In almost every part of the country, it is Girl Scout cookie selling season. It is a time when cookie sales dominate our time and our meetings. It reminds me of the days when I was a public school teacher and we had to set aside our curriculum to review and study for the standardized tests we had to administer.
Quite honestly, it was boring for me as a teacher, and the kids moaned and groaned whenever we had to stop learning to teach for the test.
You may be feeling cookie stress right now.
Image by Hannah Gold
As I have stated before, I do not believe that Daisy Scouts should be selling cookies during their first year together. It is a time to get to know about the world of scouting for them, and for brand new leaders, it is a time to learn how manage a troop effectively, not learn how to manage booth sales and cookie drop offs and pick ups.
In fact, there is a new thread on the Girl Scout Moms forum about a first year leader feeling overwhelmed. Leading a troop is a big task the first year out...adding cookies and actually being the Cookie Mom is an additional, unneeded stress.
Until recently, Daisy Scouts were not permitted to sell cookies. This rule only changed a few years ago, and the collective memory is fading fast as leaders of older troops age out or leave and new leaders have no idea that Daisy troops selling cookies is a relatively new thing.
Image by Hannah Gold
My Cadette troop, for which I am now a co-leader, is doing their first cookie sales and they did an amazing job. Our Cookie Mom did not go overboard and cause herself, the leader or myself any additional stress. Limited booth sales and permitting girls to do as much or as little as they want in terms of sales made this a great experience for everyone.
Here are some tips to keep yourself sane during this very busy time (for more tips you can also check out this blog post).
1. Go easy on your girls. You are not supposed to set quotas for the girls, but you can help your troop set realistic goals about the number of boxes they want to sell and what to do with the cookie profits. Remember, little girls really have no concept of money-it is not age appropriate for them to understand. But they can comprehend that selling "X" numbers of boxes as a troop equals a trip to wherever they want to go.
2. Repeat after me...Troop money is troop money. You cannot tell a child she has to pay the full amount for a trip or that you will not pay for her uniform because she did not sell "X" number of cookies. Juliette Gordon Low did not establish the GSA so that girls could be excluded from activities. It is my opinion that far too many leaders get stuck in this mindset and aggravate themselves needlessly.
Kindergarten and first grade girls have no control over what they can and cannot sell. Taking your annoyance out on them is wrong on many levels. Unless you have a spy cam on the wall of her house, you have no idea why her family is not participating in cookie sales. Just accept that this is how it is and move on.
3. Take a break from cookies. Have a troop meeting just for fun. With Saint Patrick's Day around the corner, why not read a story and do a fun craft? Or earn a petal that you have yet to do and just drop the cookie talk for a week. If you can, why not do some easy no-bake desserts and teach the girls good hygiene and manners?
Another thing to do is talk about the upcoming Girl Scout Week holiday. Can you discuss doing a service project to celebrate this anniversary?
My closing thoughts...
During this hectic selling season, it is easy to lose site of the overall goal of being a Girl Scout. If you remember the vision Juliette had for all girls, you will be able to remember that selling cookies, while part of Girl Scouting, is not the end all and be all of what we do and why we do it.