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Girl Scouts get creative for contact-free cookie program

 Encinitas resident Riley Adamou
Last year in February 2020 (pre-COVID), Encinitas resident Riley Adamou (right) teamed up with troopmate Darby Wright at a cookie booth. So far this year the girls have been marketing their wares mostly online.

(Courtesy)

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.

Troop 3212 leader Molly Wright, of Pacific Highlands Ranch, is proud of how her Junior Girl Scouts are overcoming the limitations necessitated by COVID-19. “Our girls are rising to the occasion by creating fun sales videos, calling former customers, making signs and distributing door hangers that include their personal QR codes, and reaching out on social media. This year, they’re learning brand new skills, as well as the goal setting, decision-making, money management, and business ethics lessons the cookie program traditionally builds.

Wright’s troop, all fifth-graders at Nativity School in Rancho Santa Fe, has personalized the secure “Digital Cookie” websites that help them safely and effectively manage their cookie businesses. The young entrepreneurs invite visitors to their online stores to shop, pay, and select either direct shipping from the baker or contactless delivery by the girls.

The Community Resource Center in Encinitas has received 80 boxes of Girl Scout cookies, courtesy of real estate agent Richard Stone, a longtime client of Wright’s daughter. “Mr. Stone has been a great customer for five years, and I am thankful that he supports our troop,” says 10-year-old Darby.

All net cookie proceeds stay local in San Diego to fund programs, camps, service projects, field trips, and the financial assistance that helps all girls participate in Girl Scouting. Troop 3212’s goal is to raise money for its first overnight trip to learn about the aerospace industry.

Encinitas resident Riley Adamou has been a member of Troop 3212 for two years. Wright says Adamou and her sister Girl Scouts are passionate about animals and plan to contribute a portion of their cookie proceeds to the Helen Woodward Animal Center. “Currently, the troop is working toward the Bronze Award—the highest honor Junior Girl Scouts can earn—by raising awareness about pet adoption and animal safety.”

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, girls have been permitted to host “standabouts” (cookie booths) outside their residences, using the same strict safety protocols as farmers markets.

Customers 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. The Encinitas Rotary and Encinitas Coastal Rotary clubs are among groups that have hosted Girl Scouts so far.

All girls ages 5-17 are welcome to join Girl Scouts at any time. For information, visit sdgirlscouts.org or email customercare@sdgirlscouts.org.


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