Thousands of Girl Scouts gathered Saturday at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont to kickoff this year's cookie sale.
It was the largest gathering in the history of local scouts and follows the 2008 merger of seven councils to form the Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana Council, with almost 95,000 girls and 24,000 adults. It's the largest council in the country.
Girls learned about money management, marketing and goal setting for the sale and got to participate in a variety of fun activities before the Chicago Wolves hockey game.
Girl Scouts will be accepting orders for the cookies today through Jan. 24. Cookies also will be sold at various neighborhood sites Feb. 13-March 14.
"It's not unusual for me to talk to women in leadership positions who proudly admit they had their first real-world experience in business when they sold Girl Scout cookies," Palatine resident Maria Wynne, the CEO of the council, said in a news release. "That tells me we're providing valuable experiences that will enable girls to fill all important leadership roles in the future."