Local Girl Scouts give tips on cookie-buying etiquette

Published 10:50 am Friday, February 1, 2013

National Girl Scout Cookie Day is set for Feb. 8. (Contributed)


To celebrate the largest girl-led program in the world, Girl Scouts has named Feb. 8 National Girl Scout Cookie Day.

Girls will ask cookie fans everywhere to buy more boxes in honor of the real purpose of the $790-million cookie program, which is to teach girls five essential life skills: goal setting, decision making, money management, business ethics and people skills.

“When it comes to skill building, statistics show the Girl Scout Cookie Program works,” said Trish Coghlan, chief executive officer of the Girl Scouts of North-Central Alabama, which includes Shelby County. “According to the Girl Scout Research Institute, 85 percent of Girl Scout ‘cookie entrepreneurs’ learn money management by developing budgets, taking cookie orders and handling customers’ money. Eighty-three percent build business ethics; 80 percent learn goal setting; 77 percent improve decision making; and 75 percent develop people skills.”

To help customers buy cookies on National Girl Scout Cookie Day, Hoover residents Kristen and Kaitlyn Gurosky, 12-year old Girl Scout Cadettes, suggest the following tips:

-Say hi. “Hello” and a smile gets everything off on the right foot! It builds our confidence and is basically the start of the greatest conversation ever.

-Look me in the eye. Some of us may seem a little shy, but that’s just because we don’t know you yet. It’s not easy talking to people you don’t know or asking people to trust you—but that’s what we’re learning to do.

-Let me know if you’re a Girl Scout. There are a lot of Girl Scouts out there. So tell us how being a Girl Scout has helped you become who you are. It means a lot to us, seeing what we can become.

-Please don’t call us cute. We know we’re cute, but selling cookies is real! We’re learning how to run a business. We want you to buy cookies because you want them and respect what we’re learning. We’re running the largest girl-led business in the world. That’s not cute. That’s incredible.

-Ask about our inventory. You probably have a favorite (we sure do), but we have a lot of cookies to tell you about. It’s our responsibility to explain what we have and then make sure you get exactly what you ordered so you are a satisfied customer.

-Ask where the money goes. We decide where our money goes. It’s amazing to see all the great things we can do with what we earn. Some groups use the proceeds to go on new adventures, to new places, or to support causes they care about. We are hoping to go to Savannah, GA with our proceeds!

-Let’s talk money. When you hand us money, it’s about more than making change. We learn how to set up a budget and track money, and how money can do a lot of good in the world.

-Ask us why we’re Girl Scouts. Everyone joins for a different reason, but we all make great friends and accomplish things we wouldn’t otherwise. Our leadership awards and skill-building badges prove it. We learn that we can do anything.

-Let us know how we did. Selling cookies is hard work, and it’s a new thing for a lot of us. Feedback helps us get better and grow into leaders.

“We’re challenging everyone who buys cookies on February 8 to share it on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook and use the hashtag phrase #onemorebox,” Hilary Perry, director of communications and advocacy for GSNCA, stated in a press release. “We hope to educate customers that it’s more than just handing Girl Scouts money for a box—or four—of cookies. It’s about helping girls learn how to reach their full potential.”

All the revenue earned—every penny after paying the baker—stays with GSNCA, stated a press release. Councils use cookie revenue to supply essential services to troops, groups and girls, such as providing program resources and communication support, training adult volunteers and conducting events.

As part of their experience in any Girl Scout product sale program, girls can earn official Girl Scout awards at every level of Girl Scouting, including cookie and financial literacy badges and the annual Cookie Activity Pin.

For more information about National Girl Scout Cookie Day, contact Hilary Perry at hperry@girlscoutsnca.org.