COVID-19 affects the Girl Scouts business

Nidia Torres, Staff Reporter

From the fresh tanginess of lemon to the lush, buttery toffee flavor, the choices of flavors are many when it comes to the Girl Scouts of Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho (GSEWNI). GSEWNI have maintained their popularity and demand. It wasn’t until the pandemic started that they were forced to adapt to the changing circumstances.

COVID-19 has affected many businesses worldwide, however, it didn’t derail GSEWNI’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Brian Newberry from providing that Girl Scout experience to every girl out there.

Before COVID-19, Girl Scouts all over eastern Washington and northern Idaho continued their cookie-selling businesses successfully. There were no bumps in the road at that time. However, when the pandemic started, the Girl Scouts and troop leaders had to switch things up to still sell their cookies.

Newberry explains that many Girl Scouts had already ordered cookies, the only thing they had to do was deliver them. But when the pandemic started, businesses shut down and the Girl Scouts were left with numerous amounts of cookies.

“Last year, our challenge was we ordered all these cookies in a time when we didn’t know what [COVID-19] was and then to sell it, it was a really challenging time,” Newberry said. “Our girls did it and not only that [but] the community rose up and supported us.”

According to Newberry, 34,000 cookies were donated to health care workers and the military. He shares that in August, as they were finishing up the last of their cookie orders, Girl Scouts were able to deliver 18,000 cookies in one week.

“That’s over $100,000 of cookies were pushed out in one week to our health care workers primarily, but also military as well,” Newberry said. “Just to be part of something like that just always puts smiles on our faces because it’s a great organization and what starts it all [is] great girls who are out there doing it.”

Even through the pandemic, Girl Scouts in all areas of Washington have continued to deliver cookies, all while maintaining the necessary safety and health guidelines for the community. Chief Operating Officer (COO) Renee Smock shares the pandemic has increased the demand for Girl Scout Cookies.

According to Smock, because GirlScouts have a variety of different locations throughout eastern Washington and northern Idaho, different areas have been impacted by COVID-19 in different ways.

“They’ve done a lot of really incredible things in their virtual space, and in places like northern Idaho they’ve sometimes been able to do outdoor meetings or small group meetings,” Smock said.