Alivia, 7, helps Girl Scout troop leader Jamie Ribisi-Braley fill a customer’s cookie order Tuesday at a drive-through cookie sale in the Side by Each Brewing Co. parking lot in Auburn. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Some members of Auburn’s Girl Scout Troop 5043 are meeting in person for the first time Tuesday afternoon at a drive-through cookie booth.

The Brownie and Daisy troop formed in February 2020 and met in person a few times before the Girl Scouts moved to an all-virtual format.

In March 2020, when individual Maine Girl Scout troops considered the option to go virtual or to pause meetings, brand new troop leader, Jamie Ribisi-Braley immediately embraced the online troop meetings.  “I’m very much into my computer,” Ribisi-Braley said.

The troop has been meeting online ever since.

Girls Scouts Alivia, 7, left, and Azilee, 9, goof around in a quiet moment between cookie sales at a drive-through Tuesday in the Side by Each Brewing parking lot in Auburn. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

“Our troop expanded while we were virtual. We started off with four girls, and now we’re up to 11,” Ribisi-Braley said. “Most of them haven’t met each other in person before. They’re really looking forward to it.”

Ribisi-Braley reached out to Side-by-Each Brewing Co. to suggest joining in on their existing Tuesday evening Otto’s Pizza collaboration.

“Everything goes together, cookies, beer and pizza!” Ribisi-Braley said.

Within minutes of setting up shop in the Side by Each parking lot, a small line formed, with customers carting away loaded boxes and bags of the iconic treats.

Seven-year-old Alivia and 9-year-old Azilee sprang into action picking orders and cashing out customers, with the help of Ribisi-Braley. When the line eased up, the two new friends donned oversized cardboard cookie cutouts, to attract passing cars to the sale.

Last Saturday was the troop’s very first cookie-selling booth, and many of the girls who attended had never met in person.

Alivia, 7, helps Girl Scout troop leader Jamie Ribisi-Braley fill a customer’s cookie order Tuesday at a drive-through cookie sale in the Side by Each Brewing Co. parking lot in Auburn. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

“There was a lot of ‘This is me in real life!’” Ribisi-Braley said. “We’ve been able to develop a virtual sisterhood. But this was nice to get us ready to do some outside activities together.”

Customers have the option of ordering cookies in advance online or driving up to take their chances on their preferred flavor.

The troop is also taking donations to buy cookies for residents of the Clover Nursing Home, which has a special relationship with the troop.

Last March, one of the girls in Troop 5043 started a letter-writing campaign to residents at Clover Nursing Home. “Some people wrote back to her. And she’s been pen pals with them ever since!” Ribisi-Braley said.

Troop 5043 will be set up again next Tuesday from 4 to 6:30 p.m. at Side by Each Brewing in Auburn.


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