It’s about time for the Girl Scouts to start their annual cookie sales.

In preparation, Cookie College was Saturday at Fort Hays State University for the Girl Scouts of Kansas Heartland. Sales for the cookie event that brings in $700 million from approximately 200 million boxes sold each year begins Feb. 13.

Four of the five sessions in the Saturday morning program were at the Fort Hays State University Memorial Union in the Black and Gold Room. The fifth session was in the home of Fort Hays President Mirta Martin, which is across the street from the union. Each of the five sections were done in relation to the five skills the Girl Scouts operate their cookie business by: goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and business ethics.

The Cookie College gives the girls a chance to hear how they can work the skills into their cookie sales and in other ways in business. Most of the presentations were given by Fort Hays administrators and student ambassadors.

Nicole Walz, the youth and leadership and community development specialist from the Hays Girl Scouts office, gave the presentation on money management. Walz has been in the administrative side in the Hays office for a little more than a year, and it was her second year as a part of the Cookie College.

“Everybody just did it in their own way with the groups and their activities,” Walz said.

During each session, those in attendance, who came from across the northwest part of the state, took part in discussion and activities each one of the invited guests would lead. The girls each were given a five-page guide they could fill out with each section.

“I have two girls of my own, so I feel like I can make some really good connections, and I think that girls — especially at this age — just need good role models and good characteristics to focus on,” said Fort Hays TigerTech Coordinator Michelle Schyler, who led the session on decision making. “I believe in what the Girl Scouts are doing. Basically all the principles they are learning will definitely carry on later in their life, not just because of Girl Scouts but it kind of provides them a good foundation.”

During the last stop at the president’s house, the group heard from Dr. Joy Hatch, FHSU’s vice president of technology, and a few student ambassadors. After the presentations, the girls were given a tour of the house.

Walz said she is pleased with the turnout, and the Cookie College is one of the events she believes the girls are always excited about.

“I think it’s good,” Walz said. “This is one of the few programs that fills up every year. I had 40 spots allowed, and we had 38 girls signed up. Three girls didn’t attend, but it’s like pulling teeth to get them to come to some of the others that you think will be successful or that they need or want them to need. This is one of the few that every year, it’s always packed.”