Girl Scouts' timeless tradition goes tech savvy

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Girl scouts everywhere are working to get cookies in the hands of people across America, but it's what in their hands now that may make their goals a little easier.

Girl Scouts can download an app called the "COCOMobile App" to manage their cookie sales and your orders. In essence, the app replaces cookie order forms and allows scouts to keep up with which orders have been paid for and delivered.

Seventh grade Girl Scout Victoria Chandler joined News 10's Mary King on Sunrise to show her how the app works. While the app is not accessible to the general public, people who order cookies from a girl scout using the app will receive a confirmation email of their order.

Girl Scouts still go door-to-door to sell boxes. Orders still must be paid by cash or check and the scouts still hand deliver the cookies.

The Girl Scout's Mountains to Midlands Council Director of Public Relations Susan Schneider says the national average for each scout is about 157 boxes. The average Mountains to Midlands Council scout sells above the national average at about 220 boxes per scout. Chandler sold 750 boxes last year alone.

Schneider says girls are still using the traditional sales forms, as well, but a survey showed about 54 percent of scouts had access to a mobile device. She says whether they're using the traditional forms or the new COCOMobile app, the girls are learning financial literacy skills from cookie sales.

In the interview with King, Chandler talks about what she's learned and also shared that there is new cookie for the scouts this year, the Cranberry Citrus Crisps.

While the door-to-door sales started January 10, scouts will not start selling cookies at retail stores until February 21st. When sales begin at retail stores, the general public can use a new app to find out where they are on sale. It's called the "Girl Scout Cookie Finder app". Cookie buyers can enter their zip code and the app will tell them the nearest location where they are on sale.

Verizon Wireless sent out a statement saying that both the Mountains to Midlands and Eastern South Carolina Girl Scout councils have outfitted staff with Verizon smartphones to incorporate the new technology.

"The young people in this program are learning valuable skills that will shape their future, including mobile commerce," said Jerry Fountain, president Verizon Wireless of the Carolinas/Tennessee Region in the emailed statement.

Girl Scout cookie sales end on March 21st.