Girl Scout Cookie Season may look different this year for buyers and sellers alike, but that isn’t stopping Scottsdale Prep sixth grader and longtime Girl Scout Maya Hamer from approaching virtual sales as a fun – and necessary – challenge.
“I am excited for this new challenge and want to master virtual sales,” Maya, 12, said.
A Girl Scout since kindergarten, Maya is no stranger to selling cookies: Her first year, she sold 100 boxes and has since doubled or tripled her sales every year.
Last year alone, she sold around 6,000 boxes – an estimated $30,000+ in sales.
This year, though, Maya’s cut her usual 2,000-boxes goal in half to allow her to figure out how to best sell online versus in-person on-the-go.
“It’s going to be harder to meet those very big goals ... because it’s going to be harder to find new customers,” Maya explained. “I’m probably going to change it [her goal] when I learn how cookie sales are going to go online.”
Girl Scout cookie season continues through Feb. 28.
The Digital Cookie app enables the girls to build a custom website and invite friends and family they know to purchase cookies with the option of having cookies delivered via contactless pick-up and drop-off or shipped directly to their home.
And while selling online is the safest and most convenient way to purchase Girl Scout cookies this year, Maya maintains that finding new customers will be a challenge.
“Until now, [Maya] has always sold by going to places that we enjoy that have a lot of people; so, we combine having a fun day out with selling. This will definitely be a learning time for all of us,” said Maya’s mom, Tali Hamer.
But online offers what Maya considers “good practice” and an essential way to improve one’s cookie selling skills.
“Everything’s going to be online,” Maya said of future of the Girl Scout Cookie Program. “Even though it’s probably going to be somewhat harder, it can be really good practice this year because anyone who wants to be a top cookie seller [should learn] how to sell online.”
Last year, Maya’s older Girl Scout sister was a top cookie seller, largely due to her online sales.
“So, I actually did want to learn how to sell online last year anyway,” Maya said.
Tamara Woodbury, CEO of the Girl Scouts–Arizona Cactus-Pine Council (GSACPC), echoes Maya’s positive attitude toward digital cookie sales.
“Digital Cookie introduces lessons about online marketing, application use, and eCommerce to Girl Scouts, through building their cookie website and managing their virtual sales,” Woodbury said.
Girls can also use the Digital Cookie Mobile App to accept credit card payment from customers on-the-go.
“Given COVID-19, GSACPC has developed new and different scenarios and ways for girls to sell cookies safely,” Woodbury said. “We are extremely proud to be able to offer our girls both a sense of normalcy in a near-year that has been anything but normal, and a means to help girls grow their entrepreneurial, public speaking, financial and other skills through this modified take on our cookie program.”
For the first time, Girl Scouts will also offer drive-thru booths, where buyers can purchase cookies without stepping foot outside.
“The girls will not only be selling at these locations but helping market them via signage and other promotions, enabling the girls to flex their creative and communication muscles in a new way,” Woodbury said.
Of course, girls are permitted to sell cookies at booths — with masks and social distancing.
Some temporary “shops” will be set up in front of local businesses, including longtime supporters Fry’s Food Stores, Bashas’ Family of Stores, Walmart, and other retailers and small businesses.
Customers can find cookies nearest them by visiting girlscoutsaz.org/cookiefinder.
On Feb. 1, Girl Scouts of the USA will release a national cookie link where customers nationwide can purchase cookies directly from local troops by entering their zip code.
Cookie orders placed from this direct-ship troop link will be shipped directly to the customer and proceeds will go directly to that troop.
“I will be emailing everyone I know asking them to buy cookies off my cookie site,” Maya said.
Maya’s cookie site is digitalcookie.girlscouts.org/scout/maya988143.
“There’s no expectation,” Tali continued. “The credits that the kids earn from selling cookies last year will carry over to this year. So, if they won enough to go to Girl Scout camp or any of the rewards, it just gets extended — so, they don’t have to feel like they’ve lost what they worked on.”