Cookie sales are the number one fundraiser for the Girl Scouts of America, but for troop members Amanda Brennan and Katie Reed, it’s also a chance to get a taste at what it’s like to run a business.
“It’s teaching me money management and how to be polite in sales,” said Amanda Brennan, a Naperville Girl Scout. “When you’re in the booth sales you have the money box where you give change. So it’s like an actual cash register.”
“I’m learning how to manage money, how to make good decisions, how to be a good businessperson,” said Katie Reed, another Naperville Girl Scout. “You have to find out who is your loyal customer and you have to learn as you go.”
Girls can go online to the “Cookie Club” and electronically track their sales and see how close they are to reaching their goal.
“Online, you basically set up all of your contacts and you just put in their email It will send them an email saying I’m selling cookies would you like to buy any,” said Reed. “They send you back something called a promise.”
“It is really their first introduction to e-commerce,” said Maria Wynne, the CEO of the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana. “Those barometers actually show a girl how to manage a business like you would if you were in a corporation of any kind.”
The Girl Scout Organization has been selling cookies since 1917 and they pride themselves on the five life long skills they teach girls which can be found right on the box.
“Goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and business ethics,” explained Wynne. “When you think of these in the aggregate, these are the skills for life.”
Every element of the program strives to prepare girls for their next steps.
“Eventually when you do get a job you are going to want to put I was a Girl Scout,” said Brennan. “It shows you have good teamwork skills with other people.”
“I’m going to be a girl scout through and through,” said Reed “Then after I’m too old to be a girl scout I will be a leader. I think I’m going to do girl scouts the rest of my life!”
Some of the cookie names have changed over the years, but the message has stayed the same, empowering girls with the tools they need to mix up success in the future.
If you haven’t placed your order yet, visit girlscoutcookies.org to find the location of booth sales beginning in February.
NCTV17's Whitney Goodbred Reports.