It is hard to believe, but cookie time is just around the corner. I was reminded of this when our public relations cookies arrived last week. It seems like yesterday that we saw the last year's cookies head out the door. Last year was a great sale; the girls did a tremendous job, as you did as leaders, and parents. Thank you for that. We hope to have an even better year this year. Before we do that, though, I thought I would run through a few reminders.
Cookie training, which has a fun lemonade party theme in honor of the Lemonade cookie's 10th anniversary this year, is a good program to attend if you can make it fit into your schedule. We have a representative from the cookie baker with us to talk about the changes they have made and new things on the horizon for the year. This year, ABC Bakers has worked very hard to make the online ordering experience a better one for those using it, as well as you, so there are some improvements there. Last year, our online sales generated less than one percent of our total cookie program, while most councils saw a 5% increase in sales through the online opportunity. Clearly, there is room for growth there, and it is not as complicated as order taking and delivery. If you have relatives and friends that live outside the GSSA footprint, here's your chance to garner some sales from them.
As always, it is good to have the leadership responsibilities outlined for your troop and service unit. We have some great leaders in service units who can speak to how they are organized if you need pointers. If so, please send Cheryl Miller an e-mail, and she can get you in touch with those tremendous volunteers, she is at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With the retirement of Chris Shavers, Teri Eversole will be running the entire cookie program, and as you can image, this is a huge task. Teri can be reached at email@example.com or you can call either office and use extension 1302. Please let us know if you have needs so we can address them.
Last year GSSA was left with more than $40,000 in excess inventory. I realize it is often hard for you to predict what your needs will be, so we err on the side of having sufficient inventory. This year we will be working with our inventory management more closely. You can assist us greatly in this effort by always submitting a planned order. This helps us pull what you need and assure we have the types of cookies you need on hand.
We had some folks take more cookies than what they could sell, which is never a good thing, so we will be watching more carefully how much is taken out on the initial order. We want the girls to be successful; we want you not to be cussing about cookies littering your entire home for the duration, so we will assist you in ordering wisely.
This year, we will be adding some drive through cookie booths around the council. We have been working on safety rules to make this safe for your girls and a success. We have targeted high-traffic locations throughout the council's footprint that we can get access to. Look for those on the booth scheduler. If you have any contacts that you believe would provide good drive through locations, please contact Meghan Cochrane at firstname.lastname@example.org or call and use extension 2907.
As an educator, I'm always impressed by and want to encourage you to use the curriculum materials that go along with the sale. ABC Bakers provides some great materials for girls to enhance their learning while doing, so try to use their on-line resources, they are really great!
We plan on doing a special segment called "Cookie Bites" throughout the program to communicate about changes, issues, good ideas, and how the program is progressing. Look for those in the GSSA Weekly during the sale. You also can sign up to receive reminders via text message on your phone. To do that, please email Jennifer Thrash, director of membership development, at email@example.com.