Girl Scouts go mobile to sell cookies

Craving Tagalongs or Samoas? There’s an app for that—and young entrepreneurs get a taste of business tech potential, including sales through card readers.

Got a hankering for some Girl Scout cookies, but out of cash? In two parts of the country, that’s no problem. All you need is a smartphone and your credit card.

The Girl Scouts of Ohio’s Heartland and the Girl Scouts San Diego Imperial Council have started using credit card readers attached to iPhones to sell cookies, the first time ever Girl Scout troops have accepted plastic in addition to cash and checks. Along with the recent development of a new Cookie Locator app, scouts are learning the realities of high-tech business, and the Girl Scouts organization is proving its 21st-century relevance.

“It’s not your mother’s Girl Scouts anymore,” says Sarah West, director of public relations for the Ohio’s Heartland council. “It’s about a leadership experience.”

This year, Girl Scouts in those two councils for the first time used social media to sell cookies, and the results show in the sales numbers.

Card readers and cookies

In both councils, a connection with a card-reader company led to pilot programs that are likely to spread to other areas of the country.

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