Buying Girl Scout cookies is about to become much easier. For the first time ever, the Girl Scouts of the USA will accept online orders of Thin Mints, Tagalongs, Savannah Smiles, and other cookies during the upcoming selling season. After nearly 100 years of requiring purchases to be made in person, the Scouts are now giving girls the option of setting up a website where friends and family can order boxes from anywhere in the US. You'll of course be able to place orders the old-fashioned way, but the Girl Scouts are finally embracing modern times and giving scouts a new way of raising money for good causes.
Since most of the 2 million Girl Scouts are under 18, privacy is a huge focus of the new "Digital Cookies" effort. Parents must grant permission before scouts can set up an ordering page, and online ordering is only accessible through email invitation. So even with the move to web orders, purchasing Girl Scout cookies will still require some human interaction. Girls will still need to put in effort to rack up orders, but optional syncing with Facebook should make networking a bit easier. As an added safety measure, visitors will only see a scout's first name when buying online.
The websites resemble Kickstarter in some ways; they'll monitor a scout's sales, goals, and days remaining in the cookie ordering period. Scouts also have the option of recording an introduction video, telling buyers where the troop's cookie money will be directed. Cookie season starts in January, and USA Today notes that most of the 112 Girl Scout councils across the US will be taking web orders right away.