Cookies and COVID-19

The Current Struggle of the Girl Scouts


In past years, January brought Girl Scouts knocking on doors with wagons and setting up booths to sell their famous cookies in their biggest fundraiser of the year. Like everyone, Girl Scouts have had to adjust their advertisement and way of selling to be safer.


The traditional method of advertising and ordering Girl Scout Cookies only through in-person interactions such as casual conversations and booths outside of stores doesn’t fit the COVID-19 bill. Instead, local Girl Scout troops are now incorporating more virtual advertising methods, such as using social media and a website called Digital Cookie.


“Digital Cookie has been used more this year. It’s like an online website that an individual girl can make and personalize and sell cookies online,” Elliana Tolman, a member of Troop 1530, said. “You push emails out from the website asking friends and family if they want to buy some, and they can order online and have it shipped to their house.”


Of course, the traditional methods still remain. This year, Tolman, a long time member of the Girl Scouts, went with her sisters and sold cookies door to door in their neighborhood. However, even the traditional way was altered to make sure everyone was comfortable.


“There was this one person who seemed very COVID cautious,” Tolman said. “When we opened the door, he set the money on like a stool, like 6 feet away, and took the cookies on the stool, and so that was really weird.”


In the past year, many activities have been altered or postponed to encourage safety, and surprising opportunities opened up as a result of switching meetings and activities online. Instead of meeting in person, the Girl Scouts held meetings through Zoom.


“It actually opened a new opportunity for Girl Scouts,” Tolman said. “You could attend an event on the coast in a different time zone, and still be here in Texas. And so that was really cool because you could learn about maybe not the normal programs that are around here.”


Of course, online-only meetings had their own drawbacks. Not every activity was able to be transferred to an online platform, and finding a convenient time for everyone to attend meetings often presented a challenge.


“A lot of big yearly events got canceled,” Tolman said. “There was a Twilight Camp. It’s where lots of older kids host camps and activities for younger girls at night time, at an elementary school nearby. And that’s been a yearly tradition that got broken this year because they weren’t able to do that.”


COVID presented unprecedented challenges to every organization, and the Girl Scouts did their best to encourage fun while maintaining the necessary safety standards. Check in with your local Girl Scouts troop to buy some cookies and help their fundraising, and perhaps even donate a box of cookies to the military or healthcare workers.