Pullman Girl Scouts shift to virtual sales, gatherings

After delayed cookie shipment, Pullman troop still found ways to deliver products safely

The+Pullman+Girl+Scouts+now+meet+in+waves+with+the+youngest+groups+meeting+completely+online+because+of+COVID-19.+

COURTESY OF KELLI COOPER

The Pullman Girl Scouts now meet in waves with the youngest groups meeting completely online because of COVID-19.

SANDI KOBIESA, Evergreen reporter

Although the pandemic posed challenges for the Pullman Girl Scouts, the troop still found a way to deliver crowd favorites, like Thin Mints and Tagalong cookies.

Kelli Cooper, troop leader for Girl Scout Troop 3210, said the Girl Scouts were unable to go door to door for cookie sales so most of the purchases were virtual. 

“COVID-19 had a pretty big impact on us,” she said. “We can’t meet in person anymore. Everything is virtual.”

When cookie sales were about to begin in spring 2020, the troop was unable to meet at all, Cooper said.

With the cookie shipment delayed about a month, the Girl Scouts had to figure out how to sell them. Cooper said porch side delivery was common. To prevent contact with other people, the troop made online sales and accepted credit cards.

Normally, the cookies ordered by each Girl Scout is their financial responsibility. If the cookies are not sold, the individual Girl Scout would pay for the unsold product themself, she said. 

This year, the Girl Scout Council implemented a policy that allows Girl Scouts to return cookies if they could not sell or contact buyers, Cooper said. 

“COVID-19 also affected the girls in the troop,” Cooper said. “They aren’t able to get together and we, unfortunately, lost some members.”

To make things easier for the families, the troop leader cut down on costs to make it more affordable. 

“We normally charge dues to help with supplies but we opted not to, so it wouldn’t be a restriction for the girls,” Cooper said.

The troop meets outside as much as possible. Cooper said she made changes to limit the number of people in the area at the same time. 

Last month, the Girl Scouts successfully hosted an outdoor Halloween party where they cooked over a fire, decorated cookies and carved pumpkins, she said.  

“We also began our outdoor journey, ‘Leave No Trace,’” Cooper said. “The goal of this is to teach the girls to leave the outdoors just as you found them, if not better. If you see trash, pick it up.”

The Girl Scouts are divided into levels based on their grade in school. Kindergarteners and first graders are called Daisies, second and third graders are called Brownies, fourth and fifth graders are Juniors, and sixth through eighth graders are Cadets. 

Cooper said the troop has an extended meeting time. Juniors meet for the first hour and then Cadets meet for the second hour. Daisies and Brownies meet exclusively online.

“I really miss playing with my friends and getting to do all the fun things with them,” one of the Brownies said. 

This article has been updated to reflect the Pullman Girl Scouts are not selling Christmas wreaths.