PHOENIX — Many young girls dream of living in a castle someday.
For Maija Kaprosy, the 12-year-old decided to build her own castle using dozens of boxes of Girl Scout cookies. An added bonus: hopefully bringing more attention -- and a sales boost -- to the Girl Scouts cookie season, which is underway in Arizona.
"I thought little girls really like being princesses, so I thought since we were Girl Scouts scouts and little girls, we wanted a castle," she said.
The project began when the Girl Scouts of Arizona Cactus-Pine Council, which covers northern and central Arizona, reached out to Homie, a real-estate company, for their help in highlight the cookie season, which has had to adapt due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Vianca Navarete, the council's marketing communications specialist, said local Girl Scouts are still selling cookies the traditional way with socially-distant books and internet sales, but knew they would need extra help this year.
She said Homie gave the council a $15,000 grant and came up with the idea to build a house. Kaprosy wanted it to be bigger so she suggested a castle.
With the help of her families and a couple of other families, their team got to work. The frame of the house is made out of wood and was then covered with dozens of cookie boxes -- specifically Tagalongs.
It spans 13 feet tall and 13 feet wide and has two towers.
"There is also an archway with the draw bridge covered with green Thin Mint boxes, and the walls are orange; the walls are made out of peanut butter Do-Si-Do's," said Maija.
While Homie and the Girl Scouts leaders had hoped their grant would help foster creativity, Elli Kaprosy, Maija's mom, said it did much more than that.
"There was math, there was science, there was engineering, there was building, there was problem-solving," she said.
The team has to figure out how to build the structure and get it through the doors of the store-front at The Shops at Norterra, where it is currently on display, and then how to glue the boxes around the structure, including the columns.
Maija's mother credits her daughter for being the mastermind behind the colossal cookie structure.
"It was all her. We were her work crew. We did what she told us to do," she said.
Sarah Edelman, senior marketing manager at Homie, said they were stunned at the final project.
"The castle was huge, it was seriously mind-blowing," she said.
"I didn't expect the whole castle to be covered with Girl Scout cookies, but it really is floor up, all covered in Girl Scout cookies," she said.
The "cook castle" as it is called will be on display at the shopping center through February. And, yes, you will be able to purchase Girl Scout cookies there should you be tempted.
As for that boost in cookie sales, Maija said she's off to a good start.
Homie bought nearly $12,000 worth of cookies and hopes to find a way to give them back to the community.
IF YOU GO:
2450 W Happy Valley Rd.
Phoenix, AZ 85085