We talked about what it means to be responsible, by doing what we say, cleaning up after ourselves, etc. Then we asked the girls about "helpful" words versus "hurtful" words.
Every child was given two hearts (I printed these out and cut the pages in half to save on paper):
You can choose to do whatever you'd like with this, but since we had a lot to cover in one meeting, we went with simply having them write their names in each heart.
Then I told them to take one page (with one heart) and wad it up as tightly as they could. Then to try to straighten it back out. We compared the two papers: one heart was still smooth with no marks; the other showed marks, no matter how much we tried to straighten it out.
Always remember to use helpful, kind words to each other. Because the hurtful ones leave marks on our hearts. (Simple, but hopefully effective way to illustrate being responsible for what we say.)
During snack, we read the Mari story from our Daisy blue book, and talked about making responsible choices in our actions, and following through with what we say we'll do.
Note: If we not hadn't needed to talk about cookie sales, we would've spent more time with crafts and related activities on other aspects of being responsible. However, we needed to segue into cookie sales, and goal-setting seemed the ideal way to do it.
So, after snack, we talked about cookie sales. We explained a little about how it worked, how our troop receives money for every box sold, which is how we pay for crafts, etc. (Our troop doesn't require dues, so we rely heavily on cookie sales. Hopefully after our end-of-the-year party, this will leave us with enough money left over for next year so we can get by without requiring dues again!)
I showed them their COOKIE CONTRACT:
We stressed that a big part of being responsible is to set a goal and do your very best in following through. While our troop goal may be a set number of boxes per child, we are asking every girl to take this form home to her parent(s) and go over it as a family/partnership. We want them to create a personal goal that is realistic, as opposed to assigning them a goal. And to have the support needed to reach that goal.
The parents are aware of our troop goal, and that the only way we can reach this is by averaging a certain box number per girl, but we have stressed that no one will be looked down upon for not reaching the average goal.
It's a challenge as a troop leaders, to praise those who will go far beyond exceeding goals, while still being as encouraging to those who are/were not able to. But it's doable, with lots of love, and not a little distraction. At least I hope!
One way to handle it is to find small patches (check online resources or your local craft/fabric shop) that can be "fun" patches for the back of their vest. That way, even girls who did not sell any cookies at all, but did attend the meetings during cookie season, will still feel rewarded. (As opposed to the limit of selling X number of boxes to earn an initial patch.)
Keep in mind too, about the monetary leaves/patches that can be earned. More information to come on those! :)
So, while reaching our goal will allow us to have an end of the year party (at a location the girls will vote upon), there will be parents who will not want/be able to participate. We understand that. But the girls should not be penalized for parents who cannot participate. So we are giving these parents the option to pay out of pocket for their child to attend the party if selling cookies is a burden to them (and of course, we will cover any who are financially unable to do so themselves).
However, we will do our best to ensure it all averages out, so the girls who did work very hard to go above and beyond will receive the reward they deserve, in addition to personal GS incentives.
But at this age, I'm okay with allowing those who didn't put forth the effort (due to non-parental involvement) to participate. If we cannot all go, we will all do something different.
Once they are older, and able to take responsibility for selling the cookies with less parental assistance, well, that changes things. ;) But for six-year-olds? Yep, everyone participates in our end of the year party, no matter what it will end up being.
Bottom line: Using a Cookie Contract with parents can introduce the concept of reasonable goal, encourage doing their best to reach that goal (both girls and parents), and reward all for trying. If we cannot meet our overall goal, we have secondary rewards planned (smaller end of the year party), and of course, personal incentives from Girl Scouts itself.
The final craft we did was a door hanger for door-to-door calls (template also in earlier post for those who missed it):
We cut them out and gave each girl several, then cut thin green ribbons to form large loops, and included foam stickers (hearts, flowers, etc. -- available at large box/craft stores) to hold the loop in place on the back.
Daisy Friendship Circle, song, and that was that! :)
We didn't get to this in the meeting, but here's the coloring page we sent home with them for this petal:
I printed it out in black and white, for easier coloring.