Girl Scout Cookies!

I’ll be honest – I had heard of, but never seen, a real life Girl Scout Cookie until my daughter was a Girl Scout. I mean, growing up in Ireland, I was in the Girl Scouts, but we didn’t have cookies. I’m not sure what we did exactly, to raise money for our troop, but selling cookies wasn’t it. Obviously with the influence of American media – t.v., movies, books etc. – I had seen many references to Girl Scout Cookies, but did not understand the fuss.

Now I get it. The cookies themselves are pretty good. Some are better than others. Everyone seems to have a very personal preference for the cookie that they like best. Except Thin Mints. Those appear to be universally loved and coveted by all.

Everyone's favorite GS Cookie

Everyone's favorite Girl Scout Cookie

The first year my daughter’s troop was selling cookies I encouraged her to accompany me around our neighborhood, knocking on doors and giving the sales pitch. Most people found it hard to resist her sweet little face and quiet voice.

My little girl scout

And as long as people had not already purchased cookies from someone, most of our neighbors bought at least one box of cookies. When I realized how easy it is to sell the cookies – there are people who actually wait all year long and buy enough to last them until the following year’s sales begin – I figured that I would do some of the work for my daughter, in order to increase sales.

I have used Facebook and Twitter as a way to let people know that it’s cookie time. In addition I generally send out an email to anyone and everyone that is local and ask them to submit their orders via email to me, so that we can then deliver exactly what they want and collect payment from them. We have always had great success selling – beyond the initial number of boxes that we are given. I think that’s pretty good, considering that Keith & I work in an office together, with no one else to sell to. I love that some of the other girls’ parents are doctors and lawyers and can sell cases of cookies in their places of work. Nothing like Girl Scout Cookies to get nurses to put their hands in their pockets it seems!

In addition to the personal sales, we always have a booth outside a grocery store at least one time during the sales period. This is where the girls themselves get to do the hard sale. The parent chaperones do very little at the booth, other than supervise the girls’ behavior, and make sure the correct change is given. The girls make big signs, accost people as they are entering and exiting the store, and use their girlish charm and pretty smiles to win people over. We frequently have people say “oh, I bought from my granddaughter’s troop last week, but I’ll buy a box from you girls too”. It makes the girls feel so proud of themselves when they make a sale like that.

For a small troop of young girls,  I think we do very well. Clearly we are not on the level of some of the troops who make thousands of dollars from cookie sales and go on European trips.  But it’s a great starting point for our kids to learn about making money and benefiting the troop – as opposed to personal success.

And this year, Keith has set up a special order form online for people attending Lotusphere 2011 in Orlando. This is the first year that cookie sales are still going on while LS is happening. Orders are coming in, and Keith will deliver the cookies to the people who have ordered. If you are going to LS11 and would like to order cookies, please go ahead and do so. Keith will collect payment when he delivers.

As for me, I’m happy to finally know what a Girl Scout Cookie looks and tastes like. I love Thin Mints, just like everyone else, but Tagalongs are a close second. It’s unfortunate that we don’t get to choose where our cookies are sourced from each year, as there are 2 bakeries – Little Brownie Bakers and ABC Bakers – and each one has a couple of unique cookies. But we’ll be fine with what we’ve got!


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Philippa
    Jan 20, 2011 @ 15:07:42

    It’s such a brilliant idea! Like you say, who can resist such a cute face and everyone loves cookies. I hope Keith sells loads for the troop at LS11.


  2. Northern Lights
    Jan 31, 2011 @ 15:55:32

    Hi Vanessa,
    I just awarded you a Stylish Blogger Award! Check out my blog for more info and pass the award on!


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