It’s that time again.
You can expect a knock on the door, an order form passed around the office, perhaps a booth in front of the grocery store where your friendly, local scouts will be offering those delectable Girl Scout cookies.
When it comes to cookie sales, few can outdo Dunwoody resident Meghan Devine.
Devine has regularly ranked as one of Atlanta’s top cookie sellers, often selling more than 1,000 boxes each year – and around 13,000 over the course of her scouting career – to earn money for her troop.
Devine, a junior at Holy Spirit Preparatory School in Sandy Springs, said her ambitious cookie sales are rooted in a competitive spirit and a philanthropic nature.
As a fifth grader in 2006, Devine signed up to sell cookies at a booth outside of a Walmart. But the store accidentally double-booked Meghan with another scout, who seemed to be making all the sales that day.
“I was like, ‘I want to outsell her now,’” Meghan recalls.
That scout happened to be one of Atlanta’s top sellers, and Meghan decided to try to top her. That year, Meghan sold 2,802 boxes.
Meghan was also driven to sell cookies in hopes of helping the Girl Scout camp she attended. She had heard that due to financial troubles, the camp would have to sell some of its horses because they could no longer afford to care for them.
“I wanted to sell a bunch of boxes and save the horses,” she said. “I was a little girl with big dreams.”
Meghan said it was rewarding to learn that through money earned by the local Girl Scout Council that year, they were able to keep all the horses at the camp.
“They were able to save the horses, they didn’t have to sell any of them,” she said.
Each year after, Meghan continued to think big. In 2007, she set her personal record, selling 3,111 boxes of cookies.
And the competitive spirit has been contagious. “There have been a couple of other girls that have sold 1,000 [boxes] with me,” Meghan said. “Now my troop — every year, we’re one of the top selling troops in our service unit.”
Meghan’s mother, Anne Devine, said it’s been amazing to watch the girls push each other to sell more.
“When Meghan started selling a whole bunch of cookies, she showed the other girls in her troop that it was actually possible. No one else had thought that big,” Anne Devine said. “It caught on and other girls in her troop started selling more and more. …When girls see that things are possible, they start to believe that they can do it, too. Girl Scout cookies sales have skyrocketed over the last few years.”
And the troop has been able to do some pretty amazing things as a result of all those sales.
Meghan said the troop at Holy Spirit, which has been together since most of them were in elementary school, has used the money from cookie sales to travel to Switzerland. This summer, the troop is saving money to travel to Costa Rica, where they will form a partnership with a troop of Girl Guides, the Costa Rican analogue for scouts.
Meghan said she’s learned a lot about herself from selling cookies.
“I think the thing I like most about it is I’m kind of shy, and cookie sales bring me out of my box and forces me to talk to other people and smile, and be friendly and outgoing,” she said. “I can kind of be shy and close up with people I don’t know. It’s like a whole other me when I’m selling cookies. Its shown me a side of me I didn’t know was there.”
Meghan said her cookies sales may have been driven by competition in the beginning, but now it’s something she does because she loves it.
“I love selling cookies, I love being interviewed because of my cookie sales. I actually did the first pitch at the Atlanta Braves game. I’ve just been awarded so many opportunities because of my cookie sales,” she said.
Then, as the conversation was winding down, Meghan said, “Now, I have a question for you: Would you like to buy some Girl Scout cookies?”