Mega Drop, it's why you can experience the delightfully soft, chewy and gooey caramel of a Caramel deLight on your tongue. The refreshing crisp of a Thin Mint. The melt-in-your-mouth crumble of sweet shortbread and tangy lemon icing known as Lemonades. You know what I'm talking about - Girl Scout cookies.
For a brief, but magical, eight weeks out of the year you can forget about your diet. It is, after all, cookie season. But have you ever wondered just how that cookie gets to you?
Without Mega Drops, your local Girl Scout could not entice you with her wagon full of delicious Shout Outs! and Peanut Butter Sandwiches.
Mega Drop Saturday was January 28th and the Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio Council distributed 127,000 cases of Girl Scout cookies at six of these large-scale cookie pick-ups in Riverside, Victorville, Thermal, Yucaipa, Lake Elsinore, and Morongo. That's over 1.5 million boxes of cookies loaded into cars, horse trailers, U-Haul trucks, motor homes--even school buses--in just over 7 hours! Volunteers, Board Members and Council staff braved the brisk morning air with a 6:30AM arrival, erecting pop-up tents, chairs, and tables in preparation for the 8:00AM traffic.
Girl Scout volunteer, Emma, said of her participation, "Mega drop was 'Mega' awesome. It was amazing to be a part of something so exciting, it was really hard work but I felt important, we all did, to be a part of something so MEGA."
Girl Scouts Jenny and Emma take a moment to pose for the camera. The girls worked hard to get Cookie Season off to a running start.
All troops received their initial cookie orders on Saturday to allow equal opportunity for walkabout selling, which started the next day. To have an idea of the efficiency of this operation, between eight to 16 troops had their orders swiftly transferred from pallet to vehicle - within minutes. By end, the pick-up rate averaged 172 cases per minute. At the Riverside Mega Drop, there were eight stations, each dedicated to a single variety of cookie. Cars pulled up to each station, a "walker called out the number of cases, and "pullers" loaded cookies into the vehicles, while drivers remained seated and checked off each delivery.
The difference between success and failure in this operation unquestionably rested in the diligent hands and feet of the volunteers. Some 400 Girl Scouts and supporters showed up to help. And then there were the "Mega Minds."
Girls need to eat, too! Hungry volunteers, girls and boys, break for a delicious catered lunch.
A Mega Mind is like an orchestra conductor, keeping all the sections working in harmony. The beloved "E", Elizabeth Locke-Thomas VP of Retail & Product Sales, mega-minded over all six Mega Drops, while a few amazing regional volunteers - Kimberly Romero, Phyllis Dailey, Elaine Lambert, Tracey Knox, Susan Schulze, Susan Wade, and Carolyn Crisco - coordinated their individual Mega Drops. The Girl Scouts and residents of San Gorgonio County have these brave and devoted volunteers to thank for their mega efforts at the various drop sites.
"The beauty of watching the sun rise over a mountain of cookies is like watching the possibilities rise in the sky. Cookies help our girls reach goals that many feel are only dreams," said "E."
In-between the Peanut Butter Sandwiches she continued, "A cookie can make 'anything' a reality and it starts on Mega Drop day when our cookies are distributed. It takes hundreds of hands, hard work and a can-do attitude. But isn't that just like life, where anything worth having is worth the effort it takes to achieve?"
Kalista Imaging donated their services to document the event with snapshots and an incredible time-lapse video capturing the organized frenzy over the Burgess Mega Drop in Riverside.
One could wander between the pallets of cookies, some as tall as eight feet, and believe this was cookie heaven, yet the truth is much sweeter. A "dead drop" is the espionage term for covertly exchanging messages between spies. A Mega Drop is the behind-the-scenes equivalent of exchanging cookies for opportunities.
Every year millions of cookies are transported from ABC Bakers into the expectant arms of a hungry Inland Empire. The money raised by the Cookie Program funds individual troops, girl incentives, Council programs, volunteer training, camps, travel experiences and much more. Every penny, after the baker is paid, stays in the San Gorgonio Council area.
In addition, each girl learns business ethics, goal setting, money management, people skills, and decision making through active engagement. A Girl Scout cookie can do so many amazing things, making purchasing several boxes of the sweet treats a not-so-guilty pleasure after all.
If you've already had your fill of Peanut Butter Patties, make a donation to purchase a box of Thanks-A-Lots for our troops overseas, local emergency service providers, and charities through the Girl Scout I-Care program. If you can't eat them, treat them! Mega Drops deliver more than just cookies; they deliver girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place.
by Katherine Li
To see what moving 127,000 cases of Girl Scout cookies in seven hours looks like, check out the Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio's YouTube time-lapse video
Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio builds girls of courage, confidence and character who help make the world a better place. To find out how you can get involved with Girl Scouts, call 1-800-400-GIRL (4475) or visit us online at www.girlscoutssangorgonio.org.
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