Bundled in a warm coat, a knit-green New England Patriot’s hat and a Girl Scout cookie-shaped sandwich board, volunteer Kimberly Young grabbed her plastic tray of Girl Scout Cookies and headed to a nearby parked minivan.
With gloved hands and red metal tongs, she plucked individual cookies from the tray, handing the treats one-by-one to the vehicle’s occupants. Young’s banter was friendly -- fun even – with passengers, although a bit muffled through her black and white face mask.
Young's actions and others hosting and attending the event were great examples of how a Cookie Rally can be adapted to keep Girl Scouts, volunteers, and attendees safe from the pandemic. It all adds to Cookie Rally adventures 2021 style, where normal troop activities are still being redefined as we enter the second season of COVID 19.
The Service Unit from southern York County held the outdoor drive-through rally during a sunny, yet extremely chilly Sunday afternoon in late January. Its location? Outside in an empty parking lot at the Markets of Shrewsbury.
The markets are not open on Sunday so it was the perfect spot to host the rally and stay socially distanced. Vehicles, sometimes 6 and 7 deep lined next to outdoor stations of crafts, displays, games, and cookie samples.
The rally was partly the brainchild of Heather Doll, the Service Unit Cookie Chair for SU231. She said that she saw that another troop held a similar rally and they wanted to replicate it.
Doll had a secret weapon for her event: Her horse, “My Lucky Penny,” who just happens to look like “Hope,” this year’s Girl Scout Cookie mascot.
When she saw what other troops were doing to garner the cookie excitement in the Troop, Doll immediately thought, “We can do this.”
Throughout the 2-hour rally, a steady line of vehicles paraded through the stations.
Young’s outdoor cookie “station” was the last of a half-dozen stops before the girls and family members jumped out of their vehicles to visit Doll’s horse.
Donned in a flower crown and green Girl Scout cover, My Lucky Penny, was the real star of the show.
Suzanne Tischer, Unit Lead for SU231, said they usually hold the annual cookie rallies inside, say in a church hall, but with COVID, they tried this instead.
Masked and socially distanced, the middle and high school girls in the troop led the way for the drive-through rally experience, which by all accounts, was a success.
“Girl Scouts teaches leadership,” Tischer told the York Daily Record, which covered the rally. “They learned how to do that through the Girl Scouts.”