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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

A taste of childhood

Abby Vereen selling Girl Scout cookies outside Campion Dining Hall. PHOTO: ROSE BARRETT ’20/THE HAWK

Girl Scout cookies boom on St. Joe’s campus

Coveted boxes of Thin Mints, Caramel deLites and Peanut Butter Patties Girl Scout cookies are tightly gripped within the hands of St. Joe’s students. It does not take long for a glimpse of the iconic Girl Scout green to erupt a campus-wide frenzy.

Whether they know them by their new or original names, Samoas and Tagalongs students voraciously seek out the location of the young entrepreneurs in brown sashes. They flock to dish out copious amounts of cash at the cookie booth in hopes that a longtime favorite and irresistible treat will still be in-stock.

Beth Hagovsky, director of Student Leadership and Activities, currently holds the position of cookie manager, or “cookie mom,” for her daughter’s Girl Scout troop.

“Last year when we did this, I knew I was sitting on a gold mine as the person who reserves the tables outside the dining hall,” Hagovsky said. “Needless to say, my daughter sold the most cookies in the troop last year.”

Hagovsky explained that selling Girl Scout cookies in this space was a stroke of random and non-strategic thought, but it made a lot of sense.

“When we are right there in front of you and you can immediately have that gratification, have the satisfaction of having that box of cookies with you, you’re like, ‘Why would I not buy a box of Girl Scout Cookies?’” Hagovsky said.

Girl Scouts cookies attract and are purchased by people from all walks of life, but the success on college campuses may have to do with more than just the cookies’ taste and adorable salespeople.

“I think that for so many of you, because you are mostly 18 to 22, the memory of Girl Scout cookies is a lot more recent and current,” Hagovsky said. “You’re much closer to the age of when you and your friends were all selling them, so it has some nostalgia to it as well.”

From first through fifth grade, Maddy Gentile ’22 was a Girl Scout and sold cookies.

“It was all me and my friends, so I really liked it,” Gentile said. “I thought it was a lot of fun to go around and sell cookies.”

While Gentile never sold cookies on a college campus, Girl Scouts coming to St. Joe’s has brought back many fond memories of her own personal experiences and the growth of the nation wide organization since her time as a Girl Scout.

“I reminisce a little bit,” Gentile said. “It definitely reminds me of when I was a Girl Scout, except now they have Venmo, which we did not have before, making it a lot easier for them to sell cookies.”

The mobile payment app has been a key player in the Girl Scout cookie business, increasing the cookie sales for Hagovsky’s troop.

“In that first two weeks of sales, I would say a third to a half of our sales came through Venmo,” Hagovsky said. “It’s really worked our well for our troop.”

Last year, the Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania partnered with the Manayunk Development Corporation to establish February as “Cookie Month in Manayunk.” Every Saturday of February, different businesses on Main Street in Manayunk host a Girl Scout cookie booth for local troops, according to Director of Product Programs for the Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania Alejandra Sepulveda-Rivera, .

“We developed this opportunity not only to connect locally, but also to give the girls opportunities to meet real life women entrepreneurs, most of them are actually Girl Scout alumni,” Sepulveda-Rivera said. “It is not just opening doors for the girls but they also are providing different program experiences and entrepreneur talks.”

Sepulveda-River said that they plan to expand the Cookie Month event to other areas.

“Our goal is to replicate it in different main street communities throughout our entire footprint so that we can tie in that community feeling to the cookie program,” Sepulveda-Rivera said.

“Nowadays not only my daughter but every girl needs to have a girl-led and safe environment where they can be themselves and can grow to be whoever they want to be without being judged,” Sepulveda-Rivera said. “I feel that Girl Scouts represents that.”

The Girl Scout cookie program started Jan. 17 and will end on March 10.

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