I remember being eight years old and standing outside a Publix in the sweltering Florida heat. I was trying to work up the courage to ask,
“Would you like to buy some girl scout cookies?”
For a shy little girl, this was torture. Yet, somehow I overcame my fear of rejection.
Now, 27 years later, selling girl scout cookies is still one of the major reasons I cite my outgoing personality and conversational skills. The latter, I’m sure you will agree, is something many kids today sure could learn.
Selling Girl Scout cookies (or Boy Scout popcorn tins) is not just about making the troop money by having girls compete with one another for the top sales. It is not about pressuring parents to show up for their kids through selling. It is about teaching young girls financial and business basics that they can carry throughout their life.
As a current Girl Scout leader, I am now watching my five-year-old daughter explore a world of new experiences through selling cookies. She learned how to make a video on my phone by herself. She learned to look adults in the eye while talking to them. She reviewed safety awareness that gave me confidence as her mom that she will know what to do in an emergency when I am not with her. She learned to count and handle cash.
And all of this while understanding the core principle that if you want something, such as camping trip or that cute stuffed animal, then you must work for it.
Over the next few weeks, you will undoubtedly encounter Girl Scouts of all ages selling cookies in front of grocery stores and alternative locations. While the cookies are fantastic, this is NOT a sales pitch!
I realize purchasing cookies will not always be on your to-do list that day. I would merely like to remind you of the courage it takes a young girl to stand in front of a strange adult and speak. I want to remind you of the importance they are learning when counting change back to you, or when using technology to input a credit card.
In short, the memory I recall most from selling Girl Scout cookies is the patient adults. The adults who allowed me to take my time answering their questions or completing their orders. Every person I encountered as a girl was an example of how to act as a future adult.
So from one mom to another, when you see those girls smiling and politely asking if you’d like to buy some cookies, please be remember to smile back and be kind.