There’s More to Girl Scout Cookies Than What’s in the Box

The time of calling all of our friends and neighbors, asking if they’d like to purchase a box of $4 cookies has come and gone. Order forms were due last week.

This year, I wasn’t on top of my game as in years past. I have two very eager Girl Scouts. One was selling with her father, the other with me. When I checked my email to find the order forms were due, and my daughter had sold four boxes, only after one of my Facebook postings. I was a little nervous.

My 8-year-old daughter took the news in stride. With only a few hours to sell before turning in our forms, she grabbed the phone and started smiling and dialing. Her troop’s goal was 40 boxes minimum per girl, and my daughter surpassed this goal in one hour. When she turned to me and said she really wanted to sell over 100 boxes, I knew there was more to Girl Scout cookies than what’s in the box.

In a recent newsletter sent from Girl Scouts of the USA CEO Anna Maria Chavez, she explains how “selling cookies teaches goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and business ethics, which are aspects essential to leadership, to success and to life.”

Providing these tools to my daughters is the greatest gift of all. The desire for selling came early for my daughter, who ran to the door five years ago when two Girl Scouts came to sell us some tasty cookies. She turned to me after we placed our order and said, “I can’t wait to be a Girl Scout so I can sell cookies.” And as our deadline for this year’s cookie sales loomed, I watched and listened to my little CEO sell and negotiate on the phone.

Fortunately, my daughter’s troop leaders had the Brownies practice making calls, manage the money and, most importantly, how to sell and be courteous at the same time. The cookie “training” was a great success. This year my daughter’s troop sold over 1,400 boxes, 200 more than last year (These girls are really improving!).

The Girl Scouts organization makes it easy, as well – the interactive website has tips, a cookie club for encouraging online ordering and tools for girls to learn more about where the money goes and how it helps all Girl Scouts. I loved my daughter’s strategy for telling her customers what her personal favorites are, and explain some of the fun things she does with her troop. She also encouraged people to donate cookies to our troops.

February 8 is National Girl Scout Cookie Day, celebrating the world’s largest girl-led business enterprise in the world. The Girl Scouts set aside one day for the entire country to talk about the five learning skills girls acquire thrrough the Girl Scout cookie program. And I knew my daughter was on to something when she also encouraged me to buy additional boxes so she could “sell them in person” to the friends and family she didn’t have time to call. So if you’re looking for a box of Thin Mints, or my daughter’s personal favorite, Savannah Smiles – you know who where to go.

Christine Bachman

About Christine Bachman

Christine Bachman is founder and president of Plan It PR, a public relations and marketing firm. The mother of five shares tips and survival stories in “Play Dates and Power Lunches.” Ms. Bachman started working public relations after a long career in broadcast journalism, which included work as a television anchor, reporter and producer.