Saturday, September 15, 2012

Merry, merry king of the bush is he...Cookie Sales Part 2

In my last post, I described how the girls in our troop prepare for the annual Girl Scout Cookie Sale.  This post will be devoted to sharing how the girls in our troop decide who should receive any donated boxes of cookies and how to use the money they earn during the Cookie Sale.  I will also discuss how I think families should handle selling cookies in the office.  Lastly, I will share how my daughter chose to thank her customers.  Writing a thank you note only takes a minute, and the cost to make copies is minimal.  Many of my daughter's customers were so impressed with this simple gesture that they asked her to remember to visit them the following year.

Girls involved in Girl Scouts have the opportunity to become future leaders as they discover themselves, connect with others, and take action to make the world a better place.  As leaders, we are encouraged to allow the girls to make decisions about troop activities.  We are to provide them guidance and support and serve as a resource for them.  In my experience, most Daisy Girl Scouts don't know what opportunities are available to them.  Knowing this, we chose three possible fun activities and three service organizations for the girls.  We allowed them to vote for their favorites.

The first year, we chose horseback riding (a rope-led pony ride), a dance class, and ice skating as possible fun activities that would be funded by the money earned by selling cookies.  The second year, we chose horseback riding, visiting a pottery studio to paint a piece of pottery, and Coco Key Water Resort.  To vote, each girl was given three game chips.  I borrowed these chips from the Sequence for Kids game, but any small item would do.  I labeled three styrofoam cups with the choices.  As the troop worked on a craft, I pulled each girl into a separate room to allow them to vote independently.  

The girls were told they had three options:
1. to place all three of their chips into one of the cups 
2. to place one chip in each of the three cups
3. to place two chips in one cup and one chip in another cup.
I explained that the cup holding the most chips after every girl had a chance to vote would be the fun activity for the troop.  The first year, I quickly sketched a graph to illustrate how the girls had voted.

We explained to the girls that while they were not officially working to earn any petals from the Daisy Petals Set during our visit to the stables, they were learning to:  be courageous and strong (red), be responsible for what they say and do (orange), be considerate and caring (spring green), respect myself and others (dark purple), and respect authority (magenta).  

We had the girls vote for the organization that would receive any donated boxes of cookies.  In addition, they donated a portion of the money they earned during the Cookie Sale to a local animal shelter.  The girls are being friendly and helpful (yellow petal) and making the world a better place (rose petal) by encouraging their customers to donate boxes of cookies and by donating a portion of their profits to help others.  

The first year they could send any donated boxes of cookies to one of the following organizations:
YWCA House of Peace Shelter--I explained that sometimes mothers and their children have to find a safe place to live.  This shelter provides a safe home and warm meals for them.  
Whiz Kids--This is a tutoring program for at-risk youth.  The kids have a chance to eat dinner with their tutors and to develop a lasting relationship with their mentor.
Ronald McDonald House--I told the troop that when a child is sick and in the hospital for a long time, this organization provides the family a place to stay so they are close to their child.  
Here is the graph I sketched to show the troop how they voted:


The second year we allowed the girls to vote to donate the cookies to the troops, to the YWCA House of Peace Shelter, or to the Ronald McDonald House.  They chose the Ronald McDonald House.   When a girl donates twelve boxes of cookies to an organization, they earn a Gift of Caring patch.

As a leader and a parent, we certainly want to see the girls succeed.  However, we must all remember this is a project for the GIRLS.  I encourage the families in our troop to support the girls without doing the work for them.  My husband told our daughter that he would leave a poster in the breakroom at work if she made the poster and answered any questions his coworkers may have.  He stuck to his word by hanging the poster and politely directing his coworkers to the phone number listed on the poster when they had questions.  This worked extremely well for our family, and I would encourage others to give it a try.  Through this experience, our daughter improved her math, communication, and business skills.  Here is the poster our daughter made:

Whether your daughter is selling to family and close friends, door-to-door, or to your coworkers, she should thank each and every customer in some manner.  When she was in Kindergarten, I printed out a coloring sheet from Color A Smile.  She colored the Thank You that ran across the top of the page.  Then she drew each cookie and wrote the name beneath each one.  I made copies of the note, and she distributed the notes when she delivered the cookies.  She and I were bumping around Pinterest one day recently when we came across this idea.  So cute!  We may try something similar this year. 

Thank you so much for reading!

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