Jan4

Written by:Colleen Walker
1/4/2011 11:59 AM 

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

The New Year has arrived and, with it, come new resolutions and hopes for the year that lies before us. But, the most exciting thing about the New Year is the launch of Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas’s 2011 Cookie Program! This year, every Cookie has a mission to help girls do great things!

One of the finest examples of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience is the Cookie Program, which provides an important ingredient for leadership by helping girls develop five key skills:

  • Goal Setting –People who have goals are more successful than people who do not. Goals without a plan are just wishes. How do you set goals and work towards meeting them?
  • Decision-Making – What are the steps that go into making a decision? What makes a good decision? Do you weigh the “pros and cons,” ask for advice friends, or go with your gut? How do you change track when you make a less-than-good decision? How do you work with others to benefit the community?
  • Money Management – Using basic math, making change, developing a budget, spending money versus saving money – things everyone needs to know more about, especially given the economic turns of the past couple of years.
  • People Skills – Dealing with others – on a team, as a student, as a customer, or a salesperson. Courtesy, persuasion and being able to express oneself in person are keys to success at every level of life.
  • Business Ethics – Doing the right thing, being trustworthy, putting the tenets of the Girl Scout Promise and Law to work in daily life, balancing profit over personal values, giving back to others in the community…. These are things we want from every business transaction.

As you meet a Girl Scout Brownie at your front door or at a booth sale, ask her what she and her troop plan to do with the money they earn. More than likely, you will be surprised to hear about how they’re planning to donate cookies either to the Troop to Troop Program or to a nursing home or homeless shelter; how they’re saving for an end-of-the-year trip or donating part of their proceeds to a local animal shelter; or perhaps how they’re earning money to buy uniform components and Journey books. Regardless of what you hear, you will see first hand how all five of the above skills have been put to good use.

Older girls also gain skills that will directly poise them for success in their careers. What do employers look for in job candidates? They want:

  • Someone who can set goals and meet deadlines.
  • Someone who works well with others.
  • Someone who understands customers.
  • Someone who can influence others.
  • Someone who is honest, trustworthy and reliable.

Again, all of these are skills that have been honed through the Girl Scout Cookie Program.

On a personal level, my daughter Isabella sold cookies for the first time last year. After she and her troop members talked about what goals they wanted to set, what community program they wanted to support, and learned about how to stay safe, she came home and began practicing how she would ask her friends and family to purchase cookies. The first time she went to a neighbor’s front door and rang their door bell, I could tell she was very nervous, but she delivered her “spiel” and was thrilled when she sold her very first box of cookies. But, several doors down, she just wasn’t able to convince one of our neighbors to purchase any cookies. She wondered if she had not said the right thing or if they just didn’t like her. We discussed several reasons why someone might not wish to purchase Girl Scout cookies; i.e., New Year’s resolutions, watching their budget, etc. Slowly, she realized a “no,” while disappointing, isn’t necessarily personal. Happily, she picked herself up and boldly went to the next house. I witnessed firsthand, as a mother, the importance of the Cookie Program.

Of course, each of you parents, Troop Leaders, Troop Cookie Managers, and Service Unit Cookie Coordinators have my sincere gratitude for all you do to help ensure the success of the Cookie Program for girls in GSNETX! Let’s go have some fun! We’ll be walking the neighborhood on Saturday!

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