Sunday, January 17, 2010

Go Date

January 16 at 9am was Go Date for Girl Scout cookie sales around here.

Amazingly, the weather wasn't horrible.

Originally both kids had a goal of selling 60 boxes. However, Annabeth's troop announced that they would like each girl to sell 110 boxes in order to meet their troop goal.

We organized our spreadsheets on Friday night (we enter data on customers every year -- how many boxes purchased, whether they supported our charity donations to the homeless shelter, whether they bought from both girls or just one). And off they went soon after 9am.

By afternoon they had sold about 140 boxes total ... door-to-door sales in local neighborhoods. At one point they stopped by our house to take a break and strategize about where to go next, during which Rick flipped the television on to Shark Tank. I commented that, weirdly enough, they were preparing themselves for situations like Shark Tank by what they were doing -- going to house after house of people they didn't really know well and presenting the product over and over. In many ways the whole Girl Scout cookie thing gags me, but I've got to admit that Thalia and Annabeth have learned a bunch about sales and how to present themselves to the public.

At the moment Thalia is well past her goal, and Annabeth has exceeded her 110 box goal but is continuing to call on our repeat customers so that they remember that we are the family from whom they should expect to buy every year. She's thinking about going to the next level -- 160 boxes. The incentive at that level is a lunch bag (what does she need a lunch bag for?). It helps bring her troop average up, which is handy for the girls who perhaps didn't have a chance to sell so many boxes.


Anonymous said...

A lunch bag for 160 boxes? Seriously?
Just out of curiosity, what should a person do if they don't want the cookies but would like to support the troop? Just give a cash donation? We run into this situation quite often and never know how to handle it correctly.

Ami said...

I have missed my Girl Scout troop. The parents and the girls were wonderful, and we had so much fun together over the years.
All the crafts, and the songs and the outings and the just being friends together... warms my heart.

I do not miss selling and dealing with Girl Scout cookies.

However, when they start selling here, I'll buy some. Because I will always miss Thin Mints.

Gail said...

You can give a cash donation to the troop. That way they'll get 100% of the proceeds -- they only get a small percent of the revenue from the cookies, as the rest of the money goes to the bakery, the local Girl Scout Council, and probably other places I'm not thinking of.

We also give people the option of buying boxes that we'll deliver to a local homeless shelter. The troop gets some revenue, we can use the boxes towards our total box count (and thus qualifying for incentives), the people get to support Scouts AND get to support another local charity at the same time.

Today one guy said, "I figure the cookies don't arrive until about Lent, and I never eat them during Lent. And by the time Lent is over all the cookies in the house have been eaten. So if I buy them for you to take to the homeless shelter I end up getting to eat the same amount, so it's just as easy." I thought it was pretty funny. Plus he bought 10 boxes for the shelter.

Gail said...

Also, Ami, Back to Nature Fudge Mints. Sooo good. Better than Thin MInts, I swear.

Except I may have the name garbled.

Bridgett said...

Cash donations are always welcome!

Having worked a food pantry, junk food is not always welcome...I sometimes wonder what GSUSA has in mind here. We should be accepting money for the idea of boxes of cookies for shelters and then taking that money and buying canned beef stew. Hmm. But maybe that's just me...

My other thought: I can never remember which of your girls is older, but I'm surprised by the troop goal (unless she is older, and then maybe the girls together came up with the goal). I don't think I'd ever presume to set a goal for the girls, and after last year's fiasco cookie mom, I'm tiptoeing around the whole idea of cookie sales. My girls (without last year's weirdness) usually average about 80 boxes. There are 18 girls. I feel like that's plenty!

Gail said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gail said...

Bridgett, the homeless shelter donation is something our family does, not our troops/Council/GSUSA. Our family is involved with this shelter year-round, helps it in many ways (including healthy food), as does our church (where we saw the guy who donated the 10 boxes -- our congregation as a whole supports this place).

Yeah, cookies aren't exactly the base level of Maslow's hierarchy of needs, and I'd not send them to, say, Haiti right now. But I see donating cookies to this place in the somewhat same way as I see donating manicures and facials -- a little pampering, a moment of FUN in someone's life. Just because you're poor doesn't mean you can't enjoy a cookie. Just because the shelter sees so much tragedy doesn't mean they never want to have a celebration. And Girl Scout cookies are so very middle class -- maybe last year these people were buying them from their local Scout troop, this year they can't afford them due to change in circumstance.

As for the troop goals, we've never done those before. The younger troop wants to go to Trout Lodge this year (expensive!) and are trying to do it in such a way that it's affordable for everyone. They wanted to do this last year, too, but it didn't work out, partially due to cost.

Bridgett said...

True, regarding treats should not be withheld just because one is poor. Our food pantry at church does sometimes give away things that are not on the food pyramid base, too. I just remember back when I taught at the school, all the junk food that was brought into the pantry was dumped on the teacher workroom table...what we need most is breakfast cereal and canned meat and we struggle to keep that on the shelves.

Have you been to Shaw Nature Preserve for an overnight? We're giving that a try this spring.