Girl Scout Cookie Sales Are Going Increasingly Online. Is There a Downside?

Though these digital instruments are non-obligatory for scouts, the Lady Scouts group believes they assist develop expertise which can be important for at present’s entrepreneurs. Whereas some scouts seized on these new digital alternatives after they launched, others had been slower to catch on. However with the pandemic curbing in-person gross sales, digital cookie gross sales have skyrocketed: They now make up 10% of total cookie gross sales for the group.

“That is actually the route our world goes in,” Olson mentioned. “[The digital cookie platform] gives this hybrid mannequin for many who select to interact within the digital aspect.”

A short historical past of door-to-door cookie gross sales

With this shift to on-line gross sales, some dad and mom and caregivers fear {that a} new era of scouts shall be disadvantaged of alternatives to hone their public-speaking expertise, construct their self-confidence, and find out about their group.

For generations, Lady Scouts have been canvassing their neighborhoods. It began in 1917, when a troop in Muskogee, Oklahoma, whipped up batches of do-it-yourself sugar cookies. By the Nineteen Sixties, door-to-door cookie gross sales had been ingrained in American tradition.

First Girl Elizabeth Truman, spouse of President Harry Truman, opens the 1951 Lady Scout cookie sale by accepting the primary field of cookies from three Lady Scouts. (Getty Pictures)

“We might go door to door by means of our neighborhood, and we all the time went with a companion,” recalled Laura Harvey, a retired instructor in Sacramento who spent her total childhood within the Nineteen Sixties and ’70s as a scout. “It was simply very candy, going round with a wagon and delivering all of the cookies. [Neighbors] can be so excited to get them.”

Harvey remembers being a shy, gawky child, however door-to-door gross sales helped her really feel extra comfy and assured speaking to individuals, particularly adults.

“You’re sporting your uniform and that was so particular. You’re presenting your self as a Lady Scout, and folks reply very positively to that.”

The Lady Scouts cookie program was established to show scouts 5 key life expertise: aim setting, decision-making, individuals expertise, cash administration and enterprise ethics. Olson emphasizes that the ladies are nonetheless getting these expertise whether or not gross sales are made in individual or on-line. She argues that in at present’s wired world, a scout’s on-line group is simply as necessary as her bodily group.

Hanging a digital/in-person steadiness

Regardless of the benefit and comfort of on-line gross sales, many scouts like 9-year-old Gianna Salcedo — daughter of reporter Ana Tintocalis Salcedo — proceed to face by the tried-and-true strategies of door-to-door cookie gross sales.

Salcedo joined the Ladies Scouts simply earlier than cookie season started in January, and has been training her “cookie gross sales pitch” a number of nights every week.

“I like going door to door since you really get to satisfy the individuals in your neighborhood who need the cookies,” Salcedo mentioned. “I like having the ability to inform them in regards to the cookies and I really feel good once they purchase from me.”

young girl, her back and long hair visible as well as her girl scouts vest, holds a clipboard as she stands in front of a neighbor's door
Lady Scout Gianna Salcedo waits for a possible cookie buyer to reply the door in her neighborhood of River Park, Sacramento. Door-to-door cookie gross sales stay a core tactic of the Lady Scouts group, however on-line cookie gross sales are quickly rising because of the pandemic. (Ana Tintocalis/KQED)

Salcedo has additionally been exploring among the new tech instruments out there to scouts. Many Lady Scouts households see the worth within the on-line gross sales, however are attempting to strike the suitable steadiness.

Specialists imagine the secret’s for folks or caregivers to determine boundaries, whereas additionally discovering alternatives for younger women to interact with know-how in a significant and protected manner.

“The very best factor we will do for our youngsters is to show them learn how to be appropriately digitally engaged in society,” mentioned Dorian Traube, co-director of the Middle for the Altering Household on the College of Southern California. “In all probability the worst factor we will do just isn’t put together our children after which flip them out into this Wild West world.”

Traube speaks from expertise.

Along with being an affiliate professor of social work at USC, she’s additionally a Lady Scouts mother and troop chief. She believes the Lady Scouts are doing an exceptional job in educating scouts the significance of digital citizenship, by providing packages, workshops and actions on all kinds of subjects, from social media security to cyberbullying.

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Girl Scout Cookie Sales Are Going Increasingly Online. Is There a Downside?

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