Every year around this time, the Girl Scouts go out into the world to sharpen and refine their entrepreneurial spirit by selling their famous cookies.

This year, now that the Whispering Oaks and DuPage Councils have merged, a new cookie baker is being used. Consequently, there is now a new cookie to sell, replacing the Pinata cookie, that was sold for two years.

The Pinata was an oatmeal cookie filled with strawberries, lined with white sugary glaze and topped with a cinnamon crumble. The new cookie replacing it is called the Cafe Cookie, which is crispy, sweet crunchy and cinnamony.

Of course, the usual seven other flavors of cookies are still available at $4 a box. Also, due to the merging of the councils, local cookie buyers may find that they are faced with cookies bearing different names. Take heart! The cookies are still the same, and only the names are different.

For instance, the Peanut Butter Patties, which taste like crunchy Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, now go under the name of “Tagalongs.” The classic shortbreads, the first cookie ever produced and sold by Girl Scouts back in the 1930s, are now called “Trefoils.” The Caramel DeLites, with caramel, chocolate, and coconut, that are thoroughly satisfying, are now “Samoas.” The Reduced-Fat Lemon Pastry Cremes, which are lemony and luscious, are known as “Lemon Coolers.”

The Animal Treasures, with chocolate-dipped likenesses of endangered animals, can be found under the name “All Abouts.” The Peanut Butter Sandwiches, truly like sandwiches with crunchy, nutty filling, are now “Do-Si-Dos.” Lastly, the ever-popular, perennial favorite, the Thin Mints, whose type is so familiar that no description is needed, are still known as “Thin Mints.”

While the cookie-selling scouts are refining their business acumen by learning leadership skills, teamwork, customer service, and money management, they are also earning badges for cookie selling, and each member of entire troops can receive a “Cookie Genius” pin if they sell at least an average of 200 boxes of cookies.

This year, with the merging of the Whispering Oaks Council and the DuPage Council, some of the cookie money will go towards supporting council programs and the maintenance of both Camp River Trails in Sheridan, and Camp Greene Wood in Woodridge. As usual, some of the money will also be going to the troops themselves, for their own use.

What the scouts call the Polar Bear Sales period, lasting from January 7-22, is now over. However, cookies can still be obtained at Spring Booth sales, that will still be going on in this area.

Meanwhile, for those residents served by the Girl Scouts’ Illinois Crossroads Council, cookies are still on sale through Jan. 30, with delivery taking place Feb. 25 to March 25.