Just as cookies and milk go together, so does winter and the Lyon County Girl Scouts' annual Cookie Kickoff event. Not only was there excitement in the air last month as the local Girl Scouts assembled for the start of their Girl Scout Cookie selling season, but tummies were rumbling in anticipation of tasting this year's cookie line-up.

But the annual cookie drive is about far more than fundraising and satisfying a sweet tooth.

"Selling Girl Scout Cookies teaches Troops how to speak to people, manage money and reach goals. Also, with the money they raise girls are able to attend events cost free, complete projects for badges and do community service projects," explained Elizabeth Porter, Lyon County Service Unit Cookie Chair and Troop 148 co-leader.

Carrie Barnett, Lyon County co-service manager, and leader for Troops 4, 159 and 2143, has announced the opening of Girl Scout Cookie sales for the 2020 selling season.

The highly anticipated kickoff event in December was held at Lyon County Elementary School with Girl Scouts from all Lyon County Girl Scout troops in attendance.

More than 75 girls and their troop leaders were gathered for the informational rally and tasting of this year's uniquely delicious cookies that will be for sale.

While Girl Scouts baked and sold cookies as early as 1917, it wasn't until 1922, when Chicago Girl Scout leader Florence E. Neal created a cookie recipe that was distributed to 2,000 local members that Girl Scout cookies started to become a national sensation. It was then that Neal suggested her simple sugar cookie recipe should be baked and packaged and sold for 25-30 cents per dozen, giving Troops an ample profit to use for Troop supplies and activities.

Barnett is passionate about the Girl Scouts, and has been an active adult volunteer and leader for 36 years. She believes Girl Scouts is the best place for a girl to find friendship, love and a sense of purpose in themselves and the world around them.

"I know of no other organization where girls and women can learn and build character and leadership skills like the Girl Scouts," Barnett said. "Not only do girls and women need to know how to lead in their own lives, but they also should be confident that they can be leaders in the world."

As Lyon County Girl Scouts hit the streets with their smiles and cookie order sheets, they will be offering Trefoils, Do-Si-Dos, Samoas, Tagalongs, Thin Mints and the brand new lemon sensation, Lemon Ups. These Girl Scout Cookie standards are being sold for only $5 per box. In addition, the Girl Scouts are featuring two specialty Girl Scout Cookies -- S'Mores and gluten-free Toffee-Tastic -- for $6 per box.

As a bonus for individuals who buy four boxes or more, each person will be entered into a Four for Four Drawing where the winners will receive four cases of Girl Scout Cookies.

During the months that Girl Scout Cookies are sold each year, the sales generate more than $700 million a year and engage the business skills of girls of all ages from kindergarten through 12th grade.

Girl Scout mother Jessica Herring said her daughter Richmond likes selling Girl Scout Cookies because "it's fun" and helps her earn badges.

"It also teaches her about sales, marketing, how to be responsible with money and gives her a taste of what it is like to run a business," said Jessica Herring.

In addition to the next few weeks of individual Girl Scout Cookie sales, each Girl Scout Troop will be having Girl Scout Cookie sale booths set up through out town from late February through mid-March.