For six weeks each year, Girl Scouts in Arizona participate in the world’s largest girl-led entrepreneurial program: The Girl Scout Cookie Program. This year, the cookie season for the Girl Scouts–Arizona Cactus-Pine Council (GSACPC) will take place Jan. 18 to Feb. 28, 2021. As in years past, all proceeds from cookie season will stay local.
“Given COVID-19, GSACPC has developed new and different scenarios and ways for girls to sell cookies safely,” says Tamara Woodbury, CEO of GSACPC. “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.”
Digital Cookie App
According to Woodbury, the Digital Cookie app is open early (as of Jan. 4, 2021), so girls can take pre-orders from previous customers, friends, and family online. Through this digital selling platform, girls build a custom website, and then they invite friends and family they know to purchase cookies via email marketing, with the option of having cookies delivered via contactless pick-up and drop-off or shipped directly to their home. Girls can also use the Digital Cookie Mobile App to accept credit card payment from customers on-the-go.
“Digital Cookie introduces lessons about online marketing, application use, and eCommerce to Girl Scouts, through building their cookie website and managing their virtual sales,” says Woodbury.
Beyond the Digital Cookie offering, local Girl Scout troops will also be coordinating drive-thru booths in 2021, with cashless transactions being strongly requested. The drive-thru booths will be in parking lots that allow for plenty of distancing and space for the girls and their parents. Cars will have the chance to pull to the front of the line, make their orders (masks required to make an order), and have the contactless or near contactless ability to pick up their cookies as they would from a traditional booth. There will be parents stationed at each of these booths with sanitizing products to help the girls ensure maximum safety and monitor cookie transfer to cars.
“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,” says Woodbury.
Tour a Cookie Castle…with a Purpose
Girl Scouts and Homie, a real estate brokerage, have partnered to build a special kind of property this season – a “castle” made of Girl Scout Cookie boxes! Families and Girl Scout Cookie fans can tour the 13-foot by 13-foot by 9-foot castle adorned with cookie boxes. The girls building this year’s house chose the theme, “your home is your castle.” The inside walls will feature a visual history of Girl Scout Cookies in Arizona. It will be open every Sunday in February (Feb. 7, 14, 21 and 28) at The Shops at Norterra, located in north Phoenix at 2450 W. Happy Valley Road.
“In addition to touring the castle, cookie fans and attendees can purchase Girl Scout Cookies from a local Girl Scout onsite, each of whom will have masks and provide socially distant transactions with limited to no contact,” says Woodbury. “This first-year program is special thanks to Homie as well as Maija, an Independent Girl Member from Phoenix, who sold 578 cookie boxes last year, as well as her family who worked tirelessly to bring this special project to life.”
Longtime supporters, Mr. and Mrs. Bob and Renee Parsons have provided Girl Scouts with the retail space at The Shops at Norterra for this unique boothing opportunity.
As permitted and with CDC-recommended guidelines in place, including wearing masks and social distancing, girls will be setting up a temporary “shop” in front of local businesses providing socially distanced options for customers to purchase cookies. Booth locations this year include longtime supporters Fry’s Food Stores, Bashas’ Family of Stores, Walmart, and other retailers and small businesses.
The 2021 Cookie Lineup in Arizona:
- Lemon-Ups: Crispy lemon cookies baked with inspiring messages. $5
- Thin Mints: Mint flavored with a delicious chocolaty coating. Vegan. $5
- Tagalongs: Layers of peanut butter with a rich, chocolaty coating. $5
- Samoas: Caramel and toasted coconut-covered cookies. $5
- Trefoils: Iconic and delicious shortbread cookies. $5
- Do-si-dos: Crisp and crunchy oatmeal outside and creamy peanut butter inside. $5
- Girl Scout S’mores: Crunchy graham sandwich cookies with creamy chocolate and marshmallowy filling. $6
- Toffee-tastics: Buttery (and gluten-free) cookies with sweet, crunchy golden toffee bits. $6
Cookie Finder App
Customers can find cookies nearest them easily by visiting www.girlscoutsaz.org/cookiefinder. It’s simple – enter your zip code and choose from a list of locations nearby. Plus, on Feb. 1, GSUSA be releasing 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 cookie proceeds will go directly to that troop.
Where Does Cookie Money Go
Did you know that 100% of GSACPC Cookie proceeds stay local to benefit Girl Scouting in Arizona?
Girl Scout Cookies’ proceeds:
- Help girls fund local Girl Scouts’ Take Action projects for the community and girl-led adventures for troops.
- Fund High Award projects that impact the community, like hosting a camp for youth, donating to those in need and improving community parks. In 2020, many Girl Scouts sewed masks and made care packages to donate to essential workers, including physicians and hospital staff, grocery store staff and first responders.
- Cover the cost of running the Girl Scout Cookie Program, including the costs of cookies, materials, and logistics.
- Help GSACPC provide Girl Scout programs in STEM, the outdoors, life skills, entrepreneurship, camps, and leadership training, to all girls regardless of financial situation.
- Maintain and improve the four local camp properties and the financial assistance that keeps Girl Scouting available and affordable for all girls.
Girl Scout Cookie entrepreneurs also earn rewards on their individual sales. They can choose to receive incentive prizes or “Program Credits” that can be used to help pay for summer camp, membership dues, travel, and other programs and events.
About Girl Scouts—Arizona Cactus-Pine Council (GSACPC)
In partnership with 9,000 adult volunteers, GSACPC serves nearly 20,000 girls grades K-12 in more than 90 communities across central and northern Arizona. Since 1936, GSACPC has helped girls develop leadership skills and tools for success in a rapidly changing environment. We know that given the opportunity, every girl can become a leader, act confidently on her values, and connect with her community. Girl Scouts grow courageous and strong through girl-driven programs, ranging from summer camp to troop activities and product sales. For more information, visit www.girlscoutsaz.org, like us on Facebook or follow us on Instagram.