Girl Scout cookie season is well under way. For almost 100 years, Girl Scouts, with the enthusiastic support of their families and communities, have knocked on doors, set up sales tables at stores and community events and hawked thin mints.The $700 million Girl Scout Cookie Program is the largest girl-led business in the country and generates immeasurable benefits for girls, their councils, and their communities.
I admit I was a girl scout. And for those of you who know me, it will come as no surprise that I was determined to sell more cookies than any of the other girls. I went up and down my street, knocking on doors for orders. I called all my relatives and perfected my telemarketing skills. I asked my dad to get his co-workers to buy from me. And he said NO! But he did offer to take me to work so I could ask for the order. I worked hard and sold hundreds of boxes and was sure I’d win the Cookie title.
Well as it turns out, I didn’t. Some little girl named Susie did. She lived down the street from me and I never saw her ask any of our neighbors to buy cookies. I assked her how she did it and she said it was easy-her mom and dad got all the orders for her. I was mad and didn’t think it was fair and complained to my dad about it. He told me life wasn’t fair, never would be, but that I’d really won, and I’d appreciate it some day when I realized that I had gotten much more out of it than Susie had. Not what a 9 year old girl wants to hear. So I’m sure I sulked around for a while, until something else captured my attention.
But now many years later, I get it. My dad was right- I had won! I’d learned how to set a goal, prospect customers, perfect my sales pitch, work on my organizational skills, plan the logistics of delivery, handle money, make change and enjoy quite a few cookies, too!
And that’s why I implore you to only buy cookies from Girl Scouts. I know there are many well intentioned parents that want to help their daughters, and help support the troops so they can put on all the programs they have scheduled; but please help them by letting them sell!
In a recent study by the Girl Scouts Heart of the South, they documented skills the Girl Scout Cookie Program teaches, which girls can apply to everyday life:
- 85% increased their money management skills as they developed budgets, took cookie orders and handled customers’ money.
- 83% developed business ethics, learning to fulfill promises to customers and considering how best to contribute to their communities with their earnings.
- 80% set goals and created objectives to reach them.
- 77% made important decisions, learning to work as a team to develop a business plan, deciding when and where to sell cookies, and determining what to do with the money they earn.
- 75% developed people skills, learning to talk to, listen to and work with different kinds of people.
Many successful businesswomen and community leaders say they got their start selling Girl Scout Cookies. So when your local Girl Scouts come calling with this year’s best-selling cookies, remember you’re saying hello to tomorrow’s business leaders.
Did you know that Girl Scout cookies have?
- No high fructose corn syrup
- Are all Kosher
- No trans fats
- No hydrogenated oils in five varieties
- 100 percent real cocoa
- Nutritious whole grain oats
- Two nut-free varieties: Trefoils and Thin Mints contain no peanuts or tree nuts
All of the proceeds from the cookie sale—every penny—stays within our community to benefit local girls. Girl Scout troops use the money for field trips and community service projects.
- Recruit and train volunteer adults to work with girls.
- Provide the financial assistance needed to make Girl Scouting available for all girls.
- Improve and maintain camp and other activity sites.
- Keep event/camp fees for all members to a minimum.
- Sponsor special events and projects.
This story was originally run Jan 2014, but we’ve updated the cookie selections for 2015.