You’re in luck, it’s National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend
Even if they can’t tote their treats door to door during the pandemic, the Girl Scouts of the Central Coast are gearing up for National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend, an annual celebration that honors young Girl Scout entrepreneurs and their iconic cookies.
From today through Sunday, thousands of scouts across the country, including the more than 8,800 Girl Scouts on the Central Coast, will be celebrating National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend by safely selling their classic treats. With cookie season running from January to mid-March, locals still have time to snatch up their Thin Mints or Samoas through online ordering, safe pick-up or delivery.
It’s been almost a year since Girl Scouts could peddle their cookies door to door or sell their sweet treats at booths outside of grocery stores. These methods have been the go-to sales strategy for thousands of Girl Scouts over the years, but with pandemic restrictions limiting in-person contact, many troops were forced to get creative with their sales.
For Rachelle Cook, a 10-year-old Girl Scout from Santa Barbara, this meant setting up her own cookie-selling booth in her front yard, complete with handmade signs and social distancing. Girl Scouts on the Central Coast recently were cleared to set up their own “lemonade stand” booths a few weeks ago, and for Rachelle, this brought some normalcy back to an unprecedented year.
“Girl Scout Cookie selling is different this year because we have to do it all online, and that makes it a little harder to sell,” Rachelle told the News-Press in an email. “We just recently got the chance to do lemonade stands or cookie booths, and that really is the only similarity between this year and years past. It’s harder for us to find people who want to buy cookies, so we’re grateful when people tell us they have friends who want cookies.”
During the pandemic, Rachelle also utilized her mom’s social media accounts to promote her cookie sales and created business cards to direct people to her online sales page.
Transitioning to online sales proved to be challenging for some troops who had successfully sold door to door in years past. Jules Steelsmith, a 14-year-old Girl Scout from Santa Barbara, normally sells 1,000 boxes a year.
Since she joined Girl Scouts in first grade, Jules has found success selling cookies door to door and at booths outside of grocery stores, but during the pandemic, both of these options became obsolete. Now, her primary method is leaving business cards in the mailboxes of neighborhoods where she used to frequent as a door-to-door seller, giving people the option to buy cookies from her website. While sales are down this year, Jules told the News-Press that she has still received more orders than originally expected.
“This year, I’m just hoping to do the best I can,” Jules said.
Heidi Steelsmith, Jules’ mom and troop leader, has done her best to keep her group of Girl Scouts connected during the pandemic. The troop took part in a beach cleanup effort during the month of September, hosted cooking nights and paint nights over Zoom and even met for a social distanced movie night in the Steelsmith’s backyard. Since Jules was young, Ms. Steelsmith has been involved in leading Girl Scouts and said she feels “very connected” to the girls she leads.
“I think it is important to keep connected socially by doing the beach clean-ups and having these movie nights,” Ms. Steelsmith said. “It’s just nice to have them kind of in the same space. You see their personalities come out when they are together.”
During the pandemic, food delivery service Grubhub has teamed up with the Central Coast Girl Scouts to offer cookie delivery for customers in the region. When customers order cookies on the app, the proceeds benefit Central Coast Girl Scout troops, and the cookies are conveniently delivered to their front door.
To purchase cookies during National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend, visit girlscoutsccc.org/cookies or download the Cookie Finder app.