Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Top 5: skills girls learn in the Girl Scout Cookie Program



It's that time of year - Girl Scout cookie season! The trainings have been completed, the order forms are handed out and everyone is counting down to 9 a.m. on Saturday morning to officially kick off cookie season yet again in southeast Texas.

But did you know the Girl Scout Cookie Program teaches girls five valuable skills that will help them their entire life? There's a lot more to selling cookies that what's in the box! Here's the top five skills girls will learn by participating in the program:

1. Goal Setting
To get started, girls are encouraged to pick a goal of how many boxes of cookies they'd like to sell this year. Girls earn 16% of each package sale, and there are girl rewards they can earn for selling a certain number of boxes. Maybe the troop wants to take a field trip to Galveston or help stock a local food pantry struggling to keep inventory. Maybe the girl wants to sell 1,000 boxes to join the 1000+ Club. Whatever her goal is, the girl learns how to set it and work towards it by participating in the cookie program.

2. Decision Making
From how to approach her customers to working with her troop to decide what they'd like to use their earnings on, the cookie program is full of opportunities for a girl to make decisions for herself. Giving a girl the change to make decisions herself will give her a foundation for making smart decisions the rest of her life, whether it's what college to attend or what job to take - a valuable lesson that will teach her how to save for things like her first car or first house later in life.

3. Money Management
Financial literacy is an important skill for girls in a digital age. From making change for a customer to tracking her earnings, the Girl Scout Cookie Program teaches a girl how to manage money - skills that will translate into managing her lunch money or allowance and, someday, her paycheck.

4. People Skills
Knocking on a neighbor's door, putting on a big smile and asking him or her to support you as a Girl Scout by buying a box of Thin Mints is hard work! Crafting the perfect pitch takes some trial and error, but talking with customers on her street or at a cookie booth helps a girl learn how to interact with others in a different way from school or sports. Learning to not just talk with customers but also listen to their concerns or answer their questions can help girls do better in school and, later on in life, at work.

5. Business Ethics
Being honest and fair is built right into the Girl Scout Promise and translates to the Girl Scout Cookie Program seamlessly. By keeping accurate records of sales, explaining to customers how their money supports Girl Scouting locally and more, girls are learning to be honest and responsible - valuable traits any employer later in life will want.


Customers!
Ready to buy cookies to support your local Girl Scout in her quest to make the world a better place? Girl Scouts begin door-to-door sales this Saturday, January 11. Just in case a girl doesn't stop by, you'll also be able to purchase your favorites at cookie booths starting Friday, Feb. 21. Download the Cookie Finder App for iOS or Android, put in your zip code and find the booths closest to you! Don't see a scheduled booth near you? Call our Cookie Hotline at 1-888-GS-COOKIE, and we'll connect you with a troop in your area to place your order.

Troop Leaders!
Excited to teach your troop more about the five skills? Check out this handy guide from Girl Scouts of the USA for some tips on how to incorporate learning about the five skills throughout the cookie program this year. You can also visit girlscoutcookies.org or abcsmartcookies.com for more resources. (Some of our favorites from ABC Bakers are the Scout Shouts for social media that highlight the five skills!)

Parents!
Want to get your own Girl Scout involved in the cookie program? Contact your troop to see if they are participating to get started. If the troop isn't participating, you can contact your Community to participate individually too and earn funds for your daughter's activities, like resident camp, programs and more. Questions? Give us a call at 713-292-0300 or 800-392-4340 or email cookies@sjgs.org.


We can't wait to get the 2014 Cookie Program started! Stay connected with us on Facebook and Twitter for more cookie news.