Monday, January 24, 2011

The Girl Scout Cookie Program; 5 Skills For Girls

It's Cookie Time! Crazy, frantic, fun, and busy cookie time. At this time of year troop leaders, cookie managers and parents sometimes go cookie crazy right along with girls, or in some cases unfortunately even more so.

I'd like to take this opportunity to remind us all that The Girl Scout Cookie Program is a girl program. Everything girls do in Girl Scouting is designed to help them grow into leaders of Courage, Confidence, and Character. The 5 Skills girls learn through the Girl Scout Cookie Program are an important ingredient in the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. These skills and values are the primary purpose of the Girl Scout Cookie Program, and they only happen if we as the adult partners model the values and allow the girls to have the experiences. Only girl Girl Scouts can sell cookies because the program is a leadership development learning opportunity for them. As with all Girl Scout Leadership Experiences, it needs to be girl-led, learning by doing, and cooperative learning to achieve the benefits to girls.

Here are a few examples of how participating in the Cookie Program teaches Girl Scouts skills that will help them grow into leaders in their own lives, leaders in business, and leaders in the world.

The 5 Skills for Girls;
Leadership Benefits in Girl Scouting & Beyond

Goal Setting: Your Girl Scout sets cookie sales goals individually and with her team, and creates a plan to reach them. She develops Cooperation and Team Building skills all along the way!

Decision Making: Your Girl Scout helps decide how her team will spend their cookie money furthering her Critical Thinking and Problem Solving skills that will help her in many aspects of her life.

Money Management: Your Girl Scout takes cookie orders, handles customers' money and gains valuable and Practical Life Skills around financial literacy.

People Skills: Your Girl Scout learns how to talk to, listen to and work with all kinds of people while selling cookies. These experiences help her develop Healthy Relationship and Conflict Resolution skills she can use throughout her life.

Business Ethics: Your Girl Scout is honest and responsible at every step of the cookie sale. Her business ethics reinforce the Positive Values she is developing as a Girl Scout.

To learn more about the Girl Scout Leadership Experience visit www.girlscouts.org/gsle

If you are a GS parent or volunteer who lives the Girl Scout Law in all your affairs, cookie sales included, I thank you. And I want you to know that we sometimes see Girl Scout parents or volunteers set the cookie program up as a sales competition, or worse, we see rude behavior at booth sales, and worst...we actually see misuse of cookie funds, including most commonly the collection of cash deposited into a personal account or troop account. Checks for large amounts written by GS volunteers and parents came back not sufficient funds (nsf) last year to the tune of over $30,000 and that happens every year. That's $30,000 that is not available to scholarship girls and to allow us to keep program costs flat. This year we did a historical review of this problem and sadly, this misbehavior is repeated every year by 75% of offenders, most of whom are troop leaders. I am appalled at this behavior by individuals who are role models for girls. As you know, we have made a number of administrative changes to the Girl Scouts of Alaska Cookie Program this year to set people up for success including the limitation of booth sale cookie pre-orders by troops, check amount limits, and setting up ACH troop bank account withdrawals. I will also tell you that those who continue this behavior during the 2011 Cookie Program will be removed as GS leaders and volunteers, because the buck stops here.

It's our job to live the Girl Scout Law and to be outstanding stewards of Girl Scout funds for girls of Alaska now and in the future. Thank you for your support of the The Girl Scout Cookie Program and for all you do to build girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place, and thank you for living the Girl Scout Law as a Girl Scout adult or parent and modeling and facilitating these priceless Girl Scout Cookie Program 5 Skills for Girls.






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