Steve Pardo / The Detroit News
DEARBORN -- A year ago, Jennifer Sharpe made national headlines when she shattered the single-season record for selling Girl Scout cookies.
Now, the 16-year-old junior has set her sights on becoming the most prolific cookie seller of all time.
Sharpe shattered the single-season record by selling 17,328 boxes last year, about 3,000 boxes more than the previous record. The year before, she sold about 12,000 boxes. She was featured on NBC's "Today Show," and her story was picked up by dozens of other media outlets.
Now she's gunning for the all-time Guinness World Record. She figures she'll need to sell about 11,000 boxes in order to top the existing 60,000-box record.
She's got two more selling seasons left -- Girl Scouts can sell cookies until they're out of high school. But she's planning on breaking the record this season so she doesn't have to sweat her senior year. "It was hard last year," she said. "But this year with my goal of only 11,000, it should be pretty easy."
Today is the kickoff of the 2008-09 Girl Scout cookie season. Girls 5-17 get their order forms today. The scouts will sell the varieties at cookie booths throughout southeast Michigan from Feb. 27 through March 22. Prices are the same as last year, $3.50 a box.
Scouts get 60 cents commission per box to be used by the troop. They earn 85 cents a box when they sell 1,000 or more.
Sharpe's efforts netted $14,730 for her troop last year.
Nine troop members plus parents will leave for Europe on Dec. 27. The trip is paid for by the troop's last season cookie sales.
"We will be spending New Year's at the Eiffel Tower," said Jennifer's mother, Pamela, who helps Jennifer during cookie season and is active in her troop.
Her secrets: staying positive, being out there selling every day "with a smile on your face," Sharpe said. And never giving up.
Come February, Sharpe and family members will be outside a site in Dearborn. Like thousands of others, they'll sell the cookies from makeshift stands.
This season's upcoming proceeds are already spoken for. Jennifer's troop plans on going to Europe in 2010.
Posted by Erin Rose at 4:23 PM