Handing Out Girl Scout Cookie Rewards-Are You Considerate and Caring?

For the most part, it was a quiet season for Girl Scout cookie drama in the Facebook groups where I belong. Leaders mostly posted about being tired and stressed and about parents who did not pick up cookies or show up at booths.  There was virtually no mention of girls who were not selling.

Until last week.

In two different groups, leaders asked how girls should be presented their cookies selling awards and if top sellers should be recognized. It is at times like these that I am blown away that some of these women have chosen to be leaders, since their lack of care and consideration (one part of the Girl Scout Promise) for the young charges in their troop is so apparent. One leader called her low selling girls “slackers” and others accused parents of being lazy and wanting their daughter to get a “free ride” in Girl Scouts. These children need to be shamed, blamed and called out for their lack of sales so maybe next year they will work harder. Who cares if a six year old is in tears? They have a lesson that they need to learn!

How some Girl Scout leaders make their girls feel when they hand out cookie rewards and the girl had no parental support.

Photo from Pixabay

OUCH!

Yes, it is true that there are parents out there who are unwilling to help their daughters achieve troop or individual cookie goals (in the same way as an educator I have met parents who are too busy to help their kids with schoolwork).  There is no obstacle standing in their way to help out their child, such as an illness or disability, work obligations or other family obligations. But I ask you… how is this the fault of a first grade Daisy or third grade Brownie? More than likely, it is these girls need a loving and caring role model (a.k.a Girl Scout leader) to make them feel safe and have a place where they feel that they belong. If their own parent(s) are unwilling to give them help, it is up to us as leaders to step in and do what we can for them.

Are you a leader who hands out cookie rewards based on your feelings about the girls or their parents?

Photo from Pixabay

Does the total of cookies sold make a child a low achiever if the number is not what the leader wants (and no, you cannot have a cookie quota-selling is optional). Is it the low seller a “slacker” if she goes door to door with her parents and sells a total of 45 boxes because neither parent can sell at work? Or is the child whose has two parents bring cookie sign up sheets to work a slacker, even though she “sells” 200 boxes with no effort?

According to the leaders in the Facebook posts mentioned, who only go by the numbers, the girl who actually sold on her own and learned about the business of cookies is the slacker. In my opinion, this girl is the true winner and the other child is an example of why kids cannot leave the nest when they are older because their parents do everything for them. While there is nothing wrong with helping your child, there is everything wrong about her being rewarded for work that she did not do.

(For more discussion on this topic, you can read my other post about this here.)

Which leads me to the questions that leaders asked…

Do You Give Top Sellers a Special Award?

Overwhelmingly, the leaders said that they did not. A “Top Seller” patch was all they gave, and that was placed in the bag of incentives the child earned from sales. Some leaders did buy special items, but in my opinion, this is wrong.

Should You Hand Out Awards by Numbers Sold or Share How Many Boxes Each Girl Sold?

No and No. Again, I will take you back to the example I mentioned about girls selling door to door versus those who had Mommy and Daddy sell. Children may not remember the prizes you handed out, but they will surely remember how they felt when their efforts were downplayed.

When handing out Girl Scout cookie rewards, remember that you are dealing with little girls who cannot control how much their parents help them. But you can still make them feel like winners, no matter how many boxes they sold.

Image created by Hannah Gold on Picmonkey

Troop goals should be celebrated together at your meeting, not individual goals. The prizes/incentives offered by the bakeries are the girls’ incentives that they choose to earn. At the start of cookie season, you should have helped the girls set a realistic goal to achieve so you will have money for the things they want to do. If the girls met their goals, great! Celebrate!

If the girls did not make their goal, then you can still celebrate what they did achieve! You still have earned money for special activities for your troop.

As for the incentives the girls earned, most leaders hand them out in the same kind of bag without fanfare at the end of the meeting as the girls are being picked up. In the case where there is a girl who did not earn more than a patch, the leader can still put the item in a pretty gift bag and even add a piece of candy or a note that says “Thank you!”.

