Attention, Troop Leaders! Make this cookie season more manageable by following these tips:
1. Avoid the temptation to do it all yourself. We understand that you might be tempted to do it all—you’re a G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™, after all! But by delegating some cookie sale responsibilities to troop parents, you’ll have more time to spend on activities with girls as you deliver our one-of-a-kind Girl Scout programming and prepare them for a lifetime of leadership, success, and adventure. This cookie season, recruit parents to pitch in so you can focus on leading all of your troop’s many other activities.
2. Split cookie volunteers’ responsibilities into smaller pieces—lessening the load for everyone! For example, consider assigning a parent to help manage your troop cookie inventory, and keep parents informed of upcoming events. It’s also super helpful to recruit a parent to help manage booth sales. Rather than expect one parent to pick up and drop off all girls during cookie booth sales, request that the other girls come individually, easing the burden of the parent who will work the booth. You might also designate someone to be in charge of coaching girls as they work to meet their cookie sale goals, earn their Financial Literacy badges, and maximize learning and skill-building opportunities.
And make sure to emphasize that these roles are a short-term commitment so parents don’t feel overwhelmed when they decide to lend a hand.
3. Be clear about your expectations. Let parents know exactly what’s expected of them and provide as many details as possible so they understand what they’re committing to. Make sure they know the troop’s goals, contact information for all involved, and deadlines for turning in cookie forms and money.
Send each volunteer a welcome email with all pertinent information, (e.g., forms or training they need to complete, important phone numbers or websites they will need to access, schedules, etc.). You might even want to draft some follow-up notes for parents that you can send to remind them of important deadlines.
4. Focus on the impact. When talking to parents about volunteering, help them understand the bigger picture. Do they realize that the cookie program funds the troop activities that girls participate in all year long? If you already know some of the plans your girls have for their cookie earnings, share as many examples as possible to show potential volunteers how their contribution means greater success and an overall better Girl Scout experience for their girls. And if you have any numbers from previous years’ sales, even better! Use these stats to demonstrate to volunteers exactly what a successful cookie season can do for their girls and how they can be an integral part of that. Send them to girlscouts.org/poweredbycookies so they can see for themselves just some of the amazing things girls can do when powered by cookies.
5. Give special recognition to cookie volunteers. Be sure to thank parents in your troop who put in special effort during cookie season. Send them an email, a handwritten note, or a thank-you message on Facebook. Simply expressing your gratitude goes a long way!
6. Show parents who can’t volunteer how they can still play a part. Not all parents will have the desire or time to volunteer with overall troop cookie management, and that’s OK! Let them know they can still be a huge part of the troop’s success by supporting their girl throughout cookie season—helping her set and work toward goals; connecting her with potential new customers, like friends and family; tracking her progress; and encouraging her to keep going when obstacles arise. And, of course, by always taking the time to celebrate her accomplishments!