Cookies: February 2013 Archives

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Important Cookie Reminders

Please remember to:

  • Read SNAP messages - they keep you up-to-date on new developments
  • Don't leave cookie money in your car, or unattended at a booth sale or work
  • Only sell ABC cookies - we aren't allowed to sell Little Brownie Bakers cookies in our council
Combating "Cookie Fatigue"
Sometimes we feel it, too! We know the "5 Skills" that girls learn from selling cookies. There are two more skills that we, as Leaders, demonstrate, and that girls learn by watching us:
Perseverance (following through) and Diplomacy (grace under difficult circumstances); when you are ready to run screaming from a busy booth sale and go home, remember: girls are watching and learning from all we do.

Bored at a Booth Sale?
It can be hard to stay focused at a booth sale when we can't run around to burn off excess energy. Here are a few suggestions: guess what your next customer will buy; ask people their favorite cookie; be an "advocate" for the cookies you need to sell; think up and try different sale pitches ("$7 for two!").
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I've been out and about during the cookie program.   If I see girls selling cookies, I make a point and going by to thank the girls.   In every instance, the girls I met were having a great time.   Some were playing with the empty boxes while waiting for customers.   Others were trying to stay warm.   I met one group that had been out in the wind for five hours -- now that takes some fortitude.    I talked to another pair on Saturday, and just while I was there, the wind took its toll, but the girls were smiling and enjoying themselves.   Most of the ones I saw in action were excellent sales people.   They approached customers with a smile, took rejection well, and made me proud that I have the privilege of working with these girls.

As an educator my questions are always the same. What are they learning from this?   Do the girls participate in the goal setting?  Do they make decisions?   Do they learn about money management?   Do they improve their people skills?   Do they learn business ethics?   Those are the objectives of the cookie program.   The ones I saw were doing an excellent job in all those areas.

I realize most of us will be grateful when the program is over, as it creates chaos for a couple of months. I always hear stories about kids who sleep with cookies, and actually, when I travel to my dorm room in Montgomery, I sleep with cookies too.

Thank you for all you do to make the cookie program a success.   Teaching the girls these skills are lessons that will stay with them for a lifetime.

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Do you get irritated while waiting in the grocery store line, and the new checker comes in, opens the lane next to you and then takes the person waiting in line behind you?   Have you ever had to fly somewhere and pay a small fortune for an outrageously expensive airline ticket, knowing the person sitting next to you probably paid one-third of what you paid.   Where is the fairness? 

 As U.S. citizens, we have learned to line up at school at an early age. When I get ice cream, I appreciate the fact that the business has a number you can pull, so you get your turn in the order you arrived.   That's fair.  Unfortunately, most Girl Scout councils fund all their operations and expenses from the once-a-year cookie program. For the 2011-2012 membership year, 68 percent of our council's income was from the cookie program, so it is upsetting to hear a parent say "we aren't participating in the cookie program. "   I understand standing at a booth sale is a pain.   I also recognize collecting on bad checks takes time and winds up being very frustrating, but I see girls building confidence, finding their voice, managing people who are rude or don't want to buy cookies, and I'm convinced this is a good endeavor.

Many councils have implemented a program service fee, since your annual membership fee goes directly to GSUSA.  I felt that wasn't good for our council.   We want girls to participate in as many programs as possible!  Going forward, we will have different levels of pricing for council programs and services for those girls who elect to not participate in the cookie program.   It isn't fair to all the girls who participate in the cookie program to pay for those who do not.   We requested participation at a minimal level, at least 24 boxes of cookies.   If you elect not to participate in the cookie program, pricing for council programs, events, and properties will reflect the actual amount it costs to produce the program or operate the property.

This year more than 5,000 girls in our 9,000 are participating in the cookie program.   What some of those girls accomplish is unbelievable.  I spoke with a girl a week ago who was already sold more than 1,000 boxes, and we still have weeks to go.   There's still time to teach your girls how to become cookie entrepreneurs.

Thanks to those who are tired of thinking about cookies for what you do to make the world a better place through creating young entrepreneurs.

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Cookies for Everyone at School
Girl Scout Troop 8241 at St. Ignatius Catholic School has a great marketing idea for selling cookies!

They asked their school lunch manager if she would like to purchase enough Girl Scout Cookies for the entire school to have a Thanks-A-Lot cookie for lunch on National Cookie Day. She was happy to support her Girl Scouts, and Troop 8241 sold a lot of cases that day.
Girl Scout Week is coming up (March 10-16) -- perhaps your school would like to participate? There's only one way to find out -- ask!

Cookies for Everyone Else
Girl Scout Cookies make delicious and inexpensive client gifts for service providers, such as accountants, lawyers, aestheticians, and insurance agents. When cookie booth fatigue sets in, selling by the case to a service provider is a very attractive alternative!
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We've been hearing and seeing troops in the media getting the word out about the Girl Scout Cookie Sale -- great job! When dealing with the media there are some key talking points for Cookie Season that we want to make sure are heard. Please refer to the document Cookie Talking Points for 2013 to help you "hit the highlights" when talking to the media.
Here are some  key points:
  • Booth Sales are from February 1 to March 3 
  • National Girl Scout Cookie Day is February 8 
  • Girl Scouts develop 5 essential skills- Goal Setting, Decision Making, Money Management, People Skills and Business Ethics 
  • The public can go to www.girlscoutscookies.org or download the iPhone or Android Cookie App locator to find a booth sale near them 
  • There are 8 different flavors to buy for $3.50 each, with the Thin Mint ranking #1 nationally, beating out the Oreo.  
Please contact Director of PR and Marketing, Meghan Cochrane, at 800-239-6636 ext 2907 or at mcochrane@girlscoutssa.org any time you will be featured on TV or Radio. We love to hear about good press! 

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