Our Girl Scout Cookie Sales

This is our second year selling cookies as Cadettes. We are down to five girls from last year’s eleven, so things are a lot more mellow.

We had our cookie meeting last moth and all parents were there to get their cookies and materials. Four of the five girls were also in attendance, and they had to decide to forgo the rewards for a higher profit per box. Because they had only seriously sold Girl Scout cookies once, they did not have prize burn out. They wanted to earn their rewards!

Here is how our Cadette Girl Scout cookie sales are going-with no drama!

Photo by Hannah Gold

There are many ways that troops deal with incentivesBecause we are a very tight-knit group who have been together for eight years. there is no competition. Our Cookie Mom ordered 1,000 boxes of cookies. Between booths and personal sales, each girl will get to the 200 level and earn the sweatshirt.

Easy peasy!

Everyone is doing all the booths (with five girls they are easy to fill) and trying their hardest at sales. They are all so close in numbers that they can all work as a TEAM to earn the sweatshirt. Presently, we have about 100 boxes left to sell before we get to the goal. With another booth sale at a busy venue next week, that should be easy to accomplish.

My next few posts about Girl Scout cookie sales will be about topics that are on the minds of leaders. I have read many upsetting discussions on forums and Facebook groups, and I feel that many leaders sometimes forget in all the stress of cookie selling that this is FOR THE GIRLS.

How are your Girl Scout cookie sales going?

Girl Scout Craft Supplies

*This post contains affiliate links.

When my troop was younger, one thing that they loved were craft supplies that had the Girl Scout logo or emblems on them. We used them primarily for our scrapbooks, but their uses can be extended to community service projects and other ideas as well.

While the supplies are not as bountiful as they once were, official Girl Scout items can still be found. Here are a few of them.

Girl Scout Stickers and Paper


Ribbons for Girl Scout Crafts

 

Girl Scout Friday Freebie Perfect for Cookie Season

Help your girls earn financial badges and leaves with this Girl Scout Friday Freebie.

 

This week’s Friday Freebie comes from the Federal Reserve Bank in St. Louis. Learning about money is an important skill set, and now that cookie season is upon us, this free program can help you earn your cookie selling, money related badges.

The program is for all levels-just scroll down to the bottom of the page to find the age group you are looking for.

You can find the information here.

World Thinking Day 2016 Resources

World Thinking Day 2016 Resources for leaders

Photo from Pixabay

In five weeks, Girl Scouts around the world will be celebrating World Thinking Day 2016. The theme is “Connect” and this is so important in this day and age. We have so many false connections thanks to social media. Trying to make true connections is what we as Girl Scout leaders should be striving for.

If you are wondering how to incorporate World Thinking Day with your meeting plan, have no fear! The GSUSA has ideas for you!
 
Here is the GSUSA’s World Thinking Day 2016’s website. You will find what kinds of connections the movement wants girls to make. If you scroll to the bottom and click on the “Daisies, Brownies, Juniors” tab, there is a list of activities that your girls can do to earn this patch. (Which, by the way, you should order early as they tend to run out as the date approaches. Contact your local Council store to place your order.)
 
On the WAGGGs website, there is a downloadable activity packet for leaders. You can find it here.
 
Need more ideas for your meeting? Here are a few more resources for you to use.
 
 
 

What country are you studying for World Thinking Day 2016?


Girl Scout Cookie Selling is Voluntary-Leaders Need to Lighten Up

In many parts of the country, troop leaders and cookie moms are gearing up for the exciting/busy/stressful Girl Scout cookie selling season.

Last year, my troop sold cookies for the first time since they were Daisies. My Cookie Mom was experienced and very detail oriented, so it was smooth sailing for the girls, parents and other leaders. We profited over $1,200 and that money helped us finance our first camping trip this fall (that I promise to write about in the future!)

lighten up

Photo from Pixabay

On all of the Girl Scout forums and Facebook groups where I belong , this is a hot button issue for leaders.  There seems to be a great divide because some leaders believe they do not have to follow the rules of the GSUSA in regard to cookie selling.

Directly from the GSUSA the website:

Does a Girl Scout troop or group have to sell cookies if they don’t want to?

Girl Scout product sales offer girls a great way to finance their Girl Scout activities and special projects. Participation in the Girl Scout Cookie Program is voluntary  (italics mine) and requires written permission by a parent or guardian. Annually, about 65 percent of registered Girl Scouts choose to participate in the program.

So why is it that leaders get their knickers bunched up over this year after year?

You do not have to tell me that we, as leaders, have much more vested into the troop than the other parents who are not leaders. After all, we are the ones who volunteered for the job! For many families, Girl Scouts is an activity that is on the bottom of the list, so there is not much time or emotion invested as we would like. We oftentimes will buy things with money from our own pockets just to make sure that we have what the girls need for an outing or a badge.

We spend hours planning troop meetings, attending leader meetings, making trips to the store, buying badges, etc. We put so much of ourselves into our troop.

