Last Thursday my Cadette troop met for our monthly Girl Scout meeting. Of our ten girls, only seven were there, but that did not change the meeting plan, which was to discuss what to do with our cookie profits.
Because this is the first time most of the girls were selling cookies, they were happy to do it-unlike some Cadettes who are burnt out of cookie sales at this point of their scouting career. To be truthful, some of the parents have been very gung ho as well, selling cookies for their daughter at an amazing pace (and this has always been one of my issues with cookies and rewards and leaders having a cow over girls who do not sell a lot).
However, it was decided that even though Cadettes can have separate money accounts, the money our troop earned belongs to every girl, no matter how many boxes she sold. (for more about this you can read this post about cookie selling and dividing the profits.)
We started off with a bang, and did three cookie booths. Our Cookie Mom decided that three was enough, but if we had too many cookie left over, we would participate in a fourth one.
Here is how it went.
We were inside out local Municipal Building for four hours,1-5 in the afternoon, on the first Saturday of cookie selling. Two girls are assigned to sell for each one hour shift. Even though we are in the vestibule in front of the library, with the entryway doors constantly opening and closing, it got a bit chilly. Traffic was slow and we sold 55 boxes altogether.
The following Friday night we were in front of a very busy pizza parlor between the hours of 4:30-7:30. Originally, we were slotted to sell until 8:30, but no girls signed up for the final shift. It was bitterly cold, but the girls did an amazing job and sold 118 boxes! My favorite sale came from a man in a pick up truck who drove up to the curb and asked if we would bring him his order, as he was in his slippers. We escorted the girls to the car for the cookie and money exchange and he complimented us on our curbside service!
Our final booth sale came on Superbowl Sunday. We had a three hour shift from 1-4 at our local grocery store, and it was busy! It was very cold with the doors constantly opening and closing, but we were grateful to at least be inside and out of the wind. The people did not yet have cookie fatigue, and we sold 192 boxes!
All told, we covered each day of the weekend at very different venues. All the girls participated in booth sales, with almost all doing at least two different booths.
The total troop sales have needed us a profit of over $1,200! We have enough monetary donations to buy the remaining cookies that we have and send them overseas to the military via a local organization that does not charge us postage.
We had the girls give themselves a big round of applause and then had a discussion about how to spend the money.
The most popular options were:
- A trip to an amusement park
- A trip to a dude ranch for the day
Our Cookie Mom is looking into these two options and will present them at our next meeting. The main goal is to reward the girls but also leave some money left over for next year.
Did all the girls sell equally?
Does it matter to us?
Honestly, the top sellers have parents selling the cookies. If that is what they want to do that so their child gets a bigger prize, then that is their business, not ours. We are fortunate that all of the girls benefit. My daughter did what she could do and wanted to do, and she participated in booth sales more than some others. It was our way of contributing to our troop, as neither my husband nor I would sell for our daughter.
The Babycenter Girl Scout Mom boards are once again hot in discussion on the distribution of cookie fund money, and I truly do not understand why they get so upset. Selling cookies is a choice, and leaders who make quotas or tell girls that they cannot go on the big trip unless they pay the full amount are lucky that their Service Unit does not get wind of it. One irate parent can get you into so much trouble…is it worth it to prove a point? Is this the kind of leadership you want your troop to emulate?
It is one thing if a child’s family makes no effort to sell-not participating at a single booth sale or even having a family member buy a box. I understand why a leader would be upset at this child being able to reap the benefits of the troop. It certainly is not fair to those who are selling and at least making an effort.
But GSA rules state that troop money is troop money. This child might actually be the one who needs Girl Scouts more than the child whose parents push the product at the office and sells 300 boxes for their daughter. “Why aren’t her parents lending a hand?” should be the thought in a leader’s mind, not “What a slacker.” Is there a family crisis that is more important than cookie selling? Are parents working multiple jobs and not able to go to a booth sale? Is finding childcare for other siblings a hardship so that cookie booth selling is not an option? Is money so tight that a $4.00 box of cookies is not in their grocery budget?
While money for big trips is a wonderful goal to have, is this the long term vision for your troop? The goal of my troop’s new leader is to have the girls have fun and stay together for as long as possible. There are at least three other Cadette troops in our Council, not a bad number considering the drop out rate after Juniors. Our girls go to school with these girls, and they want to have a fun Cadette Day with them. We want to promote sisterhood, not competition.
We finished our meeting with a World Thinking Day activity that earned our girls the badge for this year.
How are your cookie sales going? How are you handling low sales are no sales children in your troop?