This weekend, members of Girl Scout troop 259 attended the Maryland Women Heritage Center‘s World War II’s Unsung Heroines Program. The event gathered female WWII veterans and women of that era to be recognized and honored for their contributions to the war effort abroad and at home.
The Girl Scouts served as color guard, led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance and met several servicewomen members, including a woman pilot. The girls told the group about their activities in Girl Scouting and their work to support the Cookies from the Heart program, which donates boxes of Girl Scout Cookies to military personnel, military families, veterans and other public servants as a gesture of thanks.
It was a race to the finish for Girl Scout Andrea. Her goal of 1,000 boxes last year seemed just out of reach when she had sold 990 boxes and hit a selling wall. Those last 10 boxes were her biggest obstacle, but she was persistent and dedicated and ultimately made her goal. Letting customers know about your goal can help boost your cookie sales. When asked about what motivated her to be a 1000+ club member she said, “I always strive to reach the goal with the most prizes.”
Andrea said she didn’t really have a secret to selling, just getting the word out is the key. “The cookies sell themselves. People really want Girl Scout cookies, you just have to let them know you have them available,” she said. “I just had to work on reaching more people.”
With the profits from the Cookie sale, Andrea’s troop took a trip to Hershey Park. “We had a blast!” she said.
For this year’s cookie sale, Andrea has doubled her goal to 2,000 boxes and said she can’t wait to be in the 1,000 Plus Club again. Will you join her?
Serving as a Girl Scout Cookie volunteer is no easy task. After you’ve gone through Cookie training, set up your eBudde account and prepared for the sale, there may be some questions lingering or challenges you might face that are best learned from experience. That’s why we sought the expertise of Girl Scout Cookie volunteer veteran Linda Grice, who gave us some insight and advice for first time Cookie volunteers.
Last year, Grice’s troop, troop 841 from Arbutus sold more than 8,000 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies! With their proceeds the troop took several excursions including a day of fun at Terrapin Adventures, a sleep over with the dolphins at the National Aquarium and even a trip to Radio City Music Hall in New York City. Two of the girls in the troop were among the top five sellers in the Council last year. This year, the troop is aiming for each girl to sell at least 500 boxes of cookies and the girls have pledged to help each other achieve their goal.
Here’s some of the advice Grice share with us that helped her troop have a successful Cookie sale.
Let girls choose their goals and show them how they can accomplish them:
“The cookie sale being tied to goals gets buy in from all the girls. The goal should be based on what they want to do and they should determine how many cookies they need to sell to do it.”
“Make a chart that shows how your troop will use the money they raise to reach their goal and show it to the girls and parents. This motivate girls and gets parents involved and allows them to participate with the troop.”
Build an adult support team:
“It’s important that there is a good adult team supporting the troop leader, SUCM and the girls. Ask parents to lend a hand. Don’t stop at the first ‘no,’ keep asking for their help.”
Explore every opportunity to help boost your troop’s sales:
“See if your company will allow girls to sell cookies at your office or if your company will buy cookies to use as client gifts or customer appreciation items.”
“Consider using smart phone credit card reader for your booth sale. I encourage es all troops to use it. Our troop added 200 more boxes to the final total because of the card reader.”
Use the cookie sale as an opportunity for professional development:
“Being involved with the cookie sale has strengthened my communication skills and I’ve become more of a people person because of this volunteer position.”
What advice would you give to first time cookie volunteers?
Improvements were made to the playground at Waugh Chapel Elementary just in time for the start of school thanks to Girl Scout Jennifer, the Maryland Gazette reported. As a part of her Girl Scout Gold Award project, she painted a map of the United States on the playground. Read the full article here.
During the Girl Scout Cookie sale, girls earn funds for their Girl Scout activities and learn essential skills that help them throughout their lives—but that’s not all. The Girl Scout Cookie sale gives girls a unique opportunity to network and connect to their community.
This summer, Girl Scouts Helen and Marie ran a four week summer camp for Burmese-Chin refugee children in Catonsville for their Girl Scout Gold Award projects. The summer camp aimed to help the children improve their English speaking and reading skills, learn about American culture and acclimate to their new environment. Quite an undertaking for two girls, you might think. But, Helen and Marie had help from volunteers that had a special connection to the refugee children, all because of their efforts during the Girl Scout Cookie sale.
“We were going door-to-door with our mom selling Girl Scout Cookies in the neighborhood and told our customers that we were using the proceeds from the sale to help Burmese-Chin refugee children adjust to American culture and their new environment,” Marie said. “We were talking to a woman who lived just a couple of blocks over and explained the background of our Gold Award projects. It turned out that she was a volunteer as a tutor to Burmese teenage girls at her church!”
Through that connection Helen and Marie were able to meet the girls and discuss their project ideas and challenges. The girls volunteered during the summer camp and served as their translators for several of the children.
“Unless we had been out selling Cookies that day, we never would have met the woman or the girls who volunteered for us,” Helen said. “Having girls there who were Burmese and had the same background as the children was really helpful because they knew the Burmese culture and the difficulties the children might be facing adjusting to a new home.”
Earlier this year Helen and Marie were invited to present their Girl Scout Gold Award projects to members of Congress on Capitol Hill during a briefing of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus. They said that the cookie sale prepared them for that experience as well.
“Participating in the cookie program also helped us gain skills we used in the presentation of our projects. Selling Girl Scout Cookies definitely prepares you for talking to people you don’t know and pitching your ideas,” Marie said.
So, when you’re out there selling Girl Scout Cookies, be sure to talk to your customers—tell them what you’re using the proceeds for and community service projects you’re working on. You never know where it might take you!
Hope said she saw the crown one of the girls received the year before for being the top seller in her area. She decided then that the next cookie crown would be hers and she set her goal to be in the 1,000 Plus Club.
Hope’s troop had a goal of selling 4,000 cookies. They combined forces, especially in the last week of the sale, to find new customers, in addition to their regulars. Hope’s mother helped her to stay on track and keep focused. She said next year, she’d like to see all of her troop members join the 1,000 Plus Club and plans to motivate them to get there.
“Hard work pays off” is the lesson Hope said she took away from last year’s cookie sale, and she plans to work hard again this year: she’s aiming to exceed last year’s cookie sale.
So, will you be joining Hope in the 2012-2013 1,000 Plus Club?
We have expanded our annual Gift of Caring campaign, which, until now, focused solely on donations to U.S. military personnel. This year, teachers, firefighters, police, EMTs, nurses and military personnel can be recipients of the Gift of Caring campaign– Cookies from the Heart.
Girl Scouts will accept donations during the pre-order phase and the booth sale phase. Orders can also be made online and Girl Scout troops can be given credit for the donation. More information about the new Gift of Caring program can be found on our website.
Who has the biggest heart?
We are challenging Girl Scout troops to collect Cookies from the Heart donations during the pre-order sale. Our Council goal is to collect 2,012 cases of cookies for our hometown heroes through Cookies for the Heart. The troop that collects the most donations will be featured on the cover of GirlsWorld and interviewed for a feature story for the GSCM Blog.