PARKER, AZ (3TV/CBS5) -- An 11-year-old Girl Scout from Parker, Arizona sold more boxes of cookies than the entire population of her hometown, earning her the top honors in her region for the second year in a row.
Maddie Dunlap of Troop 1892 sold 4,043 boxes of cookies during this year’s six-week selling window, according to the Girl Scouts Arizona Cactus-Pine Council.
Parker, Ariz. has a population of 3,059.
“Whenever my friends come over they're, like, ‘Dang, I didn't know you sold that many cookies!'” Dunlap said with a smile.
She said Parker’s small size is a big advantage in the cookie business. The town is located near the California-Arizona border along the Colorado River.
“Everybody in my neighborhood, we pretty much know them all,” she said. “A lot of people buy five or six boxes usually -- if they know me very well.”
Maddie is now in her fourth year of scouting and she has honed her sales strategy: she starts by going door-to-door the first week, then sets up a booth outside stores in Parker. She said spends as many as four hours a day on school days selling cookies and another six to eight hours a day on weekends -- all in Parker.
Her technique? She’s careful to be friendly with potential customers, not confrontational. “I have conversations with people and don't pop out in front of the door and say ‘Buy cookies from me now!’ and scare them,” Maddie said.
Maddie attributes her ability to get repeat customers to a skill she learned from her mother Tiffany: counting back change properly. “My mom always said I can't sell cookies without counting back change correctly.”
Maddie was the top seller this year and last year in the Arizona Cactus-Pine Council, which has more than 20,000 girls and 10,000 adult volunteers over two-thirds of the state. In 2018, Maddie sold 4,874 boxes and earned a surf trip to San Diego for her efforts, among other prizes.
The Girl Scouts cookie program is designed to build entrepreneurial and leadership skills.
“I'm very impressed. I've seen a huge growth in her. Just her confidence and her ability to talk to people. It's really cool to see,” said Maddie’s sister-in-law Stephanie Dunlap.
Maddie’s Troop 1892 also earned top honors in the Cactus-Pine Council with 28,205 boxes. Throughout the region, more than 11,368 girls combined to sell 2,828,384 boxes.
The top seller in the state in 2019 was Adriana Chavez of Tucson from the Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona. She sold 5,400 boxes, according to Marketing and Communications Manager Jessica Malordy.
The Southern Arizona council plans to release its final sales figures in the coming days, she said.