Cookies: January 2012 Archives

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I was at a meeting last week where we had a troop of Brownies visit to sell us Girl Scout cookies.   They brought paper carnations they had made in green.   Each one went up to those in the room, individually, talked to the person, took their order and returned with money in hand to have the order filled. 


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 It was a wonderful thing. The girls were excited about being there, and all the folks in the room were excited to have them there.   The girls were talking to strangers without fear, having a decent exchange of information.   I saw girls counting money and making change with their leader.   There was a lot of learning going on in those conversations.   There also were cases of cookies sold at this encounter, but, more than that, I watched girls learning self confidence.   It takes courage if you are a Brownie to talk to someone you don't know, and by doing so, they are investing in their own education.

I've heard some fun stories about the walkabouts through neighborhoods.   I've also heard stories about people's vicious dogs, not so pleasant responses and how ugly people can sometimes be.   But if you ask, have they learned anything, Daisy through Ambassador, I'm sure the response will be the same -- yes, they have learned.   They know more about themselves, they know more about how to set goals and achieve them, and they are more in tune with what is possible.

So, when you trip over that case of cookies in your house and think you cannot stand to see another one, just remember, those cookies have the power to change the world.   GSUSA estimates that the cookie program generates $700,000,000 across the US annually.    Think what girls can do with that!

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 Okay, we are almost three weeks into the cookie program. Does it feel like an eternity to you yet?   Have cookies taken over your dreams?   Well, even if that's the case, so far everyone has done excellent work!  

I've tried to talk to as many volunteers as I can while they load cookies, and generally the conversation goes something like, "I was trying to unload cookies to a parent in a parking lot, someone saw the cases, came by and purchased two cases before I got them loaded."   Or my personal favorite, "I sold some cookies to some of my friends; they have now eaten them and are back for more."

Despite any chaos, you have successfully survived the first payment.   We have heard over and over again that, what makes you crazy about this isn't that you need to pay for the cookies, but chasing that errant parent or two in your troop who doesn't pay.   You have to bug them; you have to nag them; you have to call them again, and it makes you CRAZY!   And further, this is the same parent that drops their daughter off late, picks her up late, cancels attending an event the troop has paid for, or worse, forgets to tell you she isn't coming and you sit waiting.   At this point, you are entitled to the PRIMAL SCREAM!

Most of the volunteers I talk to, at some point in the conversation, talk about this very parent, and almost all troops have at least one them.   They are not necessarily apologetic about it.   When you are most frustrated with the hassle, it is this parent that you believe might well just send you over the edge!   SCREAM NOW!

So guess what, you are going to get your reward.   For 30 years I worked in student discipline at a college.   I would meet the student and think, "wow, they are impossible."   When things got really bad with the student, I got to meet their parents.   My conclusion was that, at least with the student, I had a chance for some change.   Too often the child was simply a lesser version of the parents, and some of the parents were pretty scary, and this was a very expensive university.  

You, as a volunteer, are getting the opportunity to change how it turns out.   You are going to do your level best to be sure that girl from the impossible parents doesn't turn into one.   You have made the world a better place.   And thanks for always being patient, always understanding and trying to make the best of a situation that is very hard.   It shows who you really are.   It's okay if you need to SCREAM again, we totally understand. We do it, too. 

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The cookies are here!   Happily, we are busy loading them into cars, trucks, and right now there's a U-Haul in the back parking lot.   That's FANTASTIC!   Eric, our new PR director, was working on 45-second videos yesterday on what a cookie can do.  

I was musing on that subject this morning.   A Girl Scout cookie represents the nation's largest and most successful girl entrepreneurial program.   But what does that really mean?   It means that Isabella learns to talk to people she doesn't know about purchasing a box of cookies.   It means that Olivia understands that everyone won't purchase cookies from her.    It means Jasmine learns that, if she sells 300 boxes of cookies, she earns a really cute plush penguin.   Destiny, Kaylee, Emma and Bella, as a group, have planned a trip to Washington, D.C., this summer to ROCK THE MALL!   If they sell enough cookies, it will pay for them to see the country.   Makaly, Serenity, Mabel and Joan have worked for two years to visit the Girl Scout Our Chalet in Switzerland.   All the girls who participate in the cookie program learn about themselves by building confidence, courage, and character.   It's amazing what a cookie can do, really!
The 2012 Cookie Season is here and Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama is excited about the upcoming year's events!

In order to capture the happenings within our council, whether it's cookie booth sales, walkabout weekend or anything cookie related, the PR & Marketing Department needs your help. 

Please let us know if your troop is planning something special during cookie season, and we may be able to get media coverage for it.  We want to let the public know what Girl Scouts in southern Alabama are doing to make the world a better place. Remember, the earlier, the better so we can accommodate media deadlines. Please email us at communications@girlscoutssa.org or call your local council office to let us know what's going on.

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