, and it takes a lot of energy, and a lot of adrenaline."

Thankfully, the northwest Oklahoma City resident doesn't seem to be lacking in the energy or eagerness department.

"Cookie selling is just so much fun for me," Katie said.

For three weeks, every day after school and on weekends, she pitched her products door to door. After that, Katie set up booths at hot spots and stores around Oklahoma City. Every step was monitored, such that if the hourly sales goal wasn't met, she and her mother would head somewhere else.

Sometimes the cookies practically sold themselves. But the 12-year-old also offered incentives, like drawings for prizes, and a little song and dance to lure customers.

Katie recalled: "Some people bought cookies only because they saw me singing."

When she found out she'd broken the record dating to the 1980s, Katie said she was the one dancing, she was so excited. What this achievement did not do, however, was break her cookie-selling groove.

In fact, she's still at it.

Katie hopes to smash the 20,000-cookie mark before the official end date for cookie sales on Sunday, March 30. To put this milestone in perspective, nationally each Girl Scout sells 150 boxes a year on average.

She and her mom have wagons and a hatchback car packed with shortbread cookies and Savannah Smiles, looking for customers. They're also keeping in mind what Katie says are the three ingredients for cookie-selling success.

As she explained: "It takes a lot of time, commitment and asking everybody that I see."

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