For those of you new to leading a Girl Scout troop, cookie (or fall product) sales can be overwhelming, I know. Thankfully your Service Unit/Council should provide you with training and paperwork that will help walk you through the process.
In the meantime, here are some good things to remember (in no particular order):
- Daisies and Brownies should never take orders, or deliver cookies, without adult supervision.
- They should never enter someone's home or vehicle
- They should be supervised and in uniform not only when selling, but also at booth sales
- All parents must sign a permission slip ahead of time (this protects YOU, the leader)
- Decide whether you will accept personal checks from customers for your troop. Our troop does not. We require parents to pay one lump sum (postdated check to the troop) when they pick up their cookies. If you don't pay, you don't get cookies. ;) This helps cover everyone.
- It's up to parents whether they want to take personal checks or not.
- Keep in mind you have to deliver all these cookies, so while it might seem tempting to take your order sheet to a mall or other large area, it can make delivery a challenge.
- Familiarize yourself with your Council's online cookie order system (we use eBudde). And use it! If you have questions, don't be afraid to contact your Service Unit's Product Salesperson.
- Have parents provide size information from the get-go. That way you aren't scrambling at the end re: incentives.
- NEVER leave cookies in a car or by a sunny window. Doesn't matter how cold it is. If they have chocolate in them, they will melt. (I know. My Thin Mints went all wonky; thankfully they were my own box.)
- NEVER leave cookies where pets/animals are (not only will this destroy your cookie stash, but it can prove fatal to dogs if they eat chocolate).
- Encourage your girls to practice taking orders with each other in your troop meetings. Bring money in and have them make change. Make sure they are using polite words with each other.
- Decide if you're going to work on any secondary Money badges for cookie sales. While you cannot have a booth specifically to raise money for another non-profit organization, you can donate proceeds from your cookie sales to a non-profit after cookie sales ends. In other words, feel free to have a "Help Us Pay for Camp!" booth, but not a "Help the Animal Shelter" booth.
- Take a clipboard with you when you're walking your neighborhood taking orders. It makes it easier for people to fill in their info.
- If you run into another GS on the way, split the neighborhood in half. One takes the left side, one takes the right, etc.
- Make sure you always count your boxes, and your parents re-count them when they pick them up. Be sure you have everything written clearly on a receipt. You never know when you might have some issues later on....
- And lastly, give your parents deadlines that are actually a few days before the "real" ones. That gives you all some breathing room. If your Council starts removing funds from your account on the 15th, have your parents postdate their checks for the 12th, and deposit the funds on the 12th. That way if there are any issues with payments, you have some time to resolve it.
There are many more tips, but those are just a few that can help.
For information on cookie/finance badges, check your Daisy/Brownie books. In each year, they can earn TWO of the money badges (two leaves for Daisies; two triangles for Brownies). There are also specific steps required for earning the cookie pins. Here's a list.
And don't forget, you can freeze the cookies! Especially Thin Mints. Mmmm. Thin Mints.