For generations, Girl Scouts have sold their famous cookies flavored with chocolate, peanut butter, lemon, coconut and more.
The tradition started in the early 1900s when Girl Scouts baked the tasty treats themselves.
“Each troop would make the cookies at home and sell them,” said Cecelia Cloos, service unit manager for Trigg, Todd and Christian counties.
Today, Little Brownie Bakers bake the Girl Scout cookies for this region and scouts sell them for $4 to $6 per box. Varieties include Do-si-dos, Lemon-Ups and S’mores.
“They are very good,” Cloos said. “The Thin Mints, Tagalongs and Samoas are three very popular cookies. The Trefoil cookie — the shortbread cookie — that’s the original cookie. It is still very popular among many people.”
COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns hit last March near the end of the 2020 Girl Scout cookie season, but sales are ongoing this winter with safety precautions in place for all troops.
“We’re planning on what we can do the safest through COVID,” said Cloos, who is also leader of Troop 1890 in Hopkinsville. “We encourage them to follow all COVID safety guidelines like wearing their mask and gloves.”
The 15 troops in Christian, Trigg and Todd counties have been selling Girl Scout cookies to friends, family and coworkers for the past several weeks. As in the past, cookie sales are still troops’ largest fundraisers, while serving as educational tools for lifelong skills. Younger scouts receive assistance from their parents, while older scouts are encouraged to sell cookies all on their own.
“It teaches the girls entrepreneurial skills,” Cloos said. “They learn wonderful skills through the process of selling cookies. They learn how to deal with the customers. They learn how to talk to people. They learn money management and how to exchange money and how to have their own small business.
“We’re trying to teach them to be good citizens, through cookie sales and marketing.”
Because of COVID, Troop 304 leader Kari Nenoff said in-person sales to strangers will be different for her scouts this year.
Traditionally, “my girls we will stop at a neighborhood and go door-to-door-to door and sell,” Nenoff said. “That’s not something that I foresee us doing as much this year.
“I’m trying to think outside-the-box to do contactless sales,” she added.
One alternative is online sales using a web platform called Digital Cookie, where each Girl Scout sets up their own site to receive cookie orders.
“You can choose ‘delivery’ and pay shipping or you can choose ‘girl delivery’ and they can do a front porch delivery at your home or place of business,” Nenoff said. “People can pay online and everything would be taken care of.”
Individual cookie orders will be taken until Feb. 15. The first delivery of cookies arrives in Hopkinsville in mid-February.
“Christian County receives 2,000 boxes on our initial delivery, so we have to use a warehouse to process these seven pallets of cookies that are 10-feet tall,” Cloos said.
Cloos said officials will use COVID safety precautions when sorting the cookies before distributing them to the troops and customers.
“We separate all of the cookies by troop. Troop leaders come later in the day, count their cookies, sign for them, load them and take them home to resort for their girls,” she said. “There’s time frames in between there where there’s not a lot of people interacting with one another.”
Officials encourage scouts to store the cookies in a secure, sanitary location and bag pre-ordered cookies separately for customers.
Cookie booth sales begin Feb. 15 and continue through March 21. Because of COVID, many retail establishments are not allowing cookie booths on site, Cloos said. Instead, contactless drive-thru sales will be set up Fridays through Sundays at a Hopkinsville location to be determined.
Trigg County plans to have pop-up family booths throughout the community, while Todd County troops normally sell on the square in Elkton.
To find Christian, Trigg and Todd troop cookie booth locations, tech-savvy customers can download the Girl Scout Cookie Locator App or visit girlscouts.org. On the website, click on Find Cookies and add your zip code.
Local troop cookie booth sites will be posted by mid-February or for more information contact Cloos at Ccloos0216@gmail.com or 270-498-3050.
As the pandemic continues, Nenoff said she is cautious about cookie booth sales because of the potential for shutdowns, but encourages her troop to remain optimistic.
“Unfortunately, (we) have learned over the past year that (circumstances) can change very quickly,” she said. “I told them, we’ve got to stay flexible and do our best.”