(Updated 4 p.m.) Since Girl Scout cookie season started, troops in north Arlington have donated 671 boxes to their hometown heroes: the staff at Virginia Hospital Center.
“It’s very local and very personal,” said Dorine Andrews, the Service Unit Manager for the local scouts. “[VHC] is a real institution in Northern Virginia, and we really feel that the healthcare workers are overworked.”
One of the troops — six Glebe Elementary 3rd grade girls of Brownie troop #60229 — harnessed the power of Instagram to sell 1,415 boxes, 395 of which they donated to VHC, she said. The troop with the second-most boxes, #60160, donated 59 boxes.
“None of the other troops have really done what this troop has done in terms of social media,” Andrews said. “It really worked well.”
The third-grade entrepreneurs used Instagram to work around some limitations to the online Girl Scout cookie platform, she said.
“The system works fairly well for buying cookies online, but for any kind of custom donations, it’s very difficult,” Andrews said. “I think these girls and their parents were incredibly creative.”
The cookies will be distributed via a “sunshine cart,” which one employee volunteers to wheel through the hospital, distributing snacks to boost morale, said Hilary Phillips, the executive assistant to the president at Virginia Hospital Center Foundation.
“We are thrilled that our local Girl Scout Service Unit has adopted Virginia Hospital Center as its ‘Hometown Hero,’ collecting more than 650 boxes of cookies to share with our staff,” Phillips said in a statement. “We continue to be grateful for the incredible support we receive from the Arlington Community.”
Phillips said the foundation tries to feed staff who work directly with COVID-19 patients, which works out to about 140 people each shift. Other local organizations have also pitched in.
The Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization has donated thousands of lunches to nurses. Local startup HUNGRY facilitated the donation of 600 meals to VHC in January, in addition to its other local food donation efforts.
But Phillips is looking for more support.
“Now I’m going on local people calling out of goodness of people’s heart,” she said.
Donations can be made by going to the foundation’s donation page and select “Healthy Meals for Clinical Staff by TryHungry.com.” Those who want to loop in a local restaurant through their donations can contact Phillips directly at [email protected]
Those interested in donating cookies can email Andrews at [email protected].
(Updated at 12:30 p.m.) Girl Scouts have found a half-dozen ways to get their crave-worthy cookies to customers in spite of the pandemic. Here is how to do it.
Starting this week, people can buy cookies online and have them delivered through the Girl Scouts Nation’s Capital chapter. On Friday, troops will set-up booths in at least four locations in Arlington to sell cookies.
That is a dramatic drop-off from last year, when ARLnow counted more than 20 locations.
“I think it has to do with the fact that a lot of folks are not doing the sales this year because of the question of risk,” said Laura Loomis, a local cookie volunteer leader.
Here are the locations and schedules, according to the Girl Scouts’ cookie finder:
- Virginia Square Metro Station (3600 Fairfax Drive): every Friday from Feb. 5 to March 5.
- Market Common Clarendon (2801 Clarendon Blvd): every weekend from Sunday, Feb. 7 to Sunday, Feb. 21.
- Rosslyn Central Place Plaza (1800 N. Lynn Street): Feb. 5, Feb. 11 and March 5
- Westover Market (5863 Washington Blvd): every Saturday from Feb. 6 to March 6.
All cookie sales end March 14.
“This year we had a decrease, but of course, Girl Scouts have found a way,” said Tygerian Burke, the marketing and communications manager for Girl Scouts Nation’s Capital.
Buying cookies online works like this:
- Customers can type their zip code into the cookie finder and find local troops selling cookies virtually.
- When customers click the link corresponding to the troop of their choice, the link will take them to a page with a description of what the sales will go toward and directions for buying the cookies.
- The cookies can be shipped to the customer’s house or to someone else as a donation.
The Girl Scouts are also having cookies delivered via GrubHub, a promotion that started in the D.C. area on Thursday, Burke said. Drivers can deliver cookies to homes within a 25 minute radius of where a scout or troop is located, which in D.C. traffic, will mean varying distances, she added.
She advised checking social media for Facebook Live promotions of GrubHub deliveries throughout the month-and-a-half of sales.
While the online option has been around for a few years, Loomis said “this is the first year where we’ve seen a growth,” which she attributed to people wishing to minimize exposure to the coronavirus.
Burke said some troops within the council are setting up drive-through locations as well as signs with QR codes linking to their personalized virtual booth pages.
Girl Scouts are selling Thin Mints, Samoas, Trefoils, Do-si-dos and Tagalongs — as well as a new cookie called Lemon-Ups — for $5 a box. Two specialty cookies, S’mores and Toffee-tastics, go for $6 a box.
Image via Girl Scouts Nation’s Capital
(Updated at 6 p.m.) This year, Arlingtonians spread Christmas cheer in new ways to bring hope to people virtually or from a distance.
Choir directors at Arlington Public Schools and Bishop O’Connell High School spent hundreds of hours stitching together student videos to create virtual Christmas concerts. A troop of Brownie Scouts virtually judged a gingerbread contest for folks at a local retirement home. And Santa is making special stops in Arlington in his pickup truck, visiting with children from a distance.
