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Girl Scout Cookie Rally I

Max Stroud, right, and her daughter, Ruby, look through some of the items at the cookie dough sales shop at the annual Cookie Rally Sunday, Jan. 13, 2019, at the Shirk Center at Illinois Wesleyan in Bloomington. The rally helps to kick off the annual Girl Scout cookie sales, which begin next month.

BLOOMINGTON — For 10-year-old Molly McDonald, the only thing that might be better than eating Girl Scout cookies is selling Girl Scout cookies.

“I like to do both,” she said Sunday, sporting a huge grin at the 2019 Cookie Rally at the Shirk Center at Illinois Wesleyan University.

More than 200 local Girl Scouts attended the rally to build their cookie business plans, learn selling skills from leaders and prepare for the upcoming annual sale.

“This is to get our girls excited about cookies and why selling cookies is such an awesome opportunity,” said Chloe Machula, the program manager for the Girl Scouts of Central Illinois. “It’s about letting them know about the things they can learn and the things they can do by selling the cookies.”

Selling cookies teaches business, financial and social lessons the girls will carry through their lives, Machula said.

“There are a lot of things I like about selling cookies like meeting new people and trying to be good at it and seeing how much you can sell,” Molly said.

Max Stroud, a leader for Bloomington-based Troop 1552 and a mother to 11-year-old member Ruby, said it means different things to different girls.

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Girl Scout Cookie Rally II

Molly McDonald, 10, looks over a box of Girl Scout cookies on Sunday, Jan. 13, 2019, at the annual Cookie Rally at the Shirk Center at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington. About 200 scouts attended the event to learn more about how to sell the cookies and set goals to raise money for camps and other scouting items.

“It means entrepreneurship, a sense of accomplishment, and they learn how to set goals and work to accomplish those goals,” she said. “They really love working together and achieving those goals and it has some real benefits. It helps pay for some of their way to camp in the summer and benefits several other things to help the Girl Scout program.”

Ruby said she also enjoys selling the cookies.

“It’s such a renowned program,” adds Machula. “So many people — both the scouts and the cookie-lovers look forward to this every year.”

Machula said it was something she did as a youth.

“I remember it being cold but more than that, I remember having fun and making new friends and working toward a goal,” she said.

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Girl Scout Cookie Rally III

About 200 Girl Scouts from the McLean County area attended the annual Cookie Rally on Sunday, Jan. 13, 2019, at the Shirk Center at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington. The annual cookie sales begin next month.

“We are always working on projects and things to help everybody out,” she said. “We raise awareness about the environment and try to get people to clean up the towns we live in.”

This year’s theme for the annual cookie sale is "Go for Bold," Machula said.

“It’s about being creative and finding their own version of bold with a booth design, creating a way to sell more cookies, or maybe it is someone who steps up to be a leader,” she added.

Official sales of Girl Scout cookies will start Feb. 8 in Central Illinois.

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Contact Kevin Barlow at (309) 820-3238. Follow him on Twitter: @pg_barlow

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Agriculture Reporter

Agriculture reporter for Lee Enterprises Central Illinois.

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