Digital Cookies

Girls Scout take cookie sales online


Holly Rooney

People can use the new Cookie Finder app to find a booth selling cookies nearest them

Holly Rooney, Staff Writer

As the early months of the year progress, we enter not only the spring season, but the notorious Girl Scout cookie season as well. Troops sell as many cookies as they can to raise money for their local troop to fund activities and projects throughout the year.

Previously, girls have put in their time and energy by going door to door taking orders of cookies and later going back to deliver them. Walking up to houses and meeting people within your neighborhood made for a great opportunity to practice people skills. It forces girls to confront strangers, make friendly conversation and speak up for themselves in order to promote and sell their cookies.

In recent years, girls have taken to the internet to sell their classic cookies, basically ditching their practice of an essential skill. The push to make cookie sales digital was to create a safer experience for the girls and receive payment. But this movement has made the troops somewhat lazy by taking away their opportunity to learn and value their hard work.

Troops provide the public with a “cookie finder” on their website as well as a mobile app. They also utilize social media and neighborhood apps as well. These methods divert their responsibility of promoting their product to the public and leave it up to the consumers, whether they choose to reach out and find a booth selling cookies nearest them.

Once the cookie cravers have located a booth, which can usually be found at local grocery store’s entry way, the effort is placed on the consumer to leave their home and get their cookies on their time and on their dime. Ten years ago, you would have never had to search for your cookies, they would always find you.

The cookie finder app is not the only way you can find your treats on the web. The girls now create their own personal website in which they can invite you to order cookies from her. You make your choices, pay online and choose to have your cookies shipped or delivered by a girl scout.

A digital platform allows the girls to use the website’s quizzes, games and videos to learn about marketing, budgeting, resource allocation and other critical business skills. But if it’s all digital, how big of an impact is it going to make? They won’t be able to physically see the magnitude of sales they are making. Since a lot of people will choose to have their cookies sent directly to them, the girls won’t really be able to see just how many boxes of cookies they sold. Nor will they physically see the amount of funds that has been put towards them by local consumers. By seeing a mere number on a screen, there will be no lasting impact on the girls about how big their business is.

If the girls receive cash, it creates a more relatable experience for them. If they have a cash allowance, they will be able to make a better connection with their consumers and realize that they work hard for their money they same way they do. Online payments won’t allow the girl to learn and practice how to make change. They won’t become as familiar with the value of money only and the importance of keeping in safely locked away. They will only see that people can charge everything on a credit card and this little piece of plastic can take care of all their payments.

Creating a virtual experience for consumers takes away from the hard work that the girl scouts should be dedicating. Without the door to door experience, they don’t have to work as hard for their sales and that takes away from the feeling of satisfaction when they receive the money to fund their projects. The money is no longer something they strive for, merely something they expect. They are being taught to sit back and let people come to them and their websites.