The COVID-19 virus has disrupted much of how the First Sylvan Lake Girl Guides operate, including the sale of the ever-popular Girl Guide cookies.
Because of health mandates preventing the further spread of the virus local Girl Guides have had to change the way they look at the annual cookie fundraiser.
Normally, Girl Guides would set up in grocery stores and go door-to-door to sell cookies. This year neither of those options are available.
Jessica Potuer, a leader with First Sylvan Lake Girl Guides, says many parents are buying boxes to support their kids.
However, that isn’t the best solution, she says.
“We still want the community involved in our organization and for the girls to understand what community means,” Potuer said.
Instead, the First Sylvan Lake Girl Guides will be holding a drive-thru cookie sale. On Nov. 29, from 12-4 p.m. local Girl Guides will be situated in the parking lot at Ecole H.J. Cody School to sell cookies to community members, safely.
Potuer said the local groups received their cookies later than they normally do, which is part of the reason they choose to do a drive-thru style sale.
“We didn’t want to have this huge stock pile of cookies, so we thought this would be a good way to sell of as much as possible, while still having the girls involved,” she said.
The selling of cookies isn’t the only aspect that has changed for the Girl Guides. A big change for local groups is how they gather.
Potuer said groups in Sylvan Lake were unable to gather inside for meetings until the week of Halloween.
Before Halloween, groups worked outside during their meetings, doing various activities to increase awareness of the needs of the community and learning about leadership.
“We are still trying to be Girl Guides, even with the restrictions we have,” said Potuer.
While groups are now able to gather inside, while physical distancing and wearing a mask, Potuer says the ability to hold in-person meetings is all dependent on the local risk factors.
Some Girl Guide groups in large centres are still meeting outside or holding virtual meetings, Potuer explained.
“It was a bit of a challenge to begin with… the girls are so excited to be together again and look forward to meeting every week,” she said.
Numbers this year have dropped a bit, though Potuer says that could be due to a number of reasons. One reason she believes numbers have dropped is because she believes some didn’t know the group was up and running this year.
“When all this hit back in March we decided to stop our meetings, and that was a week before school was let out… So, I think some don’t realize that we are still here.”
Registration is open year-round for Girl Guides. Those interested can register online at www.girlguides.ca.