Goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills, and business ethics—wait! What? I thought I was selling a box of cookies…what’s with the rest of this stuff?
The Girl Scout Cookie Program is about so much more than selling cookies. This girl-led annual program is designed to equip girls and troops with more than proceeds or a stuffed dolphin. The various levels of the cookie program help girls with those 5 skills mentioned above, skills that are transferrable to activities and situations outside of Girl Scouting.
Goal Setting: “Girls work together, with adults and teammates, to strategize and plan for their cookie sale-how many boxes can well sell? How many boxes will it take to help us do the things we want to do?” This skill helps girls learn to plan ahead, consider their options, and be prepared. For example, she won’t tell you on Sunday night that her science fair project is due tomorrow.
Decision Making: “We’ve set a goal, how do we get there? Where do we find customers? How long will it take to sell all of these cookies? How can we advertise and market our product? What’s our plan of action?” This skill helps girls evaluate and make decisions based on their options. For example, she will be prepared to think through and decide how and when to spend money she’s earned from babysitting or a part-time job at the grocery store.
Money Management: “Basic mathematics-making change for customers and tracking her sales. How much money does it take to be able to do the things we’ve planned for?” This skill helps girls practice critical money management skills that can translate into designing and balancing a budget or saving.
People Skills: “What do I say to customers? How do I get them to buy a box of cookies? What if my teammates or the other girls in the troop don’t want to do the same things I would like to do with our proceeds? How do we work that out?” The skill of talking to and working with people is a significant skill for all experiences in life; it helps girls to work well with others on school projects or as part of a team, or can help girls to engage with others and make new friends.
Business Ethics: “Selling more cookies means handling more money in a responsible and honest way.” This skill helps girls to grasp the importance of honesty, and might help her develop references for her first job application, or work out situations with friends and classmates who value her approach.
These skills are important for girls, who are always learning and growing through new experiences and new encounters. The Girl Scout Cookie Program provides these new experiences and gives girls the opportunities they need to be successful. These things are carried with them into other aspects of their life: in the classroom, in peer relationships, and through contributions to their communities.
At GSMH, we know that girls today are bombarded with fundraisers and activities through school, church and sports, but we want to emphasize the learning experience. The Girl Scout Cookie Program is not just about having the funds to support the group, although that’s important too, it’s about preparing girls to be the adults and leaders of our world.