Girl Scouts still selling cookies during the pandemic

Published: Jan. 19, 2021 at 8:03 AM EST
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WINOOSKI, Vt. (WCAX) - The Girl Scouts were not immune to the pandemic. While most things had to be put on pause, that didn’t mean they totally stopped everything. With some planning and adaption, they have decided to sell their cookies this year but in different ways.

“It’s so important, a part of how we provide the services that we do,” said Amy Snow Lothrop, a Girl Scout troop leader in Winooski.

She says despite the pandemic hitting at the very end of their cookie season last year, they couldn’t stop the Girl Scouts from finding ways to overcome.

“We chose to meet outdoors and socially distance,” said Lothrop.

Since April, they were able to provide programming, both outdoors and virtually, from apple picking for Feeding Chittenden to hiking and learning tree identification, and civic engagement around election season.

The Girl Scouts even keep awarding those in pursuit of their higher badges, they just have to think outside the box.

“It was a painting and instead of doing it inside, we just did it outside,” said Gabriella Lothrop-Penn, Amy’s daughter and senior Girl Scout.

She says although she misses normal programming, pushing on through COVID-19 is all part of their mission.

“I’ve been able to take everything that COVID has done and turn it around and give back to my community and give back as a Girl Scout. Hopefully help other people that especially need it during this time,” said Lothrop-Penn.

For the Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains, the innovation means the lessons they hope the girls will learn are resonating.

“A lot of our work is made easier because of the adaptations and the thinking outside the box that the Girl Scouts encourage and the girls are following through,” said Katelyn Hudson, a member of the Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains board of directors.

Hudson says as Girl Scout cookie season circles back, they have come up with ways to keep selling. And the girls are ready because cookie season isn’t only about the revenue.

“Cookie season is so important for a number of reasons, beyond just financial. This is where people see our girls in public, in a very positive way,” said Hudson.

The Girl Scouts have three methods this year for cookie sales.

The first is the normal booth sales when they can. This includes following CDC guidance on masks and distancing.

Digital cookie is another. It’s a link the girls can share with friends and family so they can buy directly and have them shipped.

Finally, Grub Hub is offering delivery in and around the Williston area to ensure safe delivery to those that can’t or don’t want to leave.

According to Lothrop, this year, safety and education are the top priorities.

“We have taken a softer approach to cookie selling. We have encouraged it to be more of a scout and me approach is what we have said to parents. This is a great time to help invest in your daughter, spend time with her, helping her learn business ethics, help her learn money management, help her learn people skills. Help her learn decision making,” said Lothrop.

The money from the cookies typically is what funds programming and activities for the girls. They are looking to have a successful fundraising year because troops are looking to travel once it’s safe.

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