Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) has announced two new resources to serve girls and consumers during this time of crisis and isolation. While the organization has suspended in-person activities and events, including Girl Scout Cookie booths, due to the spread of COVID-19, consumers can still support the largest investment in girls annually through Girl Scouts Cookie Care, a campaign that lets consumers order and donate cookies online. And to ensure girls are getting the tools they need to become our world’s ambitious change-makers, the organization also launched Girl Scouts at Home, a national online platform where all girls and families—not just Girl Scout members—can access free, self-guided activities from GSUSA’s expert programming.
“For 108 years, Girl Scouts has been there in times of crisis and turmoil,” says Girl Scouts of the USA CEO Sylvia Acevedo. “And today we are stepping forward with new initiatives to help girls, their families, and consumers connect, explore, find comfort, and take action.”
In these unprecedented times, Girl Scout Cookies can be a source of comfort for many, so GSUSA has launched Girl Scouts Cookie Care as a way to safely order cookies for home delivery (pending local shipping availability) or to share the love by donating cookies to first responders, volunteers, and local causes. The Girl Scout Cookie Program is the largest investment in girls annually and the financial lifeblood that helps Girl Scout councils deliver life-changing programming to 1.7 million girls. The COVID-19 pandemic hit the U.S. hard in the midst of cookie season, so many girls and councils haven’t been able to sell their inventory due to social distancing and other safety precautions. Knowing that ample supply is available, and many consumers are seeking Girl Scout Cookies, Girl Scouts Cookie Care is primed to address these needs by allowing consumers to order from nearby councils’ inventory.
Consumers can also purchase cookies from Girl Scouts they know who are selling through the Digital Cookie® platform—including the Digital Order Card and Smart Cookies™—and they should watch for mention of “virtual cookie booths,” as many innovative cookie entrepreneurs around the country are reimagining cookie booths during this time of isolation, using the power of social media (with parental supervision) to make their sales pitch, collect orders, and deliver or donate the cookies when it’s again safe. No matter how consumers purchase cookies, doing so allows Girl Scouts to continue to give back to their communities while the proceeds, which stay local, sustain innovative programs for girls.
As the country’s expert on girls, Girl Scouts is uniquely poised to help the millions of girls and their families adapting to a new reality. With Girl Scouts at Home, families everywhere can access self-guided, free activities to keep them engaged and connected to their communities and the larger sisterhood of girls. This new national platform reflects the exploration and interactive learning of Girl Scouts in a one-stop-shop format that lets both members and the public enjoy a variety of activities that cover STEM, Entrepreneurship, Life Skills, and the Outdoors (including from indoors!). Girls can become space science explorers by observing the moon’s cycle, learn the basics of coding using step-by-step algorithms, and even delve into the science of happiness—using techniques to improve their mood in healthy ways.
The age-specific activities for girls of all grade levels are delivered through guided videos, text-based instructions, and downloadable information, making it seamless for families to incorporate into their daily lives. More program-based options will be added in the coming weeks, allowing girls to earn badges, tune in to live virtual events, and connect online for troop meetings and projects.
Also, ahead on Girl Scouts at Home: tools to help troop leaders host remote meetings that will meet girls’ needs during this challenging time—including giving them their own space to connect, explore, problem solve, and have fun. Now more than ever, girls will benefit from programming designed specifically with them in mind by experts, and parents will benefit from a one-stop-shop of varied activities amid the flood of one-off learning resources they’re struggling to navigate.
“During this challenging time, we want girls across the country to continue to have access to the learning opportunities, fun, and friendship that Girl Scout programming provides,” says Acevedo. “Girl Scouts at Home is all about that and more. Our alums make up 69% of female U.S. senators, 57% of women serving in the U.S. House of Representatives, and the majority of female business leaders because our programming works. We are excited to give Girl Scouts and all girls this great opportunity to try new things during this time at home and see what sparks new passions that will lead to great accomplishments. And by buying and donating cookies, Girl Scout Cookie fans are helping sustain our life-changing programs for girls—and bringing joy and comfort to those on the frontlines of this crisis.”