In partnership with 9,000 adult volunteers, Girl Scouts–Arizona Cactus-Pine Council (GSACPC) serves nearly 20,000 girls grades K through 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.
Each year, from late January and throughout most of February, 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 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.”
Here is a look at what is in store for local girls–and how to get your cookies to support them today!
Digital Cookie App Opens Early
According to Woodbury, through the Digital Cookie app, 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-through booths in 2021, with cashless transactions being strongly requested. The drive-through 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 castle adorned with cookie boxes. The girl 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, which is 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, 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.
Cookie Fast Pitch
Last year, 25 of the Valley’s top business leaders and CEOs, including Diane Veres, Lisa Urias and Ray Roberts, joined more than 100 local girls for the first-ever Cookie Fast Pitch. Given its success, GSACPC is pleased to bring the event back for year two, albeit in a virtual format this year. The event, which takes place Jan. 23, will include key business leaders once again.
Participating girls will make their cookie sales pitch to one of the local CEOs or corporate executives in attendance. In exchange, they’ll get feedback on their pitch and develop confidence in their one-on-one coaching sessions. At the end of the event, girls will apply the strategies they’ve learned and give their best pitch to the mentors. All attending CEO mentors plan to support the cookie bosses with a $500 cookie purchase.
Cookie Finder App
Customers can find cookies nearest them 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.