Nat’l Girl Scout Cookie Day is Feb 8
by Jean Havens
The famous Thin Mints remain, but Girl Scouts are giving their cookie boxes an overhaul to highlight the real purpose of the $790-million cookie program, teaching girls five essential life skills: goal setting, decision making, money management, business ethics, and people skills. To celebrate such a monumental program, this year Girl Scouts has named Feb 8 National Girl Scout Cookie Day. Girls will be asking 50 million cookie fans across the nation to buy or order more boxes in honor of their success in running the largest girl-led business enterprise in the world.
When it comes to skill building, statistics show the Girl Scout Cookie Program works. According to a survey from the Girl Scout Research Institute, 85 percent of Girl Scout ‘€œcookie entrepreneurs’€ learn money management by developing budgets, taking cookie orders, and handling customers’ money. Eighty-three percent build business ethics; 80 percent learn goal setting; 77 percent improve decision making; and 75 percent develop people skills.
‘€œThe cookie program gives girls of all ages the opportunity to experience in real time what it’s like to run a business, ‘€œ says Pam Anderson, CEO of Pleasantville-based Girl Scouts Heart of the Hudson, Inc. ‘€œIt allows girls to build upon the three keys to leadership found throughout the Girl Scout experience: discover, connect, and take action.’€
All the revenue earned from cookie activities ‘€” every penny after paying the baker ‘€” stays with the local Girl Scout council that sponsors the sale. Councils such as Girl Scouts Heart of the Hudson use cookie revenue to supply essential services to troops, groups, and individual girls, such as providing program resources and communication support, training adult volunteers, and conducting events. As part of their experience in any Girl Scout product activity, girls can earn official Girl Scout awards at every level of Girl Scouting, including cookie and financial literacy badges and the annual Cookie Activity Pin.
Girl Scouts’ social media team is making the most of National Girl Scout Cookie Day on February 8. Highlights will include a #onemorebox contest with winners announced the day of, and live coverage of the day’s events. @GirlScouts will even be tweeting the location of the Girl Scout Sweetery Food Truck as it makes its way through New York City, staffed with Girl Scouts selling cookies.
Girl Scouts Heart of the Hudson will be promoting Cookie Chatter throughout its seven counties. Fans of Twitter can join in at @girlscoutshh for updates, facts, quotes, and pictures throughout February 8 and the council’s Facebook page will be abuzz with cookie chatter all day. The days leading up to National Girl Scout Cookie Day will feature local activities such as a Cookie Spirit contest where groups and individual girls will develop a plan for celebrating on February 8. Girls are also encouraged to submit to the council a 30-60 second video describing their Girl Scout cookie experience.
‘€œGirls all over our southeastern New York counties will be engaged in fun activities,’€ says Anderson, ‘€œAll leading up to February 8 and, most importantly, beyond, to February 15 when our 2013 order-taking period begins and they can officially open their cookie business.’€
In the first package design update since 1999, the 200 million Girl Scout cookie boxes sold annually now feature a new look that highlights the skills girls learn through the program. A new GSUSA marketing campaign reinforces this more contemporary message with the theme, ‘€œThis Is What a Girl Can Do.’€ And, for ease of purchase, customers can now find their Girl Scout Cookies using a free app available for iPhone or Android, or by visiting the newly refreshed official Girl Scout Cookie Finder at www.girlscoutcookies.org.
Jean Havens is Director of Communications for Girl Scouts Heart of the Hudson, Inc.