Making a lemon of a spring -- into sales of Thin Mints

Contributed imageGirl Scouts like to help the front-line workers against the COVID-19 pandemic, including police officers. Here they stand together at a previous year's cookie booth.

With spring comes wind, rain and eventually flowers. Walking through the park, participating in spring sports and preparing for summer vacation are some of the activities that children all over Western New York typically take part in.

Spring is also when the Girl Scouts sell their delectable cookies.

But this spring is like no other and more often then not, involves staying indoors and completing school work in the living room.

So where are the snacks?

"The girls had already picked up their cookies to then sell at their cookie booths," said Alison Wilcox, CEO of Girl Scouts in Western New York. "There were still 700 cookie booths left to be held in March at the time we'd suspended all our in-person programing."

In the face of the pandemic, the scouts themselves had been given the choice as to whether they would continue or throw in the towel. Many of them decided to keep going, even without booths or any face-to-face contact with their customers.

"Because they learn five essential key business skills in the cookie program, they're learning exactly what ever other business is going through right now, which is, 'How do you switch to virtual operations?' " Wilcox said. "How do you work within these types of restrictions and how do you run something virtually? So they're learning those skills at the same time. So for anyone who does choose to participate, it's another activity girls can be involved in and can do it virtually."

Jenmarie Reynolds is a troop leader for her daughter and two more of her friends in Lockport. Her troop, and others in the area – including Barker, Newfane, more in Lockport and Wilson – are combining their cookie glut and redistributing in an effort to sell everyone's through sharing the burden.

"We're all Girl Scouts and we need to work together," Reynolds said, also noting after her daughter's troop finishes selling their cookies, they'll continue to sell the cookies of other troops. As an added twist, the girls are asking local businesses to donate toward firefighters, nurses, first responders, doctors and everyone on the front line of COVID-19.

"With a donation of $100, 20 boxes of cookies could be brought to one of these sets of heroes," she said.

"If you look at all the women leaders in our world," Wilcox said, "... the majority of women senators, or women in Congress. The majority of them were Girl Scouts. The majority of women business owners were Girl Scouts and the majority of women tech leaders were Girl Scouts."

For more information on how to find cookies, locally, visit https://www.gswny.org/en/cookies/cookies/find-cookies.html .

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