Bishop O’Connell choir director Kyra Stahr burned the midnight candle to publish videos to replace the Christmas concert, which is normally the most well-attended performance, she said.
“I feel like I got more creative in how to make that excitement and cheer possible,” she said, adding that she and her students donned Christmas sweaters and watched all the performances on Zoom.
“It worked out better than I could’ve hoped for,” DJO choir student and junior Tommy Green said. “It was a nice way to exit the year.”
Fellow junior Melanie Greig said “it was almost like we were actually singing together in a concert.”
Meanwhile, Glebe Elementary student and Brownie Scout Leah Meder virtually judged a gingerbread decorating contest at the Sunrise Senior Living facility near the school, on N. Glebe Road, along with other members of Troop 60095. From 11 participants, the young judges awarded the most festive, most creative and most delicious-looking houses, and also created a special holiday greeting for the residents.
“I still felt the spark of holiday spirit when we did this online,” said Meder, who is eight years old. “Since [the residents] are living away from people they know, and can only see them a couple times a year, they can probably have more holiday spirit.”
The festivity creativity in Arlington extends to visits by the jolly one himself.
This afternoon (Wednesday), Santa is parading his sleigh — a converted pickup truck — through Arlington neighborhoods from Foxcroft Heights to Columbia Forest, the final route after two mobile Santa visits through Lyon Park and Ashton Heights.
“It’s a tough year for everybody,” said Lyon Park resident Paul Showalter, who is playing the role of Santa. “It’s really fun to see the faces of the little kids as they see Santa drive up in his sleigh.”
This morning (Wednesday), Showalter said he made a special delivery to a boy named Charlie, who had asked Santa for boxes, thread and tape for Christmas. Neighbors and Glebe Appliance donated the boxes, and Charlie will use the supplies to make a British fleet ship.
Also spreading joy is the Yorktown High School choir, which sent the musical videos it produced to faculty, friends and family, reaching an even greater audience this year.
“That’s how it’s keeping my holidays alive,” she said.
It’s that time of year again — spring is around the corner, Shamrock Shakes are officially back at McDonald’s as of today, and Girl Scout cookies are currently on sale all around Arlington.
So where can you restock on your favorite seasonal baked goods? As in years past, local Girl Scouts are setting up shop all over the county. Most cookie-selling stations are located around grocery stores and Metro stations.
Here are some of the places around town you can get your grubby hands on those delicious cookies.
- Ace Hardware (2001 Clarendon Blvd) — Saturday, Feb. 22: 12-4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 23: 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
- Arlington Soccer Tournament (3600 N. Harrison Street) — Saturday, Feb. 29, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
- Ballston Metro station (901 N. Stuart Street) — Weekdays: 3:30-7:30 p.m., weekends: 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
- Cathedral of Saint Thomas More (3901 Cathedral Lane) — Sunday, March 1: 8 a.m.- 12 p.m.
- Central Place Plaza Rosslyn (1800 N. Lynn Street) — Thursdays and Fridays: 4-7:30 p.m.
- Crystal City Metro station (1750 S. Clark Street) — Weekdays: 3-7 p.m., weekends: 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
- Courthouse Metro station (2100 Wilson Blvd): Weekdays: 3:30-7:30 p.m., weekends: 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
- East Falls Church Metro station (2000 Sycamore Street) — Weekdays: 3:30-7:30 p.m.
- Giant Food (2501 9th Road S.) — Fridays: 4-8 p.m., Saturdays: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
- Giant Food (2901 S. Glebe Road) — Fridays: 4-8 p.m., Saturdays: 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Sundays: 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
- Giant Food (3115 Lee Hwy) — Fridays: 4-8 p.m., Saturdays: 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Sundays: 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
- Giant Food (3450 Washington Blvd) — Fridays: 4-8 p.m., Saturdays: 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Sundays: 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
- Market Common Clarendon (2800 Clarendon Blvd) — Saturday, Feb. 22: 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 23: 1-5 p.m.
- Market Common near Playground/B&N (2801 Clarendon Blvd) — Sunday, March 1: 1-5 p.m.
- MedStar Capitals Iceplex (627 N. Glebe Road) — Saturdays: 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m., Sundays: 1-6 p.m.
- Meridian Pint (6035 Wilson Blvd) — Friday, Feb. 21: 4-8 p.m.
- Pentagon City Metro station (1200 S. Hayes Street) — Weekdays: 3:30-7 p.m., weekends: 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
- Pentagon Centre (1201 S. Hayes Street) — Saturday, Feb. 22: 4-7 p.m, Sunday, Feb. 23: 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
- Safeway (2500 Harrison Street) — Fridays: 4-8 p.m., Saturdays: 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Sundays: 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
- Safeway (3717 Lee Hwy) — Fridays: 4-8 p.m., Saturdays: 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Sundays: 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
- Safeway (1525 Wilson Blvd) — Sundays: 1-6 p.m.
- Safeway (5101 Wilson Blvd) — Fridays: 4-8 p.m., Saturdays: 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Sundays: 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
- Westover Market (5863 Washington Blvd) — Saturdays: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
You can find a full list of places where Girl Scouts are selling their wares here.