The bottom line is that how much a girl sells is out of her control if a parent is unwilling to help. That includes older girls whose parents will not volunteer at a booth or offer to take them door to door. A 7th grader is not going to defy her parents in the same way a 1st grader will not. Try to have the girls help in other ways, like making cookie posters or labels to put on the boxes.

As a leader, you need to seriously rethink how you treat your girls and their feelings. Girl Scouts is much more than cookie sales. It is about learning new skills, sisterhood and being considerate and caring of others.

How We Are Spending Our Cookie Money

Our troop has not had a formal meeting since January due to a variety of factors, and last night we all finally got together. The girls did keep in touch over the winter months via our weekend cookie booths, so it did not feel like we haven’t seen each other!

Our Cookie Mom went over our profits from the sale, and that amount added to our present bank account balance means that the girls’ hard work is going to be rewarded with many fun activities. The focus of this meeting was to brainstorm ideas on how to spend the money-things we can do in the upcoming weeks and some for early fall to get the year off and running.

How does your troop decide how to spend their Girl Scout cookie profits? What do you do if all girls cannot attend?

Photo from Pixabay

One rule that was established from the start of the brainstorming session was that since we are a small troop of five, all girls had to be able to attend the event for it to take place. That decision came about because our Cookie Mom had brought a Council flyer about a day trip to the beach, and like last year, it was the weekend of my daughter’s dance recital. While she just sucked it up and did not go (as I wrote about in this blog post about spending cookie profits if all girls cannot attend), the other girls said that they want everyone to be able to attend (girl led and proof that there are benefits to having a small troop-my daughter has a tight group of scouting friends).

The list was a good one-we are fortunate to have many local attractions as well as many others less than an hour away. Some of the things they wanted were:

  • A day at the beach
  • Horseback riding
  • Ice skating
  • Ziplining
  • Camping
  • Day at the amusement park
  • Dessert at a fancy restaurant

We also discussed the summer and doing something we have never done before-have meetings. For the first time since she was a preschooler, I am not sending my daughter to day camp. One girl is going to sleepaway camp for three weeks, and her mom and she gave her blessing to do whatever we wanted while she was away. While we will not do a trip without her, I volunteered to host meetings during the day and earn some Cadette badges. The girls liked that idea and so did I. It is fun to plan something once in a while without the responsibility of having to do everything for the troop. That is what being a co-leader means in the truest sense-sharing the workload of running a Girl Scout troop so that the leader does not reach the burn out stage.

What is your troop doing with the cookie profits?

Our Troop Made Our Cookie Goals!

In my area, cookie sales are over. After spending weeks selling and participating in cookie booths, my troop has achieved its goal of selling 1.000 boxes.

In fact, we have sold several hundred over that initial goal, which is fantastic!

Our troop sold four cases of Peanut Butter patties to one person who loves to eat them!

Photo by Hannah Gold

At our last booth sale, a woman ordered four cases of Peanut Butter Patties that our Cookie Mom delivered to her last week! The woman told us she had already ordered eight cases from another troop, but the Cookie Mom told her she could not get anymore. We told her that we would always get her what she wanted, and she told us that we would be her go to troop for cookies next year! (Trust me, we have her contact information saved!)

With the donations we received, we were able to send three cases of cookies to our local organization who sends them overseas to the military. Presently, we are sitting on 39 boxes, with a few more swaps and sales to go. The extras will go to the local food pantry that received our extra boxes last year.

Every girl got to the 200 level for selling and will receive all of the incentives earned for that goal. My daughter is so excited to get her hoodie! This is very different from last year when she only earned a patch. She learned a lesson and for that I am grateful.

Are your cookie sales over? Did you meet your troop goals?

Girl Scout Cookie Sales The Ultimate Answer on Sharing Money Earned Fundraising

As Girl Scout cookie sales begin to wind down in many parts of the country, leaders are feeling relief. This is the biggest fundraiser of the year and so much time and effort go into this.

Whether leaders like it or not, there is an official policy on troop money being troop money. This is meant to protect the girls.

Photo from Pixabay

As I have mentioned in several previous blog posts about dividing cookie profits, troop money is troop money. There have been many leaders in Girl Scout forums and Facebook groups that argue this point-how it is not fair to the girls who sell, how parents are uncooperative, etc. Some have questioned the “troop money is troop money” policy and want to know where it appears in writing by the Girls Scouts of the USA.

