Smack dab in the middle of a prime cookie selling season, the Girl Scouts of America can expect to take home $800 million from peddling Trefoils, Thin Mints, Samoas, and more. That’s a lot of $5 boxes — but business for the Girl Scouts is normally booming. However, this year, because of the COVID-19 pandemic and all of the public health regulations and rules that have come out of the new normal, Girl Scouts haven’t been able to go door to door to sell their cookies and wares or press order forms upon their parents to harass coworkers at the office to buy a few boxes.
While the Girl Scouts pivoted to new times by offering online order forms — and order forms that served as donations to workers on the front lines of the pandemic — what was once a decentralized system of profit became a centralized online platform. That might lead one to wonder: how are the Girl Scouts faring through all this? Will they survive the pandemic?
It’s true that the lack of cookie sales has taken a toll on what is normally a cash cow for America’s girls. In Alaska in particular, the Girl Scouts struggled to make the typical funds they normally do from selling cookies and had to apply for a federal recovery loan to compensate for lost cookie sales. That’s right: the Girl Scouts of Alaska applied to get a Paycheck Protection Program loan (PPP) and prevailed. The loan, which was serviced through the First National Bank Alaska, will help the Girl Scouts weather the COVID-storm.
Since cookie sales fund everything the Girl Scouts basically do, like summer camps, patch programs, and scholarships as well as wages for the Girl Scout employees, and the selling season was cut short in Alaska due to the pandemic, the loan was necessary to keep members in their troops and employees on the payroll. With the PPP loans, the Girl Scouts of Alaska can continue to provide online programs and badge initiatives for girls stuck at home.