Continuing the tradition: Girl Scouts adjust cookie-selling tactics to accommodate pandemic

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Whether it be buying Lemonades and Peanut Butter Patties or Thin Mints and Caramel deLites, for many, supporting the Girl Scouts is an annual tradition. Customers usually line up in front of supermarket booths or school lockers to receive their orders, but this year, things are different.

By Maya Shah and Shreya Vaidhyanathan, Staff Reporters

Whether it be buying Lemonades and Peanut Butter Patties or Thin Mints and Caramel deLites, for many, supporting the Girl Scouts is an annual tradition. Customers usually line up in front of supermarket booths or school lockers to receive their orders, but this year, things are different.

Cookies are now sold online via the smart cookies webpage. The webpage allows buyers to purchase cookies through a particular troop or scout. Customers have the option to choose the quantity and type of cookies they desire and can have them delivered one of two ways: direct delivery to the buyer’s house or delivery to the nearest participating bakery, where the buyer can then go pick up their order. 

Despite the difficulties of this year, Girl Scouts have managed to persevere and fulfill their long-standing role in the tradition of selling cookies. Sophomore Isabella Chen has been selling cookies with Girl Scouts since 2nd grade. 

“(Girl Scout cookies) are just iconic, you know? If we just didn’t have them, everyone would be like, ‘Where’d they go?’,” Chen said.

Monthly troop meetings are now taking place over zoom, where members participate in team building activities to maintain morale and keep spirits high. Freshman Ellie Stanfield has been involved in Girl Scouts for 10 years. 

“During the meetings we usually play games, just making sure we stay connected and not distancing ourselves virtually, too,” Stanfield said.

In their meetings, troops also brainstorm cookie-advertising ideas. The biggest difference this year is the inability to have cooking-selling booths, whether in front of a store or in the mall, the lack of which members feel like has impacted overall sales. Without flyers or traditional word of mouth in school, they are instead turning to resources like personal social medias and group chats to get the word out.  

Seventh grader Lexi Tubbs, who has been a Girl Scout for seven years, has always loved selling cookies in person.

“Selling cookies (in person) gives you a sort of satisfaction. You can just go to the mall and talk to complete strangers, keep going every day and still meet different people,” Tubbs said. 

Despite the shortcomings of online cookie-selling, Tubbs feels that learning to adapt to change is an important skill to learn. 

“(Sales are) a little harder (this year) because you don’t interact with people, which is a big part of selling cookies. But, it’s a great experience to at least have some backup options when selling cookies instead of just the original format,” Tubbs said.

Whether the customers were friends from school or total strangers, interacting with people is a big reason why Stanfield loves Girl Scouts. She feels that the unity within Girl Scouts led to lifelong friendships.

“(My favorite part is) connecting with the community because every Girl Scout that I’ve met, we’ve all had something in common — instant friends,” Stanfield said.

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