SAN DIEGO – Girl Scout Cookie sales have officially kicked off in San Diego County. 

For most people, that means that it’s finally time to nab a few boxes to eat – or put in the freezer for later. But for Girl Scouts, they’re just getting into business.

Sahara Rodriguez at the Girl Scout headquarters in Savannah, GA during a trip she earned through cookie sales. (Courtesy of Dafne Rodriguez)

While any cookie sales – whether a girl sells a couple dozen or a few hundred – are hard work, there are some that strive for numbers in the thousands, aiming to become what the San Diego Council calls an “Elite Entrepreneur.”

Elite Entrepreneurs are girls who sell a number of boxes either higher or equal to the year. So this year, the threshold to become an Elite Entrepreneur will be 2,023 boxes. 

Last year, only 59 scouts in San Diego sold enough boxes to become an Elite Entrepreneur.

One of those was Sahara Rodriguez, a tenth grader and senior scout in Troop 6105. She sold the most cookies out of all the San Diego Girl Scouts, reaching 8,024 boxes of cookies.

“It’s still kind of weird, because I didn’t think I was going to be able to sell that many cookies during Cookie Season,” Sahara said to “(But), I’m happy and proud of myself.”

Last year was the fifth year Sahara was an Elite Entrepreneur. One year she sold 10,713 boxes, setting a new record for the number of cookies sold in San Diego.

For any number of boxes, the Girl Scouts offer prizes to help motivate girls to set a goal and work towards it. 

The work that she has put towards her cookie sales has earned her trips to summer camps where she was able to learn new skills like horseback riding, as well as given her opportunity to travel to places she hadn’t been before.

Sahara’s goal going into last year’s season was to sell 4,500 boxes, which would earn her a trip to Savannah, GA – the birthplace of the Girl Scouts. It took her five weeks out of the seven week cookie sales season to meet that goal.

Sahara Rodriguez posing with “Big Ed,” a reality star from 90-Day Fiancé. Sahara ran into him while doing a booth sale. (Courtesy of Dafne Rodriguez)

“I went door to door for all the neighborhoods, here and away from my house,” Sahara said. “I also sold to my coaches, in school, to my friends and my family. And at booth sales, like Walmart, Vons and all those kinds of stores.”

Booth sales, which are set to begin in San Diego on Feb. 10, are a big part of how Sahara reached her goal, sitting outside stores with her mom for up to six hours a day every weekend she could during cookie season. 

Through selling cookies over the last eight years as a Girl Scout, Sahara said that she has learned valuable skills, like goal setting, patience and determination.

Sahara is looking forward to working towards becoming an elite entrepreneur this year, so she can travel some more with the Girl Scouts.

But for her, the best part of cookie sales isn’t the prizes she works towards – it’s the impact that cookie sales have on her community.

“When I sell cookies, (some) customers see their childhood memories come back from when they weren’t Girl Scouts when they were younger,” Sahara said of the conversations she would have with the customers in her neighborhood. “They (would tell) me their stories of when they used to sell boxes door to door.”

“(That’s) what motivates me to sell cookies,” she said. “I know that the more cookies I sell, the more people I can impact in my community.”