The Girl Scouts of the United States of America have 15 million boxes of cookies unsold amid the pandemic, but the CEO of Girl Scouts of Oregon and Southwest Washington said local troops aren't experiencing the overage.
"This is primarily the result of ordering cookies during a pandemic, assuming that girls would be able to sell during their most usual way, which is direct customer contact at stores and that turned out not to be possible for a great deal of the country," said Karen Hill, CEO of Girl Scouts of Oregon and Southwest Washington.
The impact will be felt by local councils and troops, who depend on cookie sales to fund programming, travel, camps, and other activities. Hill said local volunteers anticipated the lack of sales and ordered cookies conservatively.
"We really worked with our volunteers before we made ordering decisions in January, we could see the writing on the wall that we weren't going to be able to have in-person booth sales," Hill said.
The Girl Scouts normally sell around 200 million boxes of cookies per year, or around $800 million worth. Girl Scouts of Oregon and Southwest Washington typically sell around 2 million boxes, and this year they sold a little over 1 million. In order to sell those 1 million cookies, Hill said girls got creative.
"Girls in our council did a lot of interesting things, there were trucks where you could drive up and pick up and order cookies ahead of time, and there was contactless delivery that I think we all got used to during the pandemic," Hill said.
A lot of girls also sold cookies digitally through online platforms.
As troops met via zoom, Hill said some membership numbers declined but said she has faith the numbers will bounce back in the coming year.
"We're seeing great renewal numbers now and girls are really hopeful they will all be together again soon," Hill said.
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