Girl Scout cookie season is upon us, but you might not be greeted by the usual friendly faces this year.
Instead, check your door to see if a neighborhood Scout left a hang tag. It will be your key to cookie shopping, with each one featuring a link to a Girl Scout’s digital cookie website.
For those who don't know a Scout personally, co-workers and friends may know one who can help. Otherwise, they can contact email@example.com and pass their information on to a Girl Scout family.
Cookie-buyers are encouraged to place their orders virtually during the pre-order period, which started Friday and runs through Feb. 21. While online ordering is open until March 31, supplies of certain cookies (S’mores, Toffee-tastic) are limited and may not available later.
Also, pre-ordering helps troops manage inventory more easily.
Free delivery will start in mid-March, Jackson Girl Scout Service Unit Manager Margaret Gordon said. For those who need their cookies sooner, a direct shipping option is available at a cost.
“Deliveries are part of the sale,” Gordon said. “It’s a lot of work for the girls, but they’re learning a lot of good skills. ... And they also get some fun rewards, depending on how much they sell.”
Digital sales help protect girls from the coronavirus and so will be the primary selling method this year, but a few cookie booths — digital and in-person — will set up starting March 25.
“Troops are girl-led and family-led,” Gordon said, “so if a troop and its families are comfortable with in-person selling, we might have some physical booths like we did last year.” Although, she added, precautions such as social distancing, masking, hand sanitizing and contactless payments will be practiced.
Girl Scout cookie sales directly benefit area troops. In the past, funds have sponsored summer camp experiences. The sales experience also teaches entrepreneurial skills like goal setting, decision making, people skills, money management and business ethics.
Watching your sugar but still want to support Girl Scouts? Donate cookies to “hometown heroes” on the cookie websites under the “Gift of Caring” program, which gives girls a chance to deliver to local first responders and law enforcement.
“We donated a bunch of cookies to St. John’s last spring,” Gordon said. “One troop gave a bunch of cookies to animal welfare organizations. And I hear Search and Rescue is the often popular and grateful recipient of these donated cookies.”