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I don’t think anybody needs to be told that 2020 was a difficult year for everyone. Even Girl Scouts were not immune, and we are now wondering how cookie sales are going to be with the pandemic in view.

From going around knocking on neighbors’ doors to putting a table outside of the local Publix supermarket, Girl Scouts have always been a big part of adding some extra calories to our diet. Even though many of us have seen our waistline expand in 2020, Girl Scout cookies may or may not be adding to the girth.

December 1 was the day when the Girl Scouts started accepting cookie orders. The face-to-face sales of cookies will begin on January 21 and end on February 14. Even though there are a lot of uncertainties and concerns due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the numbers this year of cookie sales are expected to increase. We are likely to see some new and innovative ways of cookie sales taking place, including drive-by “lemonade stands” and online sales.

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The Girl Scouts managed to get a jump on online sales because cookies have been delivered directly to customer’s homes for a few years. Although the details are still being hashed out, it may be possible that Girl Scouts will team up with a national delivery service and still give credit to the individual scouts.

According to the Sun Sentinel, the CEO of Girl Scouts of Tropical Florida, Chelsea Wilkerson said: “We are budgeting for a decline in the cookie program for this year.”

One Girl Scout who would set up a booth in past years is Amanda Kopelman. She is part of a 10 girl troop, 10442, but the troop leader, who also happens to be her mother, decided it would be a bad practice to set up a booth while the pandemic is ongoing.

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In 2021, Amanda is going to be taking advantage of online cookie sales. Since December 1, she has already sold an average of 100 boxes per day during the first nine days of the month. She said that she is pleasantly surprised with the number and is one of the top sellers in southeast Florida.

Another 17-year-old Girl Scout, Jauntre’ Gray, plans on setting up a booth to sell cookies as she has in other years. She is part of Troop 347 and said that they made the decision to go ahead with the cookie booth and see how things work out. Although she is a little hesitant due to the virus, she also knows that she will get through it.

If Girl Scouts decide to use a booth, they do ask that they wear masks, practice social distancing, and have hand sanitizer on hand. They also should look for ways to take payment or deliver using a contactless method.

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Even though most of the work this year will be done by the girls, it is still an option for parents to sell the cookies if they happen to go to the office. According to the public relations director for Girl Scouts of Southeast Florida, Melinda Glasco, the interaction is going to be less than it has been in the past.

As the Sun Sentinel reported, she said: “But at the same time having all of those contactless options for contactless payment, for reaching out, this is a great opportunity for girls to learn some new skills of reaching out digitally to people.”

Amanda is not only selling cookies using apps, she is making videos to show other Girl Scouts how to create websites to sell cookies. Her mother, Patty, was able to help out by lending her the Facebook contacts she has accumulated. Patty says that she already has repeat customers.

Last year, Amanda had a booth outside of a Publix store and was quite successful. This year, she is using social media platforms to sell cookies. She will also have a Zoom party and uses Facebook to reach friends that may not be available face-to-face.

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“We can still reach those local people who are regular customers of mine,” Amanda said, “but we are also able to reach those across the country, which is a very cool opportunity.”

Wilkerson speaks about Girl Scouts being around for 108 years and how they survived the last pandemic, according to the Sun Sentinel. They are hoping that Girl Scout sales will turn the current crisis into more of a positive situation and to help people adapt and persevere.

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