What is that all about? Many of you know the original story; that the cookie program started as girls learning to bake cookies and selling them as a fund raiser. Isn't it amazing how the world's largest girl entrepreneur program was started by girls and was girl led? And it started as early as 1917!
As you can imagine, we have seen a lot of changes to the cookie program this year with the move to allowing girls to sell cookies online. This is a positive move, as girls have asked for this to happen and permission has been lagging. Because of concerns over girl safety, this change did not move at "girl speed." But with this said, selling items online and in a virtual marketplace will be the world these girls inhabit.
This changes the mix on the cookie program because sales will become more reliant on the girl who has a good sales pitch and marketing for the e-mail recipient to purchase their cookies. The online sale does not replace or substitute from the regular sale of cookies to friends, family, and at booth sales, so this is in addition to the other traditional sales approaches.
Our cookie baker, ABC, which has developed the online sales software, has assured us they have done considerable testing around the safety issues of girls doing online sales. One of the safety features is that you cannot forward the e-mail from the Girl Scout from whom you received it to your friends, colleagues, etc. The link is broken when forwarded, so girls have to initiate the e-mail to make the online sale. If any of you experience something different, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There has been some blogging about the cost of shipping of Girl Scout cookies sold online. For anyone whose dining room or home has been consumed in cases of Girl Scout cookies, this might not bother them. Because this is the first time for this type of sale, there are no reductions in the actual shipping costs. Or put another way, we do not have the volume that a company like Amazon has to negotiate dramatically reduced shipping rates. Our baker has determined that purchasing a half case, whole case, or 8-pack of each variety sampler makes the shipping cost effective, so the orders have to be of that size to make the shipping costs bearable.
the cookie program always has everyone operating in high gear, each year we all
hear wonderful stories about what it does for the self-confidence of the girls
who participate. Every year we hear
about the quiet, shy girl who doesn't speak up at troop meetings. She's an introvert and doesn't interact a
lot. And then, one day at a booth sale,
this girl suddenly finds her voice. She
sheds the fright of speaking to people she doesn't know. She gracefully accepts "no" as a response
and isn't bothered by it. She has
discovered that she is an entrepreneur and a successful one. This happens every year to many girls.
The cookie program has five objectives for girls, which build their self-confidence. They are goal setting, decision-making, money management, people skills, and business ethics. We hear stories that demonstrate each of those objectives during the program each year. If you have some good stories to share, please send them to email@example.com. We love to share those stories, and they reinforce the power of the program.
I want to remind people that this year the money management is more complex than in previous years. The gluten-free cookie, the Trio, costs $5 a box, rather than $3.50. This means you will have to be more vigilant while you are selling cookies to be sure you collect the right amount for the type of cookie sold. The bakers assure us those who regularly purchase gluten-free products are not bothered by the higher cost, but our concern is that your troop and your parents remember the price difference. I had someone complain to me about it, and I understand change is hard. As an educator, my response is that this creates a great opportunity for girls to practice their math skills.
We hope the addition of online sales is yet another way for you to learn with your daughter or troop member. We believe this is a great opportunity for girls to experience the world they will inhabit. As always, we can learn from girls about how to market and make sales. I hope your experience with the cookie program is a positive one.