Jail Holds Family Event for Inmates — “Some Arlington County children got a rare opportunity Tuesday night: a chance to visit with their fathers and mothers — who are in jail — without any barriers between them.” [WJLA]
Local Girl Scouts Help Seniors — “They came in need of help, smartphones in hand… Girl Scout Troop 60013 was on it. This week, the Arlington, Virginia-based scouts hosted ‘TechBridge,’ their first walk-in clinic to help local senior citizens learn how to use their cellphones.” [CNN]
County Fair Seeking Judges — “Organizers of the Arlington County Fair are seeking volunteers both to register and judge entries for the competitive-exhibit competition. Volunteers with expertise will serve as superintendents and judges in a host of categories, with judging taking place Thursday, Aug. 15 at 10 a.m. at Thomas Jefferson Community Center.” [InsideNova]
Campaign Ad Questioned — A TV ad placed by a political action committee on behalf of commonwealth’s attorney candidate Parisa Dehghani-Tafti is being questioned. The ad brings up recent anti-abortion laws in other states says incumbent Theo Stamos “would enforce anti-choice laws” in Virginia. The video cited in the ad shows Stamos saying she “takes an oath to uphold the law” but would not enforce an unconstitutional law. [Blue Virginia]
If you’ve got a hankering for samoas, thin mints and tagalongs these days, you’re in luck — it’s officially Girl Scout cookie season around Arlington.
Local troops have begun setting up booths around the county, with proceeds of the annual sale set to benefit the local Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital and fund a variety of trips and programs for kids around Arlington.
Booths are generally set up at Metro stations, grocery stores and other popular spots in the county.
Here’s a look at some of the main spots to get your cookie fix over the next few weeks:
- Ace Hardware (2001 Clarendon Blvd): Saturday (March 2): 12-4 p.m. Sunday (March 3): 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
- Ballston Metro station (901 N. Stuart Street): Weekdays, 3:30-7 p.m., weekends 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
- Central Library (1015 N. Quincy Street): Saturdays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sundays, 12:45-5 p.m.
- Central Place Plaza Rosslyn (1800 N. Lynn Street): Thursdays and Fridays: 4-7:30 p.m.
- Crystal City Metro station (1750 S. Clark Street): Weekdays, 3-7 p.m., weekends 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
- Courthouse Metro station (2100 Wilson Blvd): Weekdays, 3:30-7 p.m., weekends 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
- Deloitte Rosslyn (1919 North Lynn Street): Thursday (Feb. 28): 11:30-1 p.m.
- East Falls Church Metro station (2000 Sycamore Street): Weekdays, 3:30-7 p.m.
- Giant Food (2501 9th Road S.): Fridays: 4-8 p.m. Saturdays: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sundays: 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
- Giant Food (2901 S. Glebe Road): Fridays: 4-8 p.m. Saturdays: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sundays: 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
- Giant Food (3115 Lee Highway): Fridays: 4-8 p.m. Saturdays: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sundays: 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
- Giant Food (3450 Washington Blvd): Fridays: 4-8 p.m. Saturdays: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sundays: 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
- Market Common Clarendon (2800 Clarendon Blvd): Saturday (March 2): 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday (March 3): 1-5 p.m. March 9: 12-3 p.m.
- Marymount University (2816 N. Dinwiddie Street): Wednesday (Feb. 27), 4:30-7:30 p.m.
- MedStar Capitals Iceplex (627 N. Glebe Road): Saturday (March 2): 9:30-2 p.m. Sunday (March 3): 1-6 p.m.
- Mt. Olive Baptist Church (1601 13th Road S.): Sundays: 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
- Pentagon City Metro station (1200 S. Hayes Street): Weekdays, 3:30-7 p.m., weekends 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
- Safeway (2500 Harrison Street): Fridays: 4-8 p.m. Saturdays: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sundays: 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
- Safeway (3717 Lee Highway): Fridays: 4-8 p.m. Saturdays: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sundays: 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
- Safeway (1525 Wilson Boulevard): Sundays: 1-6 p.m.
- Safeway (5101 Wilson Boulevard): Fridays: 4-8 p.m. Saturdays: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sundays: 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
- Westover Market (5863 Washington Blvd.): Saturdays: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Photo via Girl Scouts of the United States of America
Though National Skip The Straw Day already passed this year, three local Girl Scouts are asking their fellow students not to use plastic straws for a week.
The Claremont Immersion School students presented their research on the effect that plastic straws have on the environment to third through fifth grade science classes last week.
The project is part of a Girl Scouts bronze award project, in which junior level scouts tackle a project that they believe will “create a long-lasting change in their community.”
The trio, all members of Arlington Troop 4594, hopes to have at least 300 students sign the pledge and use paper, silicone, bamboo or steel straws — or no straws at all.
According to one of the girls’ parents, Levi Novey, the girls also intend to approach two restaurants, pitching a plastic straw-free dining area.
According to Novey, the three girls are being advised by two mentors: Kate Ceste, the Arlington County Solid Waste Bureau’s contracts manager, and Elenor Hodges, executive director of Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment.
Photos courtesy of Levi Novey