The Girl Scout Cookie Program prepares girls to run their own business by developing financial literacy skills, money management, marketing skills, and more. The girls in my troop have consistently gone from timid and shy at first to confident, competent, ready-to-talk-to-anyone-about-their-business entrepreneurs. The cookie program is hands-down one of my favorite parts of the Girl Scouts Leadership Experience because of the real-life, go-getter skills it allows each girl to practice.

M. Kate Allen is a Girl Scout volunteer in the Tempe, Ariz. area.

Amid this pandemic, Girl Scouts–Arizona Cactus-Pine Council (GSACPC), which serves central and northern Arizona, continues to keep cookie season girl-centered, wisely adjusting and prioritizing families’ comfort level. No girl is required to sell cookies (that’s always been true), and no family is required to participate in ways that they’re not comfortable with.

This year, you won’t see as many booths at your favorite grocery stores. In light of that challenge, GSACPC decided for the first time since I’ve been volunteering to allow online pre-sales of cookies to help girls make up any loss of cookie boothing opportunities and in-person sales due to COVID-19. They’re also making it possible for girls to participate in the cookie program entirely online (with contactless delivery of cookies!) if they choose.

As someone who currently works at a clinical laboratory that processes tens of thousands of COVID-19 tests daily, I appreciate our local Council’s approach. Safety and risk-mitigation should be primary right now. Additionally, as an experienced Girl Scout Troop Leader and volunteer, I know that cookie proceeds are essential to the future of Girl Scouting locally. Every cent stays with our Council to support Arizona’s girls.

Every Council’s operations and everything that makes the Girl Scout program memorable and accessible to all girls is mostly dependent on cookie season. At GSACPC, that programming includes summer camp at four unique camps, hundreds of badge opportunities including outdoor skills, STEM/STEAM, life skills leadership development (for girls and volunteers!), and so much more. Plus, our Council has created new safe ways to provide programs and meaningful emotional connections amid social distancing protocols.

GSACPC and its staff are truly extraordinary. I can speak personally to the fact that Girl Scouts has changed the life of every girl with whom I’ve worked. It’s changed my life and my family’s life. It’s the single best thing that’s happened to my girls. A successful cookie season for them and their Girl Scouts sisters will help Girl Scouts continue to be the best thing ever.

So even though you may not see as many girls out and about this year, please take time to find your neighborhood Girl Scout or look up your zip code at Order your favorite flavors, whether in-person or online. If you’re not into eating cookies, pick the donation option as a way to give to our military service members or local food banks while still supporting your Girl Scout, her troop, and her council. Your purchase will make all the difference in the leadership of our community for generations to come.


M. Kate Allen is a Girl Scout volunteer in the Tempe, Ariz. area.