The Girls Scouts are back in front of storefronts selling their delicious cookies in Southwest Florida.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced cookie booths to close much earlier than expected last year, but Girl Scout troops will be back this year selling their cookies in front of storefronts while also trying to keep shoppers safe.
“I honestly didn’t think we were going to do Girl Scouts because of COVID,” said Calleigh Simmons, a local Girl Scout. “I was very excited to get the news we were going to be out here.”
The Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida saw about a 13% drop in sales last year because of the virus. This year called for a scaled-down operation.
“Usually we have 80-90 booths a year,” said Troop co-leader Michael Tiso. “This year we got 20.”
Tiso’s daughter Caitlyn is a Girl Scout.
On Friday, Troop 284 set up a booth outside the 3 Pepper Burrito Company in Downtown Fort Myers with a pandemic twist.
Masks are now part of the Girl Scout uniform and hand sanitizer is front and center. And it’s contactless payment only.
If you are unlucky and can’t find a booth, you can buy the coveted cookies online.
“It’s not face-to-face,” said Caitlyn. “It’s more like you ask how many cookies you want and you pay online so it’s safer.”
While the goal is to sell cookies, it’s also about learning lessons.
“Doing it face to face will help me with my social skills and help me communicate and see other people and see the world sort of,” Caitlyn said.
Michael Tiseo said he is hoping to teach Caitlyn that no matter the situation, you’ve got to get out there and work.
And there’s nothing wrong with a sweet treat.
The Girl Scouts have a cookie finder on their website where you can type your address and see the nearest booth to your address. Click here to find it.