Girl Scouts adapt to 21st century


Anna Feng

Sophomore Chloe Stanks uses a credit card to purchase a box of Girl Scout cookies from Katherine Emerson.

Anna Feng, Managing Editor

As February rolls around, one can expect to find Girl Scouts selling cookies at every corner of the neighborhood. However, these delectable treats are now available for purchase online and through credit card.

As of 2012, the Girl Scout organization has implemented a system where Girl Scouts can use card readers to allow customers to purchase cookies with a credit card, according to the Los Angeles Times. Furthermore, Girl Scouts can create their own personal webpage to sell cookies to a wider range of people.

Now, that technology has arrived in the Bay Area.

This year, Girl Scout Troop 32800, a local troop, implemented the card reader system.

Suzanne Emerson is the Cookie Mom for Troop 32800.

I thought it would be useful in order to have the girls sell to people who don’t have cash with them and to give the girls the experience of running a credit card transaction,” Emerson said. “It’s a good experience to be able to say to a potential employer, ‘Sure, I’ve run a whole bunch of credit card transactions when I was a Girl Scout.'”

The response to the card readers has been largely positive.

Katherine Emerson, Suzanne Emerson’s daughter, is a sophomore at Carlmont as well as a part of Girl Scout Troop 32800.

People are usually reluctant to make an extra errand to get the cookies so I think we get more sales [with the card readers],” Katherine Emerson said. “It also exposes the people who use the ‘Oh I don’t have any cash on me’ excuse which I always think is funny.”

Girl Scouts use a company called Square to process the transactions. In order to be able to use the card readers, Troop 32800 has to pay 15 cents in transaction fees per box of cookies sold using a credit card. However, Suzanne Emerson feels as though the fee is worth the increase in sales.

“The girls had a booth outside of Lucky’s on Saturday for two hours, and during that time we sold $78 worth of Girl Scout cookies on the credit card reader. I figure that’s $78 worth of sales that they probably wouldn’t have been able to get if we didn’t have the readers,” Suzanne Emerson said.

Still, card readers are not the only digital development. According to Fortune, Girl Scouts first introduced their online program, known as Digital Cookie, in 2014. Digital Cookie allows a preapproved client list to order boxes online, which can then be shipped to their houses.

Nonetheless, troop leader Sabrina Carroll says that Digital Cookie is not going to completely replace the tradition door-to-door form of selling cookies.

“I’m a big proponent of door-to-door for [the social interactions] and that’s how we sell the majority of our boxes in my household,” Carroll said.

On the other hand, Carroll agrees that the websites are a major step towards teaching girls the skills they need in order to survive the digital age.

Carroll said, “Today’s age is very much computer and world wide web oriented whether we want it or not. [The websites] give the girls a new sense of entrepreneurship and how [business] is done nowadays.”

Girl Scout cookies are available for purchase through Mar. 25.