The Power of the Cookie
“The Power of the Cookie!” This is an the most often repeated phrase this time every year (maybe minus this pandemic-ridden year’s cookie motto—“We Got This!”) How special is the cookie? Well this year, I am seeing it firsthand with my first booth sales as a troop leader!!! But first, I have to commend how it has shaped our movement of 50 million alumni, of 109 years. It is roughly 60% of Girl Scout revenue. It funded the iconic Girl Scout jamborees Round Ups in the 1960s, it funded millions of service projects to this day, and it helped Girls see our beautiful world. Just in my short two years., I have seen Girl Scouts travel from Disneyland to Iceland and Great Britain. Right now on the books, Girl Scouts are in the middle of cookie sales to fund 2022 trips to Savannah, our birthplace, and to Switzerland to see the Girl scout chalet and Italy! Remarkable, a Thin Mint box sends a Girl to the Alps. I love it! Our community is special but is it not so broadening to see the world to give that experiential learning that is life changing? The love of Samoas delivers that.
Beyond all that good for our individual troops, our Girl Scouts cookie sales supports 100% of our programming. Even for the limited fees we charge for programming on certain events to cover food costs, etc. our programming is never sustained by fees. Nor is camp, nor is the program center, nor is the expenses to maintain a staff that is credentialed to provide a premier leadership experience. Many of our program staff carry teacher certificates and Bachelors of Science degrees and Masters degrees to ensure the quality of the educational experience is based on a solid educational foundation. Cookie seasons today and yesteryear have provided that foundation to make all this possible. The power of the cookie.
But back to my booth sales. Last year, with the pandemic, it was a challenged year. My troop sold in the corner of a parking lot and we had a customer once every 15 minutes who drove up. Last Sunday was my first Albertsons cookie sale. It was crazy. Customers every 2 minutes. I had so much fun as a troop leader but what I appreciated most was my Daisies and Brownies engaging directly with the customers. The first year Daisies were shy and held back needing to be prompted by their parents. The Girl Scouts who helped me with booth sales last year..they were out there, they were strong, they were confident. Just one year and they had perfected their entrepreneurial skills and their confidence was so much stronger. I also was so respectful of their skills as well handling money, doing the change, even breaking $50s with ease. This was one year of growth, one year of confidence. The Power of the Cookie.
In 1917, a visionary troop leader said to her friends…”let’s do this!” Girl Scout Cookies had their earliest beginnings in the kitchens and ovens of our Girl members, with moms volunteering as technical advisers. The sale of cookies as a way to finance troop activities began as early as 1917, five years after Juliette Gordon Low started Girl Scouts in the United States, when the Mistletoe Troop in Muskogee, Oklahoma, baked cookies and sold them in its high school cafeteria as a service project. Today,it funds a movement of a million Girls. But it does so much more. It allows dreams to be achieved, goals to be secured and yes, confidences to surge…probably the best gift of all. In my cookie training with my Daisies, we practiced. Four of the six Daisies wanted to practice so they did as I played the customer. The other two preferred to pass. As we sung our friendship circle song to end the night, the final two Daisies came up to me and said, they want to practice now. Instant confidence! The power of the cookie…it does so much more than just give us calories, it fuels a movement of good. Thank you Volunteers and Girl Scouts for being that vanguard of good to make the world a better place!