Every year, Girl Scouts around the world get excited for cookie time. And let’s face it, who doesn’t like Girl Scout cookies? However, this year, due to COVID-19, some troops are being left with an abundance of boxes and no way to go out in their local communities and sell them.
According to girlscouts.org, 1.7 million Girl Scouts depend on the cookie program to fund life-changing, girl-led programs, experiences, and learning.
Local Jackson County troops are not exempt to the way COVID-19 has changed the normal routine of Girl Scouts.
“COVID-19 hasn’t just effected our girls earning and receiving badges with our normal meetings and events we do,” Ravenswood troop leader Karly Milligan said. “Cookie sales are the biggest thing we do. I use it as an opportunity to teach our girls safety, communication, organization skills, and sales. They get credit for every one they do. Selling cookies is our way of making money for our troop, and doing something big to celebrate with these girls that worked so hard. If the cookies don’t sell the troop loses those sales.”
Typically during this time of year, Girl Scouts would have tables set up in front of places like Walmart, Kroger, and Dollar Tree, but due to COVID-19 restrictions, these types of sales are not allowed.
“Sales have been more difficult,” Ripley troop leader Kara Greathouse said. “The girls weren’t able to hold their booth sale like normal, so a lot of the parents and leaders have made extra sales. We still have cookies left over and may have to return them and earn less money.”
Not all troops sold near stores, some sold them at schools and during sporting events.
“Our troop would always sell them at the high school,” Cottageville troop leader Paul Thompson said. “No school and no school activities mean no cookie sales. We currently have seven cases of cookies left to sell.”
Troop leaders, Girl Scouts, and their parents have had to turn to social media and other selling methods in attempt to sell boxes of cookies.
“We have participated in the Cookie Buy-out program where local businesses have purchased cookies to be donated to local front line workers,” Greathouse said. “We have sold 105 boxes this way.”
According to Greathouse, local businesses, such as Star Plastics purchased several boxes and donated them to the front line workers at FoodFair and Coplin Health in Ravenswood; while an anonymous donor purchased some to donate to WVU Medicine / Jackson General Hospital.
The COVID-19 pandemic has taken more than just cookie sales from the troops.
“The worst part about this cookie season is that the girls don’t get to see each other,” Milligan said. “We all miss meeting in person, and we might not even get to hold our annual camp out.”
All troops have until the end of May to sell the boxes of cookies they have remaining. Those not sold will go back to the Black Diamond Council on June 1, where the troops will not receive credit for leftover boxes.
Anyone wishing to purchase cookies may contact; Karly Milligan at 304-514-4193, Kara Greathouse at 304-531-4991, or Paul Thompson at 304-532-8045. Boxes are $5 each and all varieties are available.