Future UT-Austin student sells over 10,000 Girl Scout cookie boxes, breaks Central Texas record

Jennifer Errico

Marillah King numbered and signed the last 10 boxes. Seven were sold to students outside the University Co-op. The last box she would sell as a Girl Scout was bought by her grandparents.

Last year, King sold 7,227 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies, setting the record of most boxes sold in Central Texas.

On Sunday, King broke her own record, selling over 10,000 boxes.

King, a Pflugerville High School senior, started Girl Scouts in the first grade and sold 1,000 boxes of cookies her first year. King’s mom, Amie King, said although King enjoys other aspects of Girl Scouts, such as campouts and earning badges, selling cookies has always been her favorite.

“She enjoys selling things, and it was fun to be exposed to people you might never meet otherwise,” Amie said. “I think when she gets into that sales mode, she’s almost like a different person.”

Selling sparked Marillah’s interest in business, and she will be joining the UT community in the fall as a student at the McCombs School of Business.

“Selling cookies for 12 years taught me a lot of the business aspects of selling, such as keeping track of inventory, how to manage your business, how to collect money and how to distribute your product,” Marillah said.

The Girl Scout Cookie selling season is six weeks long. During this time, Marillah said she would typically clear her calendar to dedicate over 40 hours a week to selling, including Saturdays and Sundays.

“I told (other high school) clubs, ‘I’m sorry, I can’t make it to meetings these next two months; I have to sell cookies,’” Marillah said. “I would do my homework in the car or during lunch, in any little free time I had.”

Amie said Girl Scouts, especially cookie season, was a family affair. King’s dad is the financial “cookie dad” who manages the money for the whole troop, King’s brother has been doing ads for her cookie sales since he was two years old and Amie, as the “cookie mom,” helps manage the booth.  

Kate Young, King’s Girl Scout troop leader, said the troop uses the proceeds from the boxes they sell to travel, earn badges and gain new cultural experiences. Marillah only uses the money from the first 3,500 boxes to travel.

Last year, Marillah used the money from the remaining boxes to start the Camper-ship Fund, a scholarship program for underserved girls who can’t afford to go to camp.

“She wanted to leave a legacy so to speak,” Young said. “As far as she was concerned, every girl should go to camp at least once.”

She has funded three girls’ trips to camp so far and plans to continue being involved in the program while attending UT.

Marillah will be a third-generation Longhorn and plans to stay involved in Girl Scouts as an ambassador for the organization, helping her fellow scouts with connections and tips in the cookie business. She also plans to be an adult chaperone for troop trips.

King said cookie sales have provided her with opportunities to expand her social skills and gain confidence in herself, which she said will help in her transition to UT. 

“The biggest thing (cookie sales) have taught me is how to communicate with other people and just be nice to everyone,” said King. “Cookies have opened my eyes to the world.”