By Suzanne Coolen
BELLEVILLE – The 16th Belleville Guides spent a busy morning Saturday in front of the No Frills supermarket on Bell Boulevard, selling more than 17 cases of cookies as part of their annual fundraising drive.
First-year guide Kallen Raycroft, 11, said part of the money raised is going towards a special trip next month.
“We are selling cookies to raise money for Rally Day, which is at Canada’s Wonderland” she said. “Over 5,000 members are registered to go on May 31, and includes all units across Ontario and guiders from Nunavut.”
Emily Rittwage, 9, another first-year guide, is excited for Rally Day and said selling cookies is one of the best part of Guides.
“For me it’s a fun way to get to be with the other Guides and get to know them a little better by selling cookies,” she said.
Selling Girl Guide cookies began in 1927, when a leader from Regina, Saskatchewan, baked cookies for her troop to sell in order to raise money for uniforms and camping equipment. The first cookies were sold in Ontario in 1929.
Today, Girl Guide cookies are the official fundraiser of Girl Guides of Canada with more than $5.5 million in total raised across Canada each year.
Nancy Everett, a leader with the 13th Trenton Guide Unit, said the money raised not only goes to activities like rally days, it is used for a wide variety of other things.
“Some of the money goes to pay for the cookies, some goes to the National office to pay for insurance and a portion goes to The World Association of Girl Guides and Scouts to help guiders and scouts in other countries,” she said. “The portion that goes back to the unit pays for activities badges and helps to subsidize camps.”
Cookie selling also encourages teamwork and helps the girls gain valuable life and business skills, she said.
This year finding cookie locations was easier thanks to an interactive cookie finding map.
Belleville Leader Bonnie Langstaff said the online cookie map was a big help.
“The map not only identified where people could buy cookies but also helped make it easier for parents to find unit locations and information for registration,” Langstaff said. “Guide registration begins in June but parents can register anytime through the website.”
Each year, members of the Girl Guides of Canada participate in two cookie campaigns, the chocolate mint campaign that runs September through December and this current one that runs March through June.
Langstaff said cookie lovers can still find boxes even though Girl Guide Cookie day is over.
“You can still find cookies by contacting a unit or by going to our website and using the map,” she said.
The cookie map is available here . Search for Belleville, ON.
= Chocolatey Mint Cookie Group Sales
= Classic Cookie Group Sales
= Cookie Day in Canada