Girl Scouts work around pandemic to sell famed cookies

Thin mints, Lemon-Ups, and more available online, at booths, via Grubhub

Local Girl Scouts will put to use new sales strategies and technology skills honed during a global pandemic as Girl Scouts of Central & Western Massachusetts kicks off the 2021 Girl Scout Cookie season. The cookie season like no other begins Friday, January 15, in central and western Massachusetts.

Girl Scouts are selling in creative, socially distant, and contact-free ways to keep themselves and their customers safe during a challenging time. Even in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, girls are adapting their sales methods to share the joy of Girl Scout Cookies through the largest girl-led entrepreneurship program—including taking contact-free pickup and delivery orders through a new national collaboration with Grubhub. Additionally, Girl Scouts of the USA is making online cookie ordering available nationwide on February 1 so consumers who don’t know a Girl Scout can still purchase cookies from a local troop for direct shipment to their homes or donation to local organizations.

The Girl Scout Cookie Program has long taught girls how to run a business via in-person booths, door-to-door activity, and the Digital Cookie platform online, which GSUSA launched in 2014.

With the COVID-19 pandemic girls are faced with the same challenges as other small businesses. Girls in Worcester, Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin and Berkshire counties quickly pivoted their sales methods. From running virtual cookie booths on social media to participating in drive-through locations to facilitating orders that ship directly to customers’ doors, girls as young as five years old are continuing to embrace their entrepreneurial spirits, stay connected to their communities, and have fun by participating in the cookie program. And, the proceeds from each and every purchase stay local with the troop and Girl Scouts of Central & Western Massachusetts to power Girl Scouts’ essential leadership programming.

Here are the ways local Girl Scouts will be selling cookies this year:

·        Online: Girl Scouts will be selling cookies online through Digital Cookie and social media (with parental supervision) to promote their virtual cookie business to friends and family. Whether its emails, door hangers, or virtual cookie booths, customers will have contactless purchase and delivery options as well as the option to donate cookies to GSCWM’s Project Care & Share (cookies for our service men and women).

·        Cookie Booths: Drive-through cookie booths; “lemonade stand style” neighborhood booths; and traditional storefront cookies booths at local establishments including GNC. Girls are exploring new and innovative ways to sell cookies directly to the public while also making sure to follow COVID-19 safety protocols based on Governor Baker and local health board restrictions).

·        Grubhub and GSUSA National Online Cookie program: New this year, customers can support their local Girl Scouts by purchasing through Grubhub in select areas (Holyoke, Lee and Worcester). Customers who don’t know a Girl Scout will still be able to order from a local Girl Scout through GSUSA’s National Online program. Both methods offer contactless online purchase and delivery.

All purchases of Thin Mints, Samoas, Lemon-Ups, and other Girl Scout Cookie favorites are an investment in girl leadership in your local community. With every sale, the Girl Scout Cookie Program teaches girls how to think like entrepreneurs as they run their own small businesses and learn skills like goal setting, money management, business ethics, people skills, and decision making—which are imperative for any leadership role. And girls decide how to use their portion of the proceeds for unforgettable leadership experiences and community projects, while GSCWM depends on the funds to deliver life-changing Girl Scout programming to 7,000 members in central and western Massachusetts.

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