Today is the official start of the 100th season of Girl Scouts selling cookies. According to Sylvia Acevedo, interim CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA. “The Girl Scout Cookie Program has long been the engine that powers Girl Scouts on every level. Each box of delicious Girl Scout Cookies®, and the entrepreneurial skills gained by participating in the Girl Scout Cookie Program, helps girls fulfill their dreams, follow their passions, take the lead in their lives and communities, and change the world.”
Today, nearly 1 million Girl Scouts participate in the Girl Scout Cookie Program, generating nearly $800 million in cookie sales during the average season. All of the net revenue raised through the Girl Scout Cookie Program—100 percent of it— stays with the local council and troops. With over 50 million households purchasing cookies every season, the irresistible treats can be found nationwide and will hold a beloved place in Americana for years to come, continuing to help girls take the lead and, ultimately, change the world.
This year there are eight varieties of cookies are offered this year: Thin Mints, Samoas, Tagalongs, Trefoils, Do-Si-Dos, Savannah Smiles, gluten-free Toffe-tastic, and our brand new Girl Scout S’mores.
Girl Scout Cookies are $4 per box, except the Toffee-tastic and new Girl Scout S’mores cookie varieties which are $5. Cookie delivery is Feb 24 – March 2 and booth sales start March 3.
Here’s a story I’ve share every year during cookie season:
I admit I was a girl scout. And for those of you who know me, it will come as no surprise that I was determined to sell more cookies than any of the other girls. I went up and down my street, knocking on doors for orders. I called all my relatives and perfected my telemarketing skills. I asked my dad to get his co-workers to buy from me. And he said NO! But he did offer to take me to work so I could ask for the order. I worked hard and sold hundreds of boxes and was sure I’d win the Cookie title.
Well as it turns out, I didn’t. Some little girl named Susie did. She lived down the street from me and I never saw her ask any of our neighbors to buy cookies. I assked her how she did it and she said it was easy-her mom and dad got all the orders for her. I was mad and didn’t think it was fair and complained to my dad about it. He told me life wasn’t fair, never would be, but that I’d really won, and I’d appreciate it some day when I realized that I had gotten much more out of it than Susie had. Not what a 9 year old girl wants to hear. So I’m sure I sulked around for a while, until something else captured my attention.
But now many years later, I get it. My dad was right- I had won! I’d learned how to set a goal, prospect customers, perfect my sales pitch, work on my organizational skills, plan the logistics of delivery, handle money, make change and enjoy quite a few cookies, too!
And that’s why I implore you to only buy cookies from Girl Scouts. I know there are many well intentioned parents that want to help their daughters, and help support the troops so they can put on all the programs they have scheduled; but please help them by letting them sell!
Now with the Internet and rise of ecommerce, girls scouts are using the power of technology to expand their sales channels. Last year I got email solicitations, skype sales calls and still ran into a few girl scouts in front of stores.
And I still pledge to buy cookies from any girl scout who asks. The Girl Scout Cookie Program®, helps girls learn the essential skills they need to become effective leaders, manage finances, and gain self-sufficiency and confidence in handling money.
In a recent study by the Girl Scouts Heart of the South, they documented skills the Girl Scout Cookie Program teaches, which girls can apply to everyday life:
- 85% increased their money management skills as they developed budgets, took cookie orders and handled customers’ money.
- 83% developed business ethics, learning to fulfill promises to customers and considering how best to contribute to their communities with their earnings.
- 80% set goals and created objectives to reach them.
- 77% made important decisions, learning to work as a team to develop a business plan, deciding when and where to sell cookies, and determining what to do with the money they earn.
- 75% developed people skills, learning to talk to, listen to and work with different kinds of people.
Many successful businesswomen and community leaders say they got their start selling Girl Scout Cookies. So when your local Girl Scouts come calling with this year’s best-selling cookies, remember you’re saying hello to tomorrow’s business leaders.