Girl Scouts says its members will be going digital, but the Canadian organization claims its girls are better off keeping it old school and sticking to the streets.
Girl Scouts unveiled Digital Cookie today, a platform where girls can push cookies online. They can invite customers via email to buy the goods from their personal marketing website. Or they can take in-person orders using a mobile app that accepts credit cards and arranges direct shipping. Customers can also buy online from a general site.
Girl Scouts will continue to knock on doors with boxes in hand. But the organization says the online platform will help girls become the technological leaders of tomorrow. Girl Scouts points out that only a small number of women are CEOs of technology firms.
“Digital Cookie has the potential to help change this reality,” claims a Girl Scouts news release, because it will “help girls learn 21st-century skills grounded in technology.”
"Digital Cookie is a game-changer for Girl Scouts,” said Girl Scouts CEO Anna Maria Chávez in a statement. She adds that it, “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.”
Girl Guides sticks with tradition
But Girl Guides of Canada is not buying in to the technological cookie revolution. In a statement, spokesperson Mike Sheeler told CBC News, “Girl Guide Cookies are currently not sold online as we do not want to lose the face-to-face interaction between girls and the supporting public.”
He also said the organization has deemed the venture would not be economically feasible.
Sheeler said Guides are not allowed to sell online on their own initiative “due to safety concerns.”
Girl Scouts said its cyber site emphasizes safety for both customers and the girls. The organization mandates that parents monitor the online cookie ventures and that both girls and their parents take an “internet safety pledge.”
The organization believes Digital Cookie will only get bigger in the future as it works to perfect its platform.
No need says parent
But no matter how high tech Girl Scouts gets, Jill Burgin doesn’t believe her two Girl Guide daughters will be missing out by not peddling their wares online.
“They get more than enough online experiences. They don't need to have it in their Girl Guides as well,” said the Toronto parent.
She believes an emphasis on online sales could eventually end the tradition of girls going door to door, calling that sad.
“It’s important for the kids to get out and talk to people,” Burgin said.
Girls Scouts said online sales will not replace the traditional cookie program, just enhance it.
In the U.S., some regions will start selling cyberspace cookies in mid-December. Cookie season, including digital sales, for most Girls Scouts councils will begin in January.
Girl Guides are selling their chocolatey mint cookies this month. They will take their classic chocolate and vanilla sandwich version door to door in the spring.