NEW YORK (MainStreet) -- Girl Scout cookie time is a sweet, faint ray of warm sunshine in an otherwise bleak winter for cubicle jockeys lucky enough to have a co-worker with a kid in the council or a suburban supermarket with a cookie-selling table set up each Saturday.
For the rest of us, it's a bit trickier to get a few boxes of thin mints. If you're in your 20s or early 30s and were weaned on the chocolate-encased peanut butter of Tagalongs or the caramel and coconut chewiness of doughnut-shaped Samoas, Girl Scout cookie season is a period of jittery withdrawal and flop sweats.
This may not have been a problem when Girl Scout cookies were introduced in 1917 and knowing a few friends in their early 20s with scout-aged children wasn't uncommon. It gets a bit tougher as post-collegians move into the cities their suburban parents fled years ago and put off parenthood until after the hand stamps from their favorite band's shows have faded and the last of the late-night diner runs have been made long ago. As a result, Girl Scouts of the USA have had their $760 million fundraising behemoth distanced from the late-night snacking, income-expending demographic most likely to go to town on a box of Do-Si-Dos after last call.
So what do you do when your office happy-hour contingent doesn't include a scout leader or your online start-up somehow doesn't have the salary or benefits to support a scout parent? Is there a way to stock up on cookies without eliciting shrieks of "stranger danger" or having complete strangers tell you how worthless cocktail nights with your friends are once you've started spawning?
Fortunately for those cookie-craving in-betweeners, the 100-year-old Girl Scouts of the USA is extremely tech savvy for its age. While the organization is loath to allow one of its most precious commodities to be sold online, as the funds go directly to individual councils and one of the bigger points of the exercise is for scouts to learn people skills, spokeswoman Michelle Tompkins says the Girl Scouts are trying to make it easier to find cookie sales online while keeping the revenue local.
The Girl Scouts have set up a cookie locator to help would-be customers find the nearest cookie booth. There's also a cookie-finding iPhone app in Apple's (Stock Quote: AAPL) App Store for those seeking scout snacks on the go. Once a cookie consumer has found one, however, the advantage shifts. While the office park and work-site crowds have to wait weeks for their order sheets to turn into cookies, parents with little clerks in training sell their baked wares without making the customer wait.