Who can argue with tradition? Especially when it involves delicious cookies that have been around since 1917. Even before the 1918 flu pandemic, Girl Scouts started the beloved cookie tradition we eagerly await each year. Coincidentally, 1917 is also the year that Girl Scout Troop 1 started in Coronado, the very first troop west of the Rockies.
It’s that time of year when we can buy our favorite tasty cookies from the largest girl-led business in the world, and help a good cause. And even though the current pandemic has made everything different, the local Coronado Girl scouts are hoping that you will seek them out. Cadet Troop Leader Monica Olivares de Smith said that with San Diego County in the state’s most restrictive purple tier, the selling of cookies is drastically changed with not being able to sell outside stores, nor by pulling wagons door-to-or or setting up tables in front of homes.
The Girl Scouts are offering creative, safe cookie ordering options for all your favorite selections. Girls have been encouraged to set up a website, create a QR code, hang door flyers, and take phone orders. Some in Coronado have already put flyers and door hangers in their neighborhoods. If you see one, use the information to place your order because it will be harder to find cookies this year. Check your local social media pages, e.g. The 92118, Crown Town Talk, Coronado Happenings, and Coronado Moms and Dads are some to check for cookie postings. If you comment “I want cookies,” Monica promises that a girl scout will be in touch.
Girl Scout Service Unit Cookie Coordinator Stephanie Nurding, aka the “Cookie Queen,” whose husband’s family has lived in Coronado since 1922, says they are adjusting to the pandemic changes. She pointed out that in previous years some girls were motivated to sell every day, and many are devastated that the opportunities for selling and interactions are limited. Stephanie says that this year’s theme, We’ve Got This, is resonating with the girls and they are finding new ways to let people know how to buy their favorite cookies. Since Girl Scouts range in age from five to 18, many aren’t on social media and that makes the involvement of parents a key element to help with postings and safe, contactless delivery.
“It was a challenge this year to figure how many boxes to order initially, but we are placing our best revised guestimates and will hopefully order more as needed,” Stephanie says. Her daughter Amanda, who sold 2,265 boxes of cookies in 2018/19, is adamant about still wanting to sell cookies saying, “I want to sell cookies to seem normal and to make people happy.” Loving the horse theme, Amanda created the image above, since she and other girls have customer bases from selling in the past that they are reaching out to in their own creative ways. Each year, the girls set sales goals and can earn rewards.
Stephanie emphasizes the skills learned in the annual cookie sales which include: goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills, and business ethics. If girls sell at least 12 boxes of cookies for each year they are in Girl Scouts, they receive a recommendation letter for their college application.
Coronado girls are big cookie sellers. The combined 18 troops, with 135 girls, sold 27,795 packages in 2019/20, and 102 girls in 15 troops sold 23,784 in 2018/19. Since they can’t be as visible as usual with outside tables, they are hoping people will really step up and get the word out and stock up on these delicious delicacies that also make wonderful gifts.
There are eight scrumptious flavors of which everyone has their personal favorite. Although it’s sometimes hard to decide between:
- Lemon-Ups®, last year’s newest flavor, a huge hit with joyful messages, are back this year.
- Girl Scout S’mores®, which invoke your fondest camping memories
- Samoas®, with a yummy chocolate, caramel, and coconut striped combination
- Tagalongs®, with the irresistible chocolate peanut butter combo
- Do-si-dos®, filled with peanut butter goodness
- Trefoils®, delicate buttery shortbread goodness
- Thin Mints®, top selling, vegan, and can be savored frozen;
- Toffee-tastic®, which are gluten free and delicious.
Having maintained their pricing for the past seven years, each box of cookies is still $5, with the exception of the Girl Scout S’mores® and the Toffee-tastic® selling for $6 a box. All the proceeds stay local and provide monies to help the troops with camps, activities, training, facilities, and other expenses.
When asked how Girl Scout meetings have looked during the pandemic, Stephanie said that they have had to get creative while doing everything virtually. For example, they put together supply bags for the bi-monthly virtual meetings, and they learned to make fudge, crepes, and smoothies for their cooking badge. They have also had painting and sewing Zoom meetings, as well as a pet parade, where they created blankets and cat toys to donate to PAWS of Coronado. She knows the girls are missing being together for meetings and bigger events like Wreaths Across America and the Honor Flight.
San Diego boasts the robust Operation Thin Mint program, which has seen more than 3.25 million boxes of cookies, since its inception in 2002, donated to all branches of the military. Imagine the smiles on the troops faces when they receive a piece of home with their favorite cookies, especially in faraway places. The girls hope that people will continue to generously donate boxes of cookies to Operation Thin Mint this year.
Pre-orders for cookies are currently underway with January 24 as the hallelujah date set for cookie deliveries. Deliveries are being done by contactless delivery to homes or sent through the mail. Not only will ordering cookies brighten your spirits, but you will be helping change lives and empowering the next generation of entrepreneurs to be successful.
If you have a girl, aged five through 18, who is interested in joining Girl Scouts, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Coronado Girl Scouts send a huge thank you to the community for always being so supportive.