Girl Scout cookie season is over. The local numbers are in.

And they're sweet.

Scouts from the Central California South region, a five-county area made up of Fresno, Kings, Madera, Tulare and Kern counties, sold 971,172 packages of Girl Scout cookies during the six-week selling season.

And get this: Six of the top-10 sellers in the five-county region were Girl Scouts from Kern County. 

Eleven-year-old CJ James, a sixth-grader, sold 1,556 boxes of Girl Scout cookies last year. This year, her goal was to sell 2,000 boxes.

Her final count at the end of cookie season was 2,150, placing her among the top-10 sellers in Central California South.

Not surprisingly, it took work and dedication.

"Every time the sun was out, I was selling cookies," CJ said Tuesday.

According to Amanda Romo, a spokeswoman with Girl Scouts of Central California South, being involved in cookie sales teaches the girls five essential life skills: goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills, and business ethics.

There were times, CJ said, she would rather have stayed home and watched TV. But instead, she got busy. Some of her sales proceeds will be used to fund a planned trip to Germany with her robotics team in summer 2020.

"It's nice knowing so many in the top-10 were from Kern County," CJ said of the 2019 rankings. "I'm really happy about that."

So is Cyley Luna. The second-grader is only 8, yet she sold 3,046 boxes of cookies, second most in the five-county region.

How'd she do it?

"Cyley is very good at up-selling, as we call it," said her mother, Ashley Luna.

It seems many customers initially order two boxes. But by the time the transaction was over, three or more boxes were often agreed to.

"I could get them to buy a lot of boxes," said the 8-year-old entrepreneur.

Her mom says Cyley does it because she loves it — and because the proceeds or the cookies themselves sometimes benefit the homeless, military veterans, active-duty service members or food pantries.

And there's a third reason: competition. Cyley wanted to beat the socks off her over-achieving older sister, Priscilla.

"She wants to help people. That's what drives her the most," Cyley's mom said.

"But she also wanted to beat her sister, and this year she did."

Nothing wrong with a little friendly, sisterly competition to drum up some business.

Steven Mayer can be reached at 661-395-7353. Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter: @semayerTBC.

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