The COVID-19 pandemic has canceled or put a temporary halt to many springtime activities.
One seasonal tradition is making its return this weekend, as Girl Scout Cookies once again go back on sale locally in Montana.
Beginning May 15, troops across the state will resume the sale of Samoas, Thin Mints, Tagalongs and more.
The Cookie program was suspended on March 20th in the wake of COVID-19 in order to protect the safety and well-being of Girl Scouts and girls’ families. As a result, the movement of cookies was halted which included delivery of pre-orders, additional sales and cookie booth sales.
The girls will be taking steps to protect public health, including wearing masks, hand sanitizer and holding drive-up booths.
For decades, the cookie program has been a way for the young girls to learn how to run a small business. The scouts also learn how to plan and save money for a trip or donation.
This year has given the girls a unique perspective on the challenges many Montana businesses are currently facing in the pandemic.
“We use the cookie sale as an educational tool on owning your own business, entrepreneurship and how to think outside of the box,” said Tolly Patten, Girl Scouts Service Unit Manager of the Greater Helena Area. “They can see what other small businesses are going through right now of not being able to be open for business as we normally would have been months ago. So it has been a great experience for them, although probably not the experience anyone ever wanted, but resiliency is there and it’s great for the girls to learn that early on.”
Most of the trips that were planned by Helena area troops this year have been canceled, but girls that are aging out of the scouts are being invited to participate in those trips next year as adults.
When purchasing from scouts in Helena, people are also able to donate boxes of cookies that will go to local teachers and school staff.
“We plan on donating them to our heroes, the teacher, the janitors and all staff at the schools that have been really working and their fingers to the bone trying to get all of our kids through this year of school,” said Patten.
The Girls Scouts Of Montana and Wyoming donated 8,000 boxes of cookies to hospitals in Montana and Wyoming a month ago, including 600 boxes to St. Peter’s Health in Helena.