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Nation & World

Las Vegas Girl Scout Troop Gets Creative To Sell Cookies During Pandemic

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Do-si-dos, Tagalongs, Samoas - do I even need to say the magic words? - Thin Mints.

LAQUINTA MCFERGUSON: Her goal this year was to sell 2,021 boxes. And my first thought was, you do realize that we're in a pandemic.

AYSIA ECHOLS: But I'm still trying to reach it and sell out cookies that make people feel good.

SIMON: Aysia Echols is a high school senior in Las Vegas and a member of Girl Scout Troop 157. LaQuinta McFerguson, her mother, is troop leader. They say selling cookies in this pandemic takes more effort. But if anyone's up for challenge, it's the Girl Scouts. Their troop is using social media.

MCFERGUSON: We do a lot of Facebook posts, Instagram. Some of the girls use Snapchat.

SIMON: And they've gone old-school with this simple advertising campaign.

ECHOLS: I also paint my car. I make it really known that, hey, I'm selling Girl Scout cookies. You can call the number that's on the car. I drive it around town. We get calls all day long.

(SOUNDBITE OF PHONE RINGING)

SIMON: Hello? Yeah, please, I'd like some Lemon-Ups please, yeah. And (laughter) you got some more S'mores? (Laughter) Thank you.

When social distancing rules kept the troop from selling in front of stores, they came up with a pandemic workaround, a drive-thru cookie booth.

MCFERGUSON: We had cones out so you would know that it was a drive-up location. We also roped it off. The girls were out there with their masks.

ECHOLS: On a table, we put out all of our cookies, make signs for, hey, this is our new cookie. Taste me; I'm vegan. The customer - they walk up to the table. They're like, hey, do you have any Thin Mints?

MCFERGUSON: People were flocking towards...

ECHOLS: Yeah.

MCFERGUSON: ...The Thin Mints.

ECHOLS: They might not even say hey. I'm like, yeah, I have them for you. How many would you like?

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

ECHOLS: The most frustrating thing this year while selling cookies will probably be not being able to connect with our customers that we usually meet, being able to engage with them and make friends.

MCFERGUSON: Aysia is a social butterfly. I don't care where she is. She's going to talk to people. She's going to make friends. The pandemic - it's really a struggle for her. And that's probably a lot of the kids.

ECHOLS: Our trip to the Bahamas got canceled. It was sad. We had planned it. And we were very looking forward to it, getting to feel the breeze from the air and being able to spend more time with my troop.

MCFERGUSON: As a troop leader, I try to address the struggles with my girls, just making sure that they're OK, that if they feel like they're depressed that they have someone that they can go to.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MCFERGUSON: I just hope Girl Scouts learn life is always going to have some challenge, whether it's a pandemic or an obstacle or a setback. And I just hope that they know that they can get over whatever it is.

ECHOLS: We missed out a lot with the pandemic, but the money we make from selling cookies this year, we're planning to make a trip to Hawaii and get to experience that new culture. It's going to be a very nice experience.

SIMON: Aysia Echols, a member of Girl Scout Troop 157 in Las Vegas. She's closing in on her goal of 2,021 boxes of cookies. We also heard from her mother, Troop Leader LaQuinta McFerguson. Couldn't you use another box?

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.