Congratulations to Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) for unveiling Digital Cookie, a groundbreaking new addition to the Girl Scout Cookie Program that creates a fun, safe, interactive space for girls to sell cookies. Digital Cookie adds a digital layer that expands and strengthens the ways girls learn the essential 5 Skills of goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills, and business ethics. The future of the Girl Scout Cookie Program, Digital Cookie will introduce vital 21st-century lessons about online marketing, app usage, and ecommerce to more than 1 million excited Girl Scouts who will be in the driver’s seat of their own digital cookie businesses.
Digital Cookie emphasizes the safety of both girls and their customers. Girls and their caregivers take an Internet safety pledge before using the web-based platform, and caregivers must approve all updates and changes girls make when customizing their Digital Cookie site. Girls using the mobile platform will adhere to the same safety standards as those participating in traditional Girl Scout Cookie sales.
As a child safety advocate I have long been aware of the challenges that face Girl Scouts as they gear up for the annual Cookie Drive, a fundamental fundraiser for Girl Scout Councils nationwide. Whether it is a group of girls setting up shop outside a supermarket, interacting with volunteers, or knocking on doors in their own neighborhood, safety challenges can seem daunting, even in the “safest” neighborhoods.
My friend Rosemarie D’Alessandro lost her only daughter, 7-year-old Joan, 41 years ago while delivering Girl Scout Cookies. “A neighbor raped and murdered of my daughter as she was delivering Girl Scout cookies. He lived just three houses away and claimed that he knew how to lure children because he was a teacher.” Rosemary has since worked to find ways to help protect other families from a similar experience, while commemorating her daughter and all she gave to the world during her brief life.
Digital Cookie provides girls with an important foundation in technology that will be vital to their experiences in school, business, and life in general in the years ahead. Digital Cookie will also allow customers to help girls learn 21st-century skills grounded in technology, along with valuable interpersonal skills girls will acquire through their continued participation in traditional booth and door to door sales.
“For almost a century, the Girl Scout Cookie Program has been teaching girls to be leaders in the world of business and finance, and we intend to ensure that legacy continues in the digital age,” said Anna Maria Chávez, CEO of GSUSA. “Digital Cookie is a game-changer for Girl Scouts, and a quantum leap forward in the evolution of the cookie program, coupling traditional sales activities with an online sales experience that teaches skills like online marketing and ecommerce, all in a digital space that puts an emphasis on learning, fun, and safety. If you buy Girl Scout Cookies online this year, you could be helping to prepare the next female leader of a global tech giant who changes our world forever. Join us in making Girl Scout history this cookie season!”