Sweet Treats: Girl Scouts learn  entrepreneurship through cookie sales

Sweet Treats: Girl Scouts learn entrepreneurship through cookie sales

By Alison Bailin Batz

Girl Scouts from the Arizona Cactus-Pine Council are hitting shopping centers and other outlets to sell their trademark cookies through Sunday, February 27.

More than 11,000 girls in grades kindergarten through 12 in more than 90 communities will develop their leadership skills and tools with the sales.

The Girl Scout Cookie Program is the world’s largest girl-led entrepreneurial program, generating over $700 million in annual sales.

Nearly 200 million boxes of Girl Scout cookies are sold annually to 50 million customers.

Girl Scouts-Arizona Cactus-Pine Council sold over 2 million packages of cookies last year. Amid the challenges of COVID-19, troops are hoping to meet or exceed previous sales goals.

“As we continue to find our new normal and navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, many girl entrepreneurs will utilize digital sales in the upcoming cookie program,” says Mary Mitchell, interim co-chief executive officer for the Girl Scouts-Arizona Cactus-Pine Council.

“Cookie entrepreneurs are planning on a safe and fun season by opting into in-person and/or digital sales through Digital Cookies, Girl Scout’s e-commerce platform available for each girl to build and manage her own website.”

Girls will also provide socially distant and contactless options in person and apply CDC-recommended precautions like wearing a face mask, advising customers to pay with card, and using hand sanitizer in between purchases.

“The Girl Scout Cookie Program is more than a sale,” says Christina Spicer, interim co-chief executive officer for the Girl Scouts-Arizona Cactus-Pine Council.

“It provides girls the skills they need to become successful women. Girl Scouts learn to invest in themselves, their troops, and their community. Encouraging girls’ interest in entrepreneurship prepares them for any future career pathway.

“The qualities that lead to successful entrepreneurship, like curiosity, confidence, and innovation, are essential for all types of academic and career success. There aren’t many organizations that help girls learn key entrepreneurship skills, but Girl Scouting does.”

The cookie lineup is as follows:

• New: Adventurefuls: Brownie-inspired cookie with caramel-flavored crème and a hint of sea salt. $5

• Lemon-Ups: Crispy lemon cookies baked with inspiring messages. $5

• Thin Mints: Mint flavored with a delicious chocolaty coating. Vegan. $5

• Tagalongs: Layers of peanut butter with a rich, chocolaty coating. $5

• Samoas: Caramel and toasted coconut-covered cookies. $5

• Trefoils: Iconic and delicious shortbread cookies. $5

• Do-si-dos: Crisp and crunchy oatmeal outside and creamy peanut butter inside. $5

• Girl Scout S’mores: Crunchy graham sandwich cookies with creamy chocolate and marshmallow-ish filling. $6

• Toffee-tastics: Buttery (and gluten-free) cookies with sweet, crunchy golden toffee bits. $6

“As our nation continues to adapt to life with COVID-19, girls are still encouraged to expand their efforts to web safely with the options to sell online only or online and in person,” says Czerina Harvey, product program manager for Girl Scouts-Arizona Cactus-Pine Council.

The girls’ selling options this year are as follows

Digital Cookie: Through this digital selling platform, girls build a custom website so they can invite friends and family to purchase cookies, with the option of having cookies delivered in person or shipped directly to their home. Girls can also use the Digital Cookie Mobile App to accept credit card payments on the go from customers. Digital Cookie also introduces lessons about online marketing, application use, and eCommerce to Girl Scouts, through building their own cookie website and managing their virtual sales.

Drive-thru booths: Local Girl Scout troops have the option to coordinate drive-thru booths, with cashless transactions being strongly requested. The drive-thru booths will be in parking lots that allow for plenty of distancing and space for the girls and their parents. Cars will have the chance to pull to the front of the line, make their orders, and have the contactless or near contactless ability to pick up their cookies as they would from a traditional booth. There will be parents stationed at each of these booths with sanitizing products to help the girls ensure maximum safety and monitor cookie transfer to cars.

Booths: As permitted and with CDC-recommended guidelines in place, including wearing masks and social distancing, girls will be setting up a temporary “shop” in front of local businesses providing socially distanced options for customers to purchase cookies. Booth locations this year include longtime supporters Fry’s Food Stores, Bashas’ Family of Stores, Walmart, Sam’s Club, Sonic and other retailers and small businesses.

“Over the years, community partners like Bashas and Fry’s have been game changers for us and our local Girl Scouts,” Harvey says.

“We are incredibly thankful for all of our retail partners, small and large, who help our girls in their sale by simply sharing their space and support.

“We’d also like to acknowledge that because of partners like Bashas, our girls on the Navajo Nation and Hopi Lands also get the opportunity to reach cookie customers safely in more rural areas of our jurisdiction.”

Visit girlscoutsaz.org/cookiefinder and use the Girl Scout Cookie Finder. To find a list of nearby cookie booths, enter the ZIP code. There is also an on-the-go Girl Scout Cookie Finder app for iOS or Android mobile phones.

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