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Gaining the Skills Today to Own My Own Business Tomorrow

Madalyn Staggs

Girl Scout Cookies are an iconic American treat. When you start thinking about delicious Samoas, Tagalongs, S’mores, and Thin Mints, it’s guaranteed to get your mouth watering.  While the cookies are yummy, a lot of customers don’t know that there are many skills of the trade us Girl Scouts have that goes along with Girl Scout Cookie sales.

We girls have learned how to manage money, deal with customers, become vendors, and other tactics related to selling cookies. All of these skills revolve around the Cookie Program and get taught to even the youngest of Girl Scouts in Kindergarten. In my eight years as a Girl Scout I have had to rely on these skills quite a lot. It is important for girls to learn those tools of trade, because they will use them in the real world, even if they are not planning to work in a corporation or run their own business. 

To help girls be successful with cookie sales it is important to track sales, including keeping track of inventory. I use a sheet that has the amount of boxes I have on-hand, that way if I am about to run out, or are out of cookies, I can contact my Troop Leader or a Cookie Cupboard to get more cookies in stock. I also have a system to make sure that my customers get the best service they can, including making sure I have their name, address and phone number on my order form and whether the customer has paid up front or will wait until cookie delivery. 

To sell the cookies, I use different methods like tracking which houses I have sold to in previous sales. There are other girls in my neighborhood that have their own "territory,” so as a courtesy to my fellow Girl Scout Sisters I will pass over that street, and reach out to my neighbors I had sold to in the past. Girls can also reach out to potential customers by reaching out online by sending emails or holding Cookie Booths at an assortment of local stores like Walmart, Fareway or Theisens. At the Cookie Booths, girls will reach out to customers directly before they pass by the booth, learn to not get discouraged by someone saying, “no,” and offer samples to customers.

Learning all of these skills, and the opportunity to sell so many different ways, makes me feel amazing in my abilities to run a successful cookie sale and also makes me seriously feel like I am a capable, strong and independent young woman. One of the best things about all of this is that I am actually planning on running my own business someday. I want to own a dance studio later in life and I can take all of these skills I have learned through my cookie sales to successfully run my own business someday.

Madalyn Staggs is in grade 7 at Center Point/Urbana Middle School. She is a Girl Scout, dancer, and aspiring actress and artist.