You, as a Girl Scout cookie customer, play a valuable role in teaching girls critical leadership skills. This step-by-step guide will help you help a Girl Scout to hone these skills during your cookie-purchase transaction.
By Connie Chavez
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re familiar with Girl Scout Cookies. And if you’re like a lot of people, you anxiously await the arrival of your cookies every year… eager to break open that first box of familiar sweet aromas, comforting crunchiness and oh-so-delectable taste! But you probably don’t realize how important the experience of selling these treats is to the girls and their Girl Scout troops. Selling cookies is about so much more than enjoying the traditional treat. It’s about teaching girls important skills they’ll need to become successful leaders. This includes goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and business ethics. These are skills girls can use every day and tools that will stay with them for life. But that experience would not be possible without you. So, to make things easier, here’s a guide on the proper way to buy Girl Scout cookies. Enjoy!
- Say hi. “Hello” and a smile gets everything off on the right foot! It builds girls’ confidence and is basically the greatest conversation starter ever.
- Look girls in the eye. Some of them may seem a little shy, but that’s just because they don’t know you yet. It’s not easy talking to people you don’t know or asking people to trust you—but that’s what they’re learning to do. Making eye contact says, “Hey, we see each other, we respect each other—and we’re ready to do business.”
- Let girls know if you’re a Girl Scout. There are a lot of Girl Scouts out there, everywhere. Over 2 million. So definitely tell girls if you’re a Girl Scout, and tell them how being a Girl Scout has helped you become who you are. Seeing what they can become means a lot to them.
- Please don’t call them cute. They know they’re cute, but selling cookies is real. They’re learning how to run a business. They want you to buy cookies because you want them and respect what they’re learning, not because of their nice haircut or uniform. They’re running the largest girl-led business in the world. That’s not cute. That’s incredible!
- Ask about their inventory. You probably have a favorite (they sure do), but they have a lot of cookies to tell you about. It’s part of their responsibility to explain what they have and then make sure you get exactly what you ordered.
- Ask where the money goes. The girls decide where their money goes. It’s amazing to see all the great things they can do with what they earn. Some groups use the proceeds to go on new adventures to new places, or to support causes they care about. So definitely ask them.
- Let’s talk money. When you hand girls money, it’s about more than making change. They learn how to set up a budget and track money, and how money can do a lot of good in the world.
- Ask them why they’re Girl Scouts. Everyone joins for a different reason, but all Girl Scouts make great friends and accomplish things they wouldn’t have otherwise. Their leadership awards and skill-building badges prove it. They learn that they can do anything. They can be anything.
- Notice our new package design. We redesigned all the boxes to share the real story of what Girl Scouts do today—and the fun they have while doing it. Tell them what you think.
- Let them know how they did. Selling cookies is hard work, and it’s a new thing for a lot of the girls. Feedback helps them get better and grow into leaders.
This year, the local sale of Girl Scout Cookies ends March 24.
Connie Chavez is Communications Director, Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council.