TORRINGTON – It’s officially girl scout cookie season.
In a normal year, this would entail vest and sash-bearing girls going door-to-door and setting up booths with boxes of cookies known around the nation, identifiable by their colors alone.
Troop 1209 of Torrington will still set up booths outside of Main Street Market, Bomgaars, Family Dollar, the truck stop and other locations in March, but they will also be using some new tactics that sellers have employed amid the coronavirus pandemic: contactless delivery, accepting debit and credit cards for the first time and virtual cookie booths that show the variety of treats available online.
Charisse Eaton, who has led the troop since its start three years ago, said Girl Scout cookies are not only a beloved dessert, but their sales are also the local organization’s main fundraiser.
Thankfully, COVID-19 did not slow down sales last year and the same is expected this year.
“Even last year with all the COVID scares, we still had a lot of takers wanting those cookies,” Eaton said. “We sold out quite a few times last year.”
When Troop 1209 sells out of cookies, Eaton has to make a trip to Cheyenne to replenish the stash, which she said happened three times last year. In the end, the troop sold more than $7,000 worth of cookies, or 2,178 boxes, Eaton said.
Eaton’s daughter, Kim, is a cadette, the third highest rank of Girl Scouts.
“My favorite part of Girl Scouts is making new friends and hanging out with people,” Kim said.
Kim is one of just five scouts left in Troop 1209.
Another scout, Elise Hunt, is a junior, one level below cadette. Her favorite part of Girl Scouts is “spending time with people I know and doing amazing things.”
Last year, Eaton said there were 10 girls who left for a variety of reasons, including COVID-19 and inability to commit to attending meetings.
Eaton, who was a scout herself as a child, admits it can be time consuming with weekly meetings and the occasional homework assignment and trip, but it’s worth it.
“It gives the girls something that is just solely for girls,” Eaton said. “They choose what patches they want to work on and what activities they do. More importantly, it teaches them to empower themselves.”
Last Friday, the troop, which is comprised of two daisies, one brownie, one junior and one cadette, kicked the meeting off with the Girl Scout Promise recited with three fingers in the air, followed by a Valentine’s Day craft and bouncy ball making activity.
Susan Van Litsenborgh is Eaton’s co-leader for Troop 1209. Van Litsenborgh’s granddaughter, Halie Tobias, is a daisy, and she volunteered after having led her daughter’s troop years ago.
“I was a leader for Girl Scouts and Cub Scouts at one time,” she said.
The troop was recently trained in CPR and first aid, as evidenced by their new patches, and Eaton said she hopes to take them camping this summer.
“The money that we earn from the cookie sales and the fall fundraisers, those are what keeps our troops going and helps us to do those things for the scouts,” Eaton said.
Those interested in purchasing cookies can contact Eaton at 307-575-1807 or email [email protected] You can also search “Girl Scout Digital Cookie” and buy cookies from Troop 1209 using zip code 82240.