Simplified: Hundreds of Sioux Falls-area Girl Scouts gathered Saturday for "Cookie University," an annual event to teach girls entrepreneurship skills and get them excited about selling cookies.

Why it matters

  • Cookie University helps both energize girls for the upcoming cookie season and learn skills related to entrepreneurship and goal-setting.
  • The girls also got a chance to meet this year's mascot for the cookie season, Lucy the Axolotl. Each year, the mascot changes based on a vote by scouts nationwide.
  • In breakout sessions, girls were able to earn a badge, connect with fellow scouts and even sample some cookies.
"They learn so much about inclusion, the business side of things, how to sell," parent Jessica McCroskey said.

Cookie University is an annual event Girl Scouts Dakota Horizons hosts across the region, typically on a college campus.

It's a way to build excitement and help girls earn their "entrepreneurship" badges, Girl Scouts Dakota Horizons CEO Marla Meyer said.

"They start learning their cookie program will fuel their adventures," Meyer said, noting that girls have raised money for trips from everywhere to the Great Plains Zoo to Australia.

During the Saturday event, some of the older girls led a cheer for the entire group, and the girls got to bond over things like a love of axolotls and the knowledge that Travis Kelce (aka Taylor Swift's boyfriend) said his favorite cookie is Tagalongs.

What happens next?

Cookies will go on sale Feb. 12. Scouts can sell online, through pop-up shops, door-to-door sales and through designated booths.

Find cookies close to you using the "cookie finder" on the Girl Scouts website.