LL Girl Scout sells most cookies in state

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They say lightning never strikes the same place twice. But in the case of Los Lunas Girl Scout Tatiana Hool, not only did a bolt strike twice, it was even bigger the second time around.

Julia M. Dendinger-News-Bulletin photo: Tatiana Hool, 14, reached new heights this year by selling 3,300 boxes of Girl Scout cookies.

In 2012, the 14-year-old sold 2,004 boxes of cookies. This season, she upped the number to more than 3,300, the most sold in the state by any one Girl Scout.

Through hard work and the help of her father, Tim, Hool literally earned all the prizes for sales this year, including an iPod touch. But they weren’t really what motivated her.

The biggest prize for Hool is the money she earned for summer camp and a Girl Scouts destination trip to Costa Rica.

Usually, a scout gets $1.90 per box and her troop gets 55 cents. Because she is a Juliette, a Girl Scout who operates independently of a troop, Hool gets the full 74 cents to put toward the trip.

“The prizes are used to motivate the little girls,” Hool said. “But for me, they aren’t something I concentrate on.”

The trip to Costa Rica dovetails nicely with Hool’s long-term plans to become a marine biologist, something she’s wanted to do since age 4. However, she wants to work with a very specific kind of marine animal — the great white shark.

“They are really just misunderstood,” she says, shrugging.

All total, during the 91.75 hours manning the cookie booth, Hool took in $8,745 in sales, sold 2,332 boxes at an average of 25.42 boxes an hour and deposited a grand total of $12,375.

Her sales numbers include booth sales in March, as well as pre-orders in the months before. While the pre-orders from family and friends are fairly straight forward — the number of boxes ordered by the scout is pretty much equal to the number ordered — the booth sales are a bit of an unknown, Hool and her father said.

“For the booth sales, you have to decide the number of cases you want, but you have to be careful,” Hool said. “There are no returns of opened cases so you have to be able to sell them.”

Last year, Tim decided to put together a spreadsheet to figure out the number of cases they would need this year.

“This year we were able to forecast what to stock up on based on what was selling well and what didn’t,” Tim said.

The ability to predict what was going to sell at the booths and what wouldn’t also helped the customers, Hool said. During cookie season, the Girl Scouts have an online cookie sale tracker that shows customers where booths will be.

So when a woman now known as “the Samoa lady” came to their booth, hoping against hope they had two cases of the treats, thanks to their forecasting they were stocked up on their second-best selling cookie — Samoas.

The cases were for her boyfriend; she picked up three boxes for herself, Hool said.

Hool said the desire to pay for summer camp and the trip to Costa Rica were the real motivation behind her extra effort this year.

“It’s a kill-your-parents effort,” Tim added, smiling.

They sold cookies in the cold, the heat, the wind and the rain, giving mail carriers everywhere a run for their money in terms of dedication.

One of the best days of sales was the first Saturday in March — it was 30 degrees, blustery and raining. Hool sold more than 160 boxes that day.

“She’s my daughter. I support her and do whatever it takes to make sure she reaches her goals,” Tim said.

And Hool has already set her goal for next year — 3,600 boxes. Her father nods and smiles, looking a bit pained at the same time. He’ll be there, right along side her.


-- Email the author at jdendinger@news-bulletin.com.