Girl Scouts facing challenges, get creative selling cookies during pandemic


North Augusta, S.C. (WJBF) — It’s that time of year again — Girl Scouts are selling those cookies we all love. But due to the coronavirus pandemic, those young entrepreneurs are being forced to get creative to keep cookie sales up.

Girl Scouts typically use their cute faces to sell cookies by going door to door with adult supervision, selling to family and friends, and of course those cookie booths we love to see. This year, their options to sell are limited because of the pandemic.

Suman Marks-Johnson is a longtime Girl Scout Leader and Service Unit Volunteer. She says girls are still able to sell cookies at a distance.

“Girl Scouts have still gone door to door, but that is getting to be less frequent now,” Marks-Johnson said. “So, a lot of them are using social media, they are going through friends and family, parents are going through their workplace just trying to decrease.”

“Their schools,” offered her daughter, Teagan Johnson.

“And your schools, definitely,” Marks-Johnson agreed. “Trying to decrease the safety concerns of going door to door, because they have to be supervised to go door to door.”

Marks-Johnson and Teagan are veteran cookie sellers. They say pandemic limitations may make finding a Girl Scout to purchase your favorite yearly cookies from difficult. This year scouts are turning to technology for sales.

“You can use the Girl Scout Cookie Finder on the Girl Scouts of the USA website, and it will direct you to either a girl, or a cookie booth,” Marks-Johnson said.

Teagan is a seventh-grader and has been a Girl Scout since she was five. She says that the app girls use to place orders is user friendly and that even the younger girls are able to do it.

“You can ask somebody if they want to buy and you put in their order because it has all the varieties of cookies on there. You put how many cookies they want in there,” Teagan explained. “Then, you get their email, their credit card and you get their zip code, their state zip code thing. Then, you place their order and it will come when they’re ready.”

Marks-Johnson says most sales this year are online and can be delivered by a scout, or customers can pay to ship and have it delivered to their home.

Girl Scouts of South Carolina Mountains to Midlands is helping with shipping costs for those who order a certain number of boxes.

“One thing to note is cookies are $5 this year and they are available through girls’ individual links or the app. Or the website. But our council, Mountains to Midlands for the South Carolina area going from the midlands to upstate, is subsidizing shipping, 50% of shipping for 6 or more boxes.”

Those interested in the gluten free cookie can only get them online for $6 a box.

Cookie booths will be set up at local businesses this year at the discretion of troop leaders, but will depend on what is happening with COVID numbers.

To find a local Girl Scout to buy cookies from, click here.

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