Disclaimer: I am being compensated by Girl Scouts USA for sharing as part of the Mom It Forward Blogger Network. As a Girl Scout and former leader, I'm thrilled to be working on this campaign! All thoughts and opinions are my own -- I only share programs that we really love and can highly recommend!
If you've ever purchased a box of Girl Scout cookies, I'd like to say 'Thank You'!
I'm sure you love the cookies but I'll bet you don't realize what a box of cookies can do for a young girl.
As a troop leader for four years, it was great watching these little girls grow into young leaders. Selling cookies is the main fundraiser for many Girl Scout troops and a wonderful opportunity for the girls to learn some great skills.
I knew the girls would learn a little about money, budgeting and talking to others but I was surprised at the number of life lessons (both big and small) that take place over a box of cookies.
I thought I would share what we learned since you were one of the amazing people who helped to make it all happen --
10 Lessons Learned Over a Box of Cookies
1. Math Really does Matter
The girls needed to help count, sort and then double check their numbers. They learned about being accountable and it was
a great opportunity to show them how math connects to real life.
2. Cookies will Crumble
One thing I learned very quickly is you have to show a group of 6 year olds how to handle a box of cookies. If you drop it, the cookies will break. If you run while delivering, you will shake them to smithereens. It was a great lesson about how small details can make a big difference.
3. Presentation is a BIG Deal
Hosting a cookie booth is a great lesson in marketing -- by the end of the afternoon, the girls knew exactly how they wanted their cookies to look and where they would stand so they didn't block the boxes. They also found out that people were more likely to buy a box of cookies if you asked them "Which is your favorite?"
4. Communication Skills are Key
This is a huge one! The girls had to learn how to talk with adults -- of all ages, both men and women and people they had never met. Let me tell you, it's pretty intimidating for some kids to strike up a conversation with an adult. And also such an important skill to learn.
5. How to Plan & Set a Goal
One of my favorite skills was getting the girls to understand how selling cookies would help them to reach a goal. During our last cookie season, we decided to plan a day at the park -- cooking our dinner, pitching tents, doing camp crafts and hiking!
Selling cookies was the first time many of our girls really worked to earn something they wanted. And it's the first time they saw that their hard work made a difference in what they received. They saw they could make things happen!
6. How to Deal with Rejection
This is a big life lesson for everyone to master. No matter how "adorable" they thought they could be or how yummy the cookies, not everyone will buy a box. Helping the girls learn to be gracious no matter what the outcome is a skill they will use throughout their life.
7. Giving to Others
Our troop chose to donate some of our cookies to a local charity. The girls had to learn about the different organizations and then vote on who should receive the cookies. This was actually a pretty hard thing to do as they always wanted to help all the groups. Another good lesson -- sometimes you don't have enough resources for everyone you'd like to support.
8. How to Stand for a long time without Complaining
I'm half joking and half serious about this lesson. When you show up for a cookie booth and realize that there are no chairs and you'll be there for 3 hours, you learn that even if your feet hurt, you still have a job to do. And sometimes, work can be tiring -- but it's important to keep your commitments.
Scouts learn that you have to dedicate some time to being at a cookie booth or visiting others to ask them if they'd like to buy a box. This might mean less time with friends, no tv time that day or missing out on some play time on the weekend. But in the end, you're working toward your goal.
10. It's Easy to Connect with Others
I think the biggest lesson we all learned was one that could never have been planned. We heard so many stories from people about their connections with Girl Scout cookies -- some use to sell cookies when they were younger, others told us that they remember having them in their lunch box.
And we had one amazing gentleman who was a Veteren stop and tell us how he was so excited to buy a box because he had been out of the country for the last few years.
These types of shared stories quickly showed the girls that they weren't talking to strangers, they were meeting new friends.
So Thank You for buying a box (or two)! You might not see it firsthand, but know that you are helping girls to become leaders.
Starting February 7th, we'd like to invite you to celebrate National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend with us!
All your favorites are available -- Peanut Butter Patties, Shortbreads, Samoas, Thin Mints -- and there's even a few new varieties to try!