Troop 14005’s attendance at S.M.A.R.T. Cookie was an unforgettable adventure itself!
Contributed by: Jennifer Storey, Girl Scout mom and troop leader of Troop 14005
Our troop is based in east Broward and since the event was held in West Palm Beach, I thought riding the train would be a good idea. Due to different weekend train schedules, the most convenient arrangement was taking Tri-Rail outbound and Brightline on the return. At 6:45 a.m. most of the troop met at the Tri-Rail Station in Fort Lauderdale and we cheered for a few girls who barely made it to the train seconds before doors closed. We all enjoyed an exciting ride as some of the girls have never ridden a train before, let alone on the second floor!
When we arrived to the West Palm Beach station, we walked 20 minutes to the Palm Beach County Convention Center to check in for the event. Our Girl Scouts got to try the new Adventurefuls cookie and had their first ever business and marketing lessons.
The workshops were packed with useful information presented in a very easy-to-digest format. The girls had a chance to practice their “elevator pitch”, a real-life marketing concept they just learned about. It gave them a new perspective about corporate participation and how to approach business owners and people in positions of authority. They were so excited that even made a sales video onsite!
At our next troop meeting, we revisited the lessons learned at S.M.A.R.T Cookie and the girls came up with ideas on how to engage their school principals during the Cookie sale. They divided into teams attending the same school, organized themselves to request a meeting with their principals, and role-played to practice their “business pitch”. Their effort paid off as they all got approvals to place signs strategically by the carpool lanes where parents can scan the QR code and buy from the troop’s digital cookie site.
The girls also identified business owners among their relatives, family friends, doctors’ offices and businesses they frequently visit. They got some tips on writing donation letters explaining how corporate contributions stay within the community. For the first time ever, our Girl Scouts accompanied their leaders to the warehouse to pick up our initial order, helping load and unload every case of cookies for our troop. They learned the basics of inventory management, counted product, classified boxes by orders, and marked them as parents picked them up. I was very proud to see them running their business with such joy and professionalism.
Our troop is planning to use our cookie proceeds to enhance a habitat for animals being rehabilitated at a local Wildlife Center. The rest of their earnings will go into a fund for a trip to NYC in 2023 and to visit the GSUSA HQ. We budgeted the trip costs, brainstormed on earning opportunities, worked hard to complete some money-earning activities, and are now aiming to reach out to business owners to support their dreams.
The Cookie Program has allowed me a chance to interact with my daughter not just as a mom or troop leader, but as her business partner. We set goals together, create selling strategies, identify potential customers and personally deliver her digital orders in the evenings, after school and work. She has tune-fined her technology skills setting up her digital cookie website and checking for new orders.
I’ve witness first hand, and I am so proud of all our troop members’ transformation, from girl-y to business-y Juniors. They all seem so grown up, mature, and focused in their group plans. Selling cookies gives them a chance to set goals, prepare for sales, network, be creative, adapt, and evolve to ultimately get their product in people’s hands. All these skills are mandatory for a successful entrepreneur and leader of the future. And it all starts with Cookies!
S.M.A.R.T. Cookie was the event that provided a structure for their scattered business ideas to achieve their NYC goals. The day started with a “train adventure” and quickly developed into an “Adventure of many trains”, a preview of coming attractions in NYC!
Are you and your Girl Scout interested in attending SMART Cookie 2023? The event will be held at the FAU Student Union in Boca Raton on January 21. Registration is open through January 17. Learn more and reserve your spot today. Interested in learning more about the Girl Scout Cookie Program and upcoming sale? We have a variety of resources available for troop leaders, Girl Scouts, parents, and customers under the Cookies+ tab on gssef.org.