This policy does exist.

There is a Blue Book of Basic Documents from the GSUSA that is available online. This link will take you to the book.

Scroll down to page 21, and in the section entitled “Ownership of Assets”, it clearly states in the very last sentence of the final paragraph:

“Such assets are not the property of individuals, troops, geographic units, subordinate units, or communities within a Girl Scout council.”

As stated in the first paragraph of that section, the money your troop raises is money to be used for Girl Scouting and no one owns it other than the Girl Scout Council or the Girl Scouts of the USA. That is why if a troop disbands, all money left in the troop bank account goes back to Council.

No matter how you feel about the policy, you have to follow it. No paper accounts are allowed. If your girls are older and want to travel, then there are travel accounts you can set up once they are Cadettes.

Girl Scout Cookie Booths-How Do Girl Scout Leaders Divide the Sales?

Cookie season continues to be the hot topic on Girl Scout leader Facebook groups and forums. There seems to be an endless amount of stress and drama for leaders. Some of it is self-induced (getting aggravated at girls who are not selling) while others is out of our control (parents not paying for the cookies they took).

That is one of the reasons I am loving my small troop. We are truly a team that works together. Drama is not a word in our lexicon. As I wrote in a recent post, we divide out cookies evenly across the board.

How should Girl Scout leaders divide the amount of boxes sold at booth sales to allow for slow booths and inactive girls? There are a few solutions.

Photo by Hannah Gold

I understand that this does not work for larger troops, especially when you have some girls who sell nothing and others who sell one thousand boxes.  One way to level the selling field is to do cookie booths.

I think cookie booths are a fantastic way for girls to work together as a team to help achieve the troop goals you established at the beginning of cookie sales. Having booth sales also helps girls who have parents who are either unwilling or unable to help their own daughter. This scout can still feel part of the sisterhood of her troop and help work towards the end goal-money for fun troop activities and community service projects.

However, one question that had many different answers was how leaders divided the number of boxes sold at a booth.

Here are the responses.

Is there a way to divide the booth sales fairly?

Photo by Hannah Gold

One way is to take all boxes sold at booth sales and divide it among the girls, as long as they worked at least one booth. Those who did not work any booths do not get credit towards their individual goals.

Some leaders divide by individual booth. If four girls worked a booth, the total sales for that booth are given only to those four girls.

There are others who divide by the number of cookies sold per hour. That way the girl gets credit only for the cookies she sells on her two hour shift.

Another method is to total all booth sales divide by man hours worked ( 2 hour booth = 4 hours since  2 girls work at a time) , thus giving cookie credits per hours worked . Each girl then gets her total hours worked over all booths x cookie credits. This gives credit to girls who work solo (permitted by some Councils).

Others take the total number of cookies sold at booths, divide them by how many boxes per hour per girl, and then multiply that by the hours worked. For example:

“X” boxes total have been sold across the booths, 30 box per hour per girl x 4 booth hours is 120 boxes per girl.

Personally, I think the last scenario the most fair way is the first method, dividing sales equally among the girls who have worked and the hours they have worked. It factors in slow booths, as well as those who only did one booth versus a girl who did five. Who wants to sign up for the library booth on a Sunday afternoon, when it is known as a slow selling place? No one.

However, the girls may get upset if they do not get a time slot  the booth in front of the pizza parlor on Friday night or the supermarket on Super Bowl Sunday morning. If you are trying to make things fair and get girls and parents to give up time on the weekend and participate, then you need to make sure that booth sales are split evenly.

My troop has sold at various locations during our two active cookie seasons. The library was slow. The pizza place on Saturday afternoon was so slow we closed shop an hour earlier.

Supermarket booths on Saturday and Sunday and Friday night pizza parlor booths were raging successes due to the time and location. The girls all sold and the sales were split evenly.

It is the time and location, not the effort of the girls, that is the largest determining factor for the amount of cookies sold at booths. More cookies are sold at the beginning of the season than at the end, when there is cookie fatigue for customers and sellers alike.

How do you divide up your cookie booth sales?