To ensure the safety of Girl Scouts and cookie buyers alike, troops are following the county health guidelines established to help reduce COVID-19 transmissions. They are approaching the cookie program a bit differently this year, combining time-honored sales techniques with innovative approaches in a socially distanced manner.
Daisy Girl Scout Troop 4423 includes first-graders at the Loma Portal and High Tech elementary schools. Leader Jessica Voytek says that, while her girls miss direct interactions with customers, they have found ways to market cookies. “We created a fun sales video, called last year’s customers, and made flyers and signs with their personal QR codes and the addresses for their secure “Digital Cookie” websites.
Troop parents reached out on social media, inviting visitors to their daughters’ online stores to shop, pay, and select either direct shipping from the baker or contact-free delivery by the girls and their parents.
Seven-year-old Linnea Voytek has a secret marketing weapon: an eight-foot-tall dinosaur named Lilly. In addition to wearing a custom-made Daisy vest to help out during Girl Scout Cookie season, a decked-out Lilly comes out of hiding for major holidays.
Jessica Voytek sees Linnea and her troopmates growing in confidence through Girl Scouting. Participating in the cookie program, for example, helps them learn goal-setting, decision-making, money management, people skills, and business ethics. “They get a real sense of accomplishment when they complete a cookie transaction or achieve a goal,” she says.
Linnea has surpassed her original goal of 250 packages of cookies and wants to keep going. “Being a Girl Scout makes me feel warm inside,” she says, adding that she can’t wait to advance to the Brownie level this spring.
Troop 4423 formed in January 2020, so most of its weekly meetings have been held online. By completing 10 units about how to be honest and fair, courageous and strong, respectful of themselves and others, and other tenets of the Girl Scout Law, the girls have earned the right to add ten colorful daisy petals to their vests.
They are currently doing activities and discussions centered around nature and the idea that by learning how to take care of animals, Daisies also learn to take care of themselves. The girls plan to use part of their cookie money to purchase supplies to assist animals at the San Diego Humane Society.
All net cookie proceeds stay here in San Diego to fund programs, camps, service projects, field trips, and the financial assistance that allows all girls to participate in Girl Scouting.
How to find Girl Scout Cookies
Cookie fans who know a Girl Scout may ask her for an invitation to her Digital Cookie site. Others may visit sdgirlscouts.org and type in their ZIP code to request cookies from a troop in their community. Recently, under guidance from the county health officials, Girl Scouts have been permitted to host “standabouts” (cookie booths) outside their residences, using the same strict safety protocols as farmers markets.
Customers also may donate cookies to Operation Thin Mint, a local program that sends “a taste of home and a note to show we care” to deployed service members and local veterans. Since it began 20 years ago, generous San Diegans have gifted over 3.25 million packages of cookies to grateful U.S. troops serving around the world.
New this year is the E2B (Entrepreneur-to-Business) program that helps girls hone their presentation skills and work toward their cookie goals. Corporate, civic, and social groups may invite a Girl Scout to one of their virtual meetings to deliver a five-minute marketing pitch.
All girls ages 5-17 are welcome to join Girl Scouts at any time. For information, visit sdgirlscouts.org or email [email protected].