Girl Scouts now available on demand
FARGO - A change to a decades-old tradition means instant gratification for Girl Scout cookie fans. Gone are the days when customers filled out colorful order forms, waited and ultimately received their delectable desserts after weeks of anticipa...
FARGO - A change to a decades-old tradition means instant gratification for Girl Scout cookie fans.
Gone are the days when customers filled out colorful order forms, waited and ultimately received their delectable desserts after weeks of anticipation.
This year, the Girl Scouts have launched "Cookies Now" - putting the treats directly in the girls' hands as they make their annual sales in local communities.
No waiting involved.
The cookie sale officially begins today in Fargo-Moorhead, with girls setting up booths at several popular businesses in the area starting this evening.
Girl Scouts organizers hope the direct-sales approach will offer more profit to the program than the previous ordering system did, said Shaleen Wieland, northeast district director for the Dakota Horizons council, which oversees troops in the Dakotas and northwest Minnesota.
The new method was tested on a trial basis by a handful of troops nationwide last year with successful results.
By offering the product on the spot, the Girl Scouts are also hoping to entice customers back for more batches of cookies before the fundraiser ends March 4 - which could drive repeat sales, Wieland said.
The cookie sale is the Girl Scouts' primary annual fundraiser, with most of the proceeds benefiting the regional council.
Each troop in Dakota Horizons gets to keep 50 cents of every $4 box sold.
Fargo-Moorhead alone has about 1,600 Girl Scouts - about half of the membership in the Dakota Horizons council.
Already sales are taking off because of the new approach, Wieland said.
Wieland ordered 1,200 cases - or 14,400 boxes - for the Fargo district office to kick off the fundraiser this week.
But by Thursday, regional girl scouts had sold out the district's stockpile, she said.
Wieland said she ordered another shipment, which is due to arrive Monday.
"We're trying to keep up with the demand," Wieland said. "We have lots of girls who've already gone out selling door-to-door, and some have come back three or four times for more cookies."
In recent years, the Girl Scouts have partnered more with local businesses to help drive cookie sales, but the door-to-door approach isn't going away, Wieland said.
Locally, Girl Scouts have chosen to tow their cookie stock in sleds this past week or ride in the family car as they market the treats from house to house, Wieland said.
But, regardless of how the girls choose to sell their cookies, Wieland added, each scout still gains valuable life skills - such as planning, organizing, goal-setting, money-management, communication and responsibility.
"It really is a program built so the girls run their own business," Wieland said. "They're like little entrepreneurs."
Last year, girls in the Dakota Horizons council sold 880,000 cookies across the region. Wieland said the goal this spring is to top 1 million boxes.
Daum is a reporter with The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.