Thursday marked the official start of Girl Scout cookie sales, and a couple of varieties will feature a local face on the box.

Girl Scout Serena Pisacano, of Northeast Philadelphia’s Rhawnhurst section, will be featured on the 2020 packaging for Lemonades and the newly available Lemon-Ups, which replace Savannah Smiles cookies. Both cookies are citrusy takes on shortbread, though Lemon-Ups are not available in the immediate Philadelphia area. (Don’t worry, though, a spokesperson for the Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania said — they’re similar cookies.)

Pisacano, 20, has been involved with the Girl Scouts since the sixth grade — most recently as a horse-riding instructor at Camp Wood Haven in Pine Grove, Schuylkill County. These days, she is a sophomore at Earlham College in Indiana, where she studies geology, chemistry, and music, and also works as a lifeguard and part-time EMT.

A plaque featuring Lemonades Girl Scout Cookies. Northeast Philly's Serena Pisacano graces the package of the new cookies
Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania
A plaque featuring Lemonades Girl Scout Cookies. Northeast Philly's Serena Pisacano graces the package of the new cookies

Her chance to appear on the group’s famous cookie boxes came in 2018, during her senior year of high school, when the Girl Scouts ran a contest for the honor. Pisacano submitted an application at the last minute, answering essay questions about her cookie-selling techniques, goals, and accomplishments within the organization.

Her primary technique, Pisacano said, was to remain cheerful and happy during the times she was selling cookies. That trick came from the advice of a neighborhood customer.

“I was on my street selling cookies, and a guy said that the best way to sell cookies is to look happy while you’re doing it, so that’s what I did,” Pisacano said. Another element to her success was to have Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-Based — or SMART — goals, which made hitting sales numbers more manageable.

Pisacano found out she had won the cookie-box contest in May of her senior year but couldn’t tell anyone about the victory until recently. As part of the win, she and her family took a trip to New York City, where she was able to meet with box designers and photographers, as well as female business leaders.

During the trip, Pisacano also participated in a photo shoot for the contest, the results of which are now featured on this season’s boxes of Lemonades and Lemon-Ups.

“The refreshed Girl Scouts Lemonades cookie packaging continues to emphasize what the cookie program is all about,” said Kim E. Fraites-Dow, chief executive officer of GSEP. “The updated images feature Girl Scouts like Serena, and every purchase of Girl Scout cookies showcases girls participating in a diverse range of leadership experiences from adventure-packed camping and canoeing, to exploring space science and designing robots.”

Those and various other Girl Scout cookies are on sale now, and as always, will be available for a limited time. Typically, the organization says, the season lasts between January and March.