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Cape scout featured on tagalong cookie box

By Staff | Jan 9, 2020

A Cape Coral Girl Scout was named one of six national winners in the Girl Scouts of the USA’s 2018 Girl Scout Cookie Pro Contest, resulting in her photograph gracing her favorite flavored Girl Scout cookie.

“It’s just amazing,” Olivia Trader said. “It’s an amazing opportunity and probably one of the best experiences I will ever get.”

Her mother, Susan, said during the 2018 cookie season all registered Girl Scouts were invited to enter the Girl Scout Cookie Pro contest online. The contest included a series of multiple choice questions and then open ended questions in an essay style.

The questions included such things as how did Olivia run her cookie business, her best selling cookie tips, as well as how many badges she earned and cookies sold.

“They tried to make it really fair. There wasn’t a big emphasis on the number of boxes (sold), making it an even playing field,” Susan said.

From there the entries were narrowed down to 40, which were passed on to a panel of judges — CEOs from large companies and sponsors of the contest. There were six national winners chosen, one from each Girl Scout age group, from Daisy to Ambassador.

When Olivia was chosen she was a Junior Girl Scout in the fifth grade.

“She won out of all the girls at Junior level,” Susan said of finding out the results in May or June of 2018. “I got an email while waiting in the carline letting me know she was a national winner. She (Olivia) approached the car and I was crying. I was able to calm down and show her the email that she won the contest.”

From there a whirlwind of events took place.

The Traders traveled to New York City in July 2018, along with all the national winners. The winners were treated to a Cookie Pro entrepreneurial experience, complete with breakfast with the CEO of Girl Scouts Sylvia Acevedo. There was also a party where the winners were awarded plaques, as well as a visit to the S’well bottle headquarters and Anyhem Worldwide Marketing in New York City where Olivia had the opportunity to meet the Girl Scout cookie box designers/artists and design her own cookie box.

The trip ended with a photo shoot inside a school and a trip to a Girl Scout camp in New Jersey.

Olivia said the photo shoot allowed her to “come out of her shell.” She said the shoot was all about having fun and acting natural without any posing.

“They brought us into a music room at a school and they had us in these rock band clothes,” Olivia said, adding that they all switched roles singing into a microphone, playing a guitar and banging on the drums. “There was music playing in the background, so we could rock along with it.”

At the end of their trip, the Traders were told they could not give out any information until the announcement was made a few days ago.

“We had no idea it would take so long. It takes them quite some time to redesign all of the packages and all eight flavors,” Susan said.

When the Traders were given a sneak peak at an unboxing event in Sarasota they were given yet another surprise, Olivia gracing the box of her favorite Girl Scout cookie, the tagalongs, playing the guitar.

“The tagalongs is my favorite cookie flavor, which is awesome. They didn’t even ask me. It was an amazing coincidence,” Olivia said.

Susan said she still does not think it has all sunk in, especially since Tuesday was the first day they could share with everyone.

“I think it is still surreal to us. It has been an awesome experience,” Susan said.

Olivia said she woke up and started texting all of her friends the day they were allowed to share the news.

“I was so eager to finally be able to tell them. It was very hard to keep the secret,” she said.

And if that was not exciting enough, Susan said the design on the cookie box typically remains the same for seven to 10 years.

“She will be on the box for quite some time,” Susan said.

Olivia said this is her sixth year in Girl Scouts and she plans on continuing through high school because it is one of her favorite activities.

“Honestly I have become way more confident because of Girl Scouts,” she said. “When I first joined I was this little shyness ball. I could barely talk to people and now I feel I have a voice because of Girl Scouts. Girl Scouts has provided so many opportunities for me. I got to learn a lot of new skills, come out of my comfort zone . . . it’s just an amazing program.”

Susan said Olivia has taken her cookie selling very seriously during cookie season. She sold 5,000 boxes in 2018 and last year sold 7,000. She said she works super hard, especially since she does not have the advantage of having her parents sell Girl Scout cookies at work.

“My husband travels a lot for work and I don’t work outside of the home,” Susan said, adding that Olivia has sold every single cookie box by herself.

Olivia is out the door every single day after school until it gets dark selling cookies during presale, as well as doing numerous cookie booth stands during the 30 day cookie booth month, some days two stands in a day.

During the presale, in years past, she has also visited ice cream shops.

“I made my own little paper with fun names for ways to incorporate the Girl Scout cookie boxes. It was a lot of fun to come up with those recipes. They loved my ideas and even used some of the recipes. They were sold in the shops and they were very delicious,” Olivia said.

“She got some faithful customers by doing that,” Susan said. Year after year she goes back and sees all of her same customers.”

This year Olivia’s goal is to sell 8,000 boxes of cookies.

“I always work so hard,” she said of dropping all of her activities, so she can put her main focus on Girl Scout cookie season.