Selling Girl Scout cookies? There's an app for that Bria and Shirell practice selling cookies on one of two new digital platforms (AP photo / girlscouts.org)
Selling Girl Scout cookies? There's an app for that
Lexile

The Girl Scouts are going digital to sell you cookies.

For the first time since sales began nearly 100 years, Girl Scouts of the USA will allow its young go-getters to push their wares using a mobile app or personalized websites.

But only if their scout councils and guardians say OK.

"Girls have been telling us that they want to go into this space," said Sarah Angel-Johnson. She is chief digital cookie executive for the organization covering about 2 million girls. "Online is where entrepreneurship is going."

Now the cookies can be shipped directly to your doorstep.

More than 1 million scouts, from kindergarten-age Daisies to teens, were expected to opt in as cookie-selling season begins this month. Digital sales is intended to enhance, not replace, the paper spreadsheets used to generate an estimated $800 million in cookie sales a year. Cookies cost anywhere from $3.50 to $5 a box, depending on scout council.

There are important e-lessons here, scout officials said. They include better articulating and tracking goals, learning to handle customers and money in a new way, and more efficiently processing credit card information.

"A lot of people have asked, 'What took you so long to get online?' Kelly M. Parisi, chief communications executive for Girl Scouts of the USA, said at a demonstration for select media.

Councils were offered one of the two platforms but not both. For web-based sales, scouts customize their pages. They use their first names only, and email prospective customers with links to click on for orders. They can also put up videos explaining who they are and what they plan to do with their proceeds.

The mobile platform can be used on a phone or tablet.

"They can get them quicker than waiting for me to deliver them because sometimes it takes me a long time to deliver," offered 11-year-old Priscilla at the preview. The adults at the event asked that only first names of scouts interviewed be used.

Added 7-year-old Anna: "My favorite part is that now I can sell more Girl Scout cookies." She pulled down about 200 boxes last year and has upped her goal to 600.

Girl Scouts use their cookie money to pay for community service work or troop activities such as camping and other trips.

The websites will not be accessible without an email invitation, requiring the girls to build client lists. And personal information is as protected as any digits out there, for both the scouts and customers.

Much of the responsibility to limit identifying details about scouts online falls on parents.

Troop Leader Karen Porcher of the Bronx has an 11-year-old scout and is particularly psyched about the digital options. They live in a house rather than an apartment, and she and her husband work at home, eliminating at-office cookie and neighborly building sales.

"During cookie season, my daughter is wearing her (scout) vest on the subway and people are so excited to see a Girl Scout," Porcher explained. "Strangers actually will buy a case of cookies and wait for her to call. This is going to be amazing because now she can just say 'Give me your business card,' or 'I'll take your email address,' send the email and they can be delivered. This is gonna be sweet."

Critical thinking challenge: Why do you think it took Girl Scouts so long to start selling cookies online?

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COMMENTS (106)
  • Eric0221-YYCA
    12/10/2014 - 03:49 a.m.

    Well, it looks like the girl scouts must be selling each cookies to raise money on something, but I don't know what are they raising money for if so of so. It looks like they found a new way to sell the cookies in: the app! Well that way that will make it faster to sell cookies to houses in a much, much easy way to sell cookies to houses online, there is only one problem, it was difficult for them to choose a house that they like to sell the cookies.
    Critical thinking challenge: Why do you think it took Girl Scouts so long to start selling cookies online?
    Answer: The Girl Scouts had a difficult time to pick a house to choose from whether the people want some cookies or not which really took a lot of time selling cookies for the people who wanted them.

  • AlexisMa-Mor
    12/15/2014 - 04:39 p.m.

    I think it took Girl Scoots so long to start selling cookies online because councils were offered one of the two platforms but not both. Some Council was offered mobile apps, and some were offered personalized websites. "They can get them quicker than waiting for me to deliver them because sometimes it takes me a long time to deliver," quotes 11-year-old Priscilla. Having both platforms make selling cookies faster and more proficient. Girls dont have to sit at a department store with a bunch of boxes of cookies not many people want or know about. The websites and mobile apps make the Girl Scout business know, so the people who want cookies will order, and other citizens are not bothered. Everyone can learn from this because to support something, you need more evidence or methods that help your reasons. Since the girls wanted to sell more cookies, they used two different resources (methods) to get their business advertised and well know. Then their sales will boost and they will sell more boxes of cookies.

    • RyanSh-Mor
      12/18/2014 - 11:25 p.m.

      Glow:
      -Restate and answer
      -Quote from text
      -Support quote from self
      Grow:
      -INDENT
      -Extend
      -Lower case council

  • DavidSa-Mor
    12/15/2014 - 05:03 p.m.

    It took the Girl Scouts a long time because they had to had to make a video about them and what they sell (cookies). I know this because in the text it states "Councils were offered one of the two platforms but not both. For web-based sales, scouts customize their pages. They use their first names only, and email prospective customers with links to click on for orders. They can also put up videos explaining who they are and what they plan to do with their proceeds." this supports my claim because it states why it took them so long.

  • DavidSa-Mor
    12/15/2014 - 05:04 p.m.

    It took the Girl Scouts a long time because they had to had to make a video about them and what they sell (cookies). I know this because in the text it states "Councils were offered one of the two platforms but not both. For web-based sales, scouts customize their pages. They use their first names only, and email prospective customers with links to click on for orders. They can also put up videos explaining who they are and what they plan to do with their proceeds." this supports my claim because it states why it took them so long.

  • KushagraT-Mor
    12/15/2014 - 08:38 p.m.

    It took girl scouts a long time to start selling cookies online because they had to build a web page about it. Than they had to get permission from parents.

  • MatthewPe-Mor
    12/16/2014 - 03:39 p.m.

    It took so long for the girl scouts to start selling cookies online because they had to anticipate and prepare for what they will need to face. I know first you have to make the website. That is the very easy part. The next parts are harder because they involve physical jobs like delivering the cookies. They also need people to hire the deliverers like the delivery trucks. Some times they get on the waiting list. I think this because I know business is tough because I am a boy scout that sells popcorn.

  • SpencerL-Mor
    12/16/2014 - 04:32 p.m.

    I think it took Girl Scouts took 100 years to come online because parents were scared of hackers. Not just hackers but kidnappers and stockers as well. the text states "the adults at the event asked that only the girls first name be put up." This shows that the adults didn't even feel safe at the interview. If I was an adult with kids I would go through the same precautions. So if this is really why Girl Scouts wated so long I support their reasoning.

    • KalravP-Mor
      12/21/2014 - 03:17 p.m.

      Let's face reality. There's 2 different protocols in HTTP, the secure type and the regular type. It all depends on what type of HTTP they get the site encrypted in.
      Hackers are able to go into the code of unprotected websites, or HTTPS websites with very little protection. They can go access other people's info by luring them into doing so. However, that's on the person.
      Since they were talking about mobile apps, Apple's OS really doesn't allow you to view the code. Of course, people could Google up "Bob from the Girl Scouts in Anytown, USA" and they'd find it. But that's on them.
      The short: Hackers can hack a website, but there's many factors that go into it...
      The stereotype of hackers is that they can break in to any site and steal info from them. From my point of view, I think that you're sticking with the stereotype of 'hacker' and not considering the real facts.

      Just wanted to clear that up.

      About your response. RSSE is used in a good way. Just some grammar and spelling errors.

      Other than that, nice :)

  • MohammadD-Mor
    12/16/2014 - 06:23 p.m.

    I think that this was a great response and I had the same answer as you. I like how you added text support and how you added your internal thinking. Also, you added a connection to the world so that we can all learn from it. NICE!! :)

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