Girl Scout cookie booth

Photo by Hannah Gold

Is it REALLY too much to ask parents to help sell Girl Scout cookies?

For some families, YES IT IS.

Unless you live in another person’s home, you have NO IDEA what is going on with them. Many people do not want to share with you the personal details of their lives, and quite honestly, it is none of your business why a girl is not selling a lot, or any, Girl Scout cookies.

Just some of the reasons some girls in your troop are low sellers might be:

  • Parents are juggling multiple jobs to make ends meet and a booth sale is not on their priority list during the weekend when they have to catch up on chores, housework, or take on another shift.
  • Parents are not allowed to sell at work.
  • Parents are sick, working, disabled physically or mentally and are not up to taking their daughter door-to-door to sell cookies.
  • A parental separation or divorce prevents the girls from selling at a booth sale (I have had students who do not attend Hebrew School on the weekends they are with non-custodial parent because s/he will not take the child. There is nothing I can do about it.)
  • The family has multiple children selling Girl Scout cookies.
  • Parents have to care for a sick or disabled family member or have multiple young children to care for and have no help.
  • Limited family or no close family who will buy dozens of boxes to help out with sales.
  • They are simply not interested.

The bottom line is that TROOP MONEY IS TROOP MONEY and to get yourself upset because one girl sells 500 boxes and one sells 5 does not change the situation. You cannot divide the money up in proportion to who sells more cookies (at least not until Cadettes when separate accounts are fine for saving for big trips).

You cannot withhold money from a girl who does not sell a lot of Girl Scot cookies. Like it or not, the GSUSA has set up the "troop money is troop money" rule to protect the girls. Cookie selling is a voluntary activity.

Photo from Pixabay

I tell my kids that “Life is not fair and life is not equal.” The GSUSA has made it perfectly clear in it’s guidelines that selling Girl Scout cookies is an optional activity. You may not:

  • Set a quota for selling
  • Tell girls who do not sell that they will have to pay for troop events from out of their own pockets because they did not sell “X” number of boxes
  • Give out special prizes to top sellers (other than a fun patch that declares this…it is a nice thing to do)
  • Take girls who earn the most on a special outing paid for by troop funds (and even doing this by using your own funds is downright wrong on so many levels)
  • Tell the parents they can “buy out” their “required” number of cookies by writing a check.

As a leader, I dare you to look in the eyes of the daughter of a single parent who works two jobs and tell her that she cannot attend the Build A Bear trip because she did not sell your required quota of cookies.

Could you do it?

By going against the rules of the GSUSA you could get into a boatload of trouble if a parent goes to Council to complain. A really angry parent can take you to task via social media. These rules were set up to protect the girls…so why are you going against them?

Don’t let Girl Scout cookie selling season become a competition of who sells the most. Set up troop goals, and keep track of group progress. When cookie season is over, celebrate all that you have accomplished together.

Friday Freebie Girl Scout Paw Patch Program

Happy New year and welcome back to the Friday Freebie!

This Girl Scout free patch program comes from Kitten Krazy in Ohio.

Photo from Pixabay

This week’s free Girl Scout program comes from Kitten Krazy in Medina, Ohio. There are printable directions for leaders.  T he requirements include a tour of the facility, but if you are not in the area, I am sure you can tour a local shelter to fulfill this requirement. Then there is a listing of five things to do, and only one needs to be fulfilled to earn the patch. Leaders can buy an inexpensive fun patch if you do not live locally; those in the Kitten Krazy area have to contact the coordinator to receive your free badges.

Girl Scout Community Service Project-Baking for Others

One of the things I love about being a Girl Scout leader right now is that it is much more laid back than when I first started. Although I stepped down as the 01 Leader at the end of fifth grade, I have still been involved as an 02-present at every meeting and in charge of finding community service projects for us to do.  With another co-leader who is the Cookie Mom, the efforts of running the troop has been made easier for the 01, who steers the ship.

November was a difficult month for us to meet on our regularly scheduled night, so we skipped it. Since December has traditionally been a month when my troop does a service project, I wanted it to continue. My synagogue hosts a group of homeless men for two weeks every December as part of an interfaith hospitality project. One part of what we do is feed them and the volunteers who run it. In the past, my girls made gifts and sent in snacks for each person (you can read what we did in this blog post.)

Since we are small group of five 7th graders, I wanted to do something more hands on. I love to bake, and this is the season for it, so I decided to have the girls bake treats for the men. When the girls were third grade Brownies, we did a HUGE cookie baking for the soldiers project (you can read the guide to how I did this in stations with lots of volunteers in this article). This would be a bit different, since they are older and require less help.

This is an easy way to bake for others, earn a badge, and do a community service project. Perfect for any time of year, it is especially meaningful during the December holiday season of giving.

Photo from Pixabay

Here is how I planned this project.

The key to finishing on time is to be organized. With only one oven, there are only so many trays that could be placed in there at one time. I had 2.5 hours for the meeting, which wound up to be more than I needed.

We were meeting after school on a Friday in my home, and since I now work every morning, all the prep work had to be done in advance. As always, my daughter was my assistant.

