I’ve eaten my share (and then some) of Girl Scout cookies over the years, supporting our friends’ kids or the cute kids outside the grocery store. I mean, they’re delicious. The cookies, not the kids. They sell themselves, right? (Still referring to the cookies.) Well, they sort of sell themselves. That’s why when Zoe said she wanted to be a Girl Scout so she could learn cool skills, I was in.
And honestly, it’s been a fabulous journey already.
Not knowing exactly what to do, we decided to follow the lead of other Scouts we know, including a girl in Zoe’s troop who sells 2,000 cookies every year – wowza! So we set up her “Digital Cookie” site (which is a template), then recorded a video to share on Facebook. I wish I had saved the cutting room floor videos for a bloopers reel, but let’s just say it’s not easy to take a flawless video in one take.
At first, we were outside with a Camellia tree in bloom behind her. Gorgeous, but windy. We at least got a couple of photos of that:
We agreed the first photo was a more welcoming image for a Girl Scout, but both were great!
However, when we came inside to listen to the video we had recorded, there was a car alarm in the distant background and enough wind to make her hard to understand… So we headed to the back room (aka my office), which has guitars on the wall, a perfect place for a Girl Scout (GS) offering a “Special Thanks” song for January orders. Yes, we did that – and it was so much fun! First, here’s her video announcing sales and offering the song:
Ask me how many times she accidentally said her last name (that’s a GS rule – no last names). Then ask me how many times she got 75% through only to forget the ending. Regardless, I’m terrible at editing video, so what you see above is a one-take wonder!
Up next: We posted that video to Facebook (FB). I’ve only posted video a few times, and in fact, I spend little time on FB in general, but I figured it out! And what an incredible response we had to her awesome performance – and the brilliant offer of a special song. We went ahead and recorded the song in advance to make sure we were ready if/when someone bought cookies – and buy cookies they did!
Let’s talk about that. The Troop Leader had emailed all the parents and girls with a suggested amount of boxes to sell, by type. So before sales even opened, we had committed to selling 132 boxes. But guess what goal Zoe came home with after her Girl Scout meeting? That’s right, 500 boxes. FIVE HUNDRED.
It’s good to have a goal, and apparently, my daughter takes after me in the “optimistic” goal-setting category. My eyebrows raised, but then, I was thankful she didn’t want to compete with her friend and aim for the 2,000 box goal, amiright?!
What followed was a Girl Scout Cookie Campaign that Zoe crafted, including direct emails/texts/calls to friends and family, more videos and pictures for Facebook, a trip around the neighborhood with a wagon full of cookies and door hangers, and booth time. Though a lot of work, this process is a fabulous way for girls to learn how a business actually works. Picture Zoe’s face when I explained what 500 boxes cost, and (since we are new at this so I had no idea how it worked) that there was a chance we (SHE) had agreed to pay for them all if they didn’t sell.
A great lesson to learn, and it really stuck when she started offering cookies to her friends at school. We agreed that she would not hand off a box of cookies without getting money for it, no matter how awesome her friend was… So far, she’s sold (and collected on) 18 boxes at school alone!
Back to the goal. As of the writing of this post, she’s at 431 boxes sold through her site, which is where I think their “prizes” are calculated – and believe me “prizes” is why she picked 500 boxes. In addition, she’s sold 68 boxes NOT through the site, so technically, she’s one away from her original goal – and there’s a whole month left to sell!
Now she’s set her sights on the next prize up, so who knows what will happen. Unfortunately, the Girl Scouts are having supply chain issues, which caused them to “turn off” a couple of cookies from the online site sales (Adventurefuls immediately, followed by S’mores – both newer cookies) AND then turn off “Girl Delivered” option for local sales, since managing inventory is a huge challenge.
If you’re curious about the issues, check out the link above to the article, which also explains that there are 2 primary bakeries for the US: Little Brownie Bakers & ABC Bakers. If you’re REALLY curious, we conducted a comparison of the two. Our friends in OC had the ABC ones, which actually use different names for some of the cookies… Samoas are Caramel DeLites, Tagalongs are Peanut Butter Patties, Do-si-dos are Peanut Butter Sandwiches, Lemon-Ups are Lemonades – all of which seems wrong to me.
So. We bought all those cookies and performed a taste test, including buying a box of Toast-Yays, which you can’t even get in LA. You can “see” the results of our test (without our tasting notes) here, and I’ll just say that the LA marked ones are our far superior cookies. Yes, I’m a nerd. But seriously. They’re Tagalongs. Plus, their Lemonades have a thick coating of lemon glaze on the bottom, which sounds great and tastes awful.
But back to OUR Girl Scout. She’s awesome. Sure, we’ve had some tense moments when it turns out that I’m the one doing a good deal of the work. That sounds petty, but it’s honest. I’ll say she’s turned that around and is very proud of her efforts, as am I. Oh, and while we’re being honest, I’ll share that I tend to be competitive. So it’s been quite the challenge for me to NOT want her to “win” this cookie sales thing – or at least come in second behind the unreachable 2,000 box goal from the kid who has been selling these cookies for 4-5 years.
I’m proud to share that I’ve kept my competitive spirit in check and focused on collaborating with my daughter to help her do her very best and learn new skills along the way. When we realized that having a January “thanks” was a great idea but only worked in January (and cookie sales go through March 13), she came up with a February offering: Original, hand-drawn Digital Art!
I’m super tempted to share the art AND the song here, but I’m pretty sure my Girl Scout would kill me. That said, please enjoy the other videos and photos that hopefully will spur you to buy (or buy more) cookies! If you’re local, we have some at our home, that I’m working hard not to just buy and eat. If you’re not local, her site is an easy way to either buy cookies OR buy Cookies for the Community, which donates the boxes you buy to local programs like the LA Regional Food bank and others. Just sayin’.