In order to save time, I bought box mixes for cake, cookies and muffins. My daughter and I baked the cupcakes and sugar cookies in advance so they would be completely cooled so they could be decorated the next day. That left the muffins and chocolate chip cookies to bake when the girls came over.

Being the mother of twins, I have two (or more) of everything in the kitchen. Baking together has been an incredible bonding experience for my children and me, even in these early teen years. Working together in the kitchen has proven to be a conflict free experience that results in tasty treats for us all.

Once the girls arrived, we started the baking process. First, the girls lined the muffin tins and then made the batter. Once they were all scooped into the pan and in the oven, the girls made the chocolate chip cookies. The cookies went in once the muffins were done.

My Cadette troop baked these cinnamon swirl muffins and more for our Girl Scout December community service project.

Photo by Hannah Gold. All rights reserved.

While everything was cooking and cooling, the girls began to decorate, which, as you would image, a huge hit! I made a sugar cookie glaze right before they arrived, and the girls used that and assorted sprinkles and sugars to create their masterpieces.

Once the cookies were done, they used tub frosting to decorate the cupcakes. I also gave them chocolate chips to use as decorations as well.

There was plenty of extra so the girls could have a sample of their own.

Here are the decorated cookies my 7th grade Cadette troop made for their December service project.

Photo by Hannah Gold. All rights reserved.

(No, that isn’t a cookie bite-a piece fell off when moving it to the serving tray!)

Clean up was easy, as I used parchment paper for my baking stones, muffin liners for the muffin tins and I washed everything as we went along. I used a plastic table cover from the Dollar Store for my kitchen table, so when everything was done, I just rolled it up and tossed it out.

We had about a half hour left before pick up, and the girls did not want to make cards. Since they had not been together as a group since our October camping trip, I let them just hang out and have fun in my basement. They enjoyed that and, in my opinion, it is also a crucial part of the older Girl Scout experience. The girls go to different middle schools (three go to one and the other two go to the other one in town) and will not be together as a group until they all go to the same high school. And since ours is huge, the likelihood of them being in class together is small. Giving my girls time to bond in a casual setting, without any adult assisting in an activity, will help them continue their friendships that will, hopefully, lead them to continue being active in Girl Scouts.

My girls had a great time and I also enjoyed the experience as well.

Have you done a service project this month? What did you do?


Girl Scout Cookie Pins

*This post contains affiliate links.

Do you want your girls to have a fun way to promote their cookie sales when they are not with you?  There are several adorable Girl Scout cookie pins that they can wear on their jackets, on their shirts and sweaters, and on their backpacks. When they are out and about with their parents, they can promote cookie sales without even saying a word…their pin says it all!

Here are just a few that are available on Zazzle. Each design comes in more than one shape and can be customized for your troop. They can be round or square and they can be made in different sizes. You can even give them as a gift to your girls!

 

Girl Scout Freebie from Johnson & Johnson

Free materials from Johnson & Johnson about nursing to earn the Respect Authority petal or Respect Myself and Others.

Photo from Pixabay

Johnson & Johnson manufactures many products, and most of us are familiar with their baby related and first aid items.

Today’s Girl Scout freebie is all about nursing. This ties in wonderfully with the magenta Respect Authority Daisy petal and earning the First Aid badges in higher levels of scouts.

Go to their website to order your free materials for your troop.

This is the last Friday Freebie for the year. This feature will be back in January, after the holiday season is over.

Inexpensive Gifts for Your Co-Leader and Volunteers

*This post contains affiliate links.

Fortunate Girl Scout leaders have a fun and fabulous relationship with their co-leader. You share the workload of running a troop, make decisions together, and truly enjoy each others company. Other of you may have a top notch Cookie Mom or volunteer who helps out in many different ways.

If you exchange gifts with these people, here are a few that are low cost and fun. Everything you see is from Kohl’s.

Kohl’s has a  line of dishtowels that are simply hilarious. I don’t know about you, but this is one of the things that I never seem to buy for myself until mine are ragged.

This line of dish towels from Kohl's has many different whimsical sayings and makes a great hostess gift, Secret Santa gift or gift topper to a gift card.

SONOMA life + style® “This Coffee Is Making Me Awesome” Kitchen Towel -find more like this here at Kohl’s. Use Promo Code FIREPLACE for an extra 25% off.

Yankee Candle votive makes a great gift and comes in many different scents.

Many different scents are available and on sale at Kohl’s. Find this one and more here.

Retro looking hand sanitizer is a fun stocking stuffer.

I simply love anything that is retro looking. This Simple Pleasures ”Bye, Bye Dirty Hands Hello Clean” Berry Blossom Antibacterial Hand Sanitizer makes a great gift since children can be so full of germs this time of year! This is also on sale…find it here, along with other items in the Simple Pleasures line. Put a few together, place in a cellophane bag and your gift is done!

Activities for Daisy Girl Scouts, Brownie Girl Scouts, Juniors, Cadettes and More!