GIRL SCOUT COOKIES: THE PROGRAM BEHIND OUR FAMOUS TREATS (Article 4 in a series all about Girl Scouts)
You’ve probably heard of Girl Scout cookies before, and consumed an entire box in one sitting a time or two! But most people don’t realize the amazing skills that girls earn when they participate in the Girl Scout Product Program, which includes more than just our beloved cookies. Girls also participate in Treats & Reads, which includes the sale of nuts, candies, magazines, and more, and takes place during the off-season of Girl Scout cookies. Together, the Cookie Program and Treats & Reads make up the Girl Scouts Product Program.
Girls earn five critical business skills while participating in the Girl Scout Product Program: goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills, and business ethics. The Product Program is a girl’s first chance to test out her entrepreneurial skills, and practice in a setting where she feels safe to fail and try again.
What most people don’t realize is that behind the scenes, there is a lot happening that makes this program so impactful for girls. They learn about profit margins, budgeting for their goals, and setting goals accordingly. The girls want to go to a water park next year? With their leaders’ help, they can figure out the cost of a hotel, transportation, entry into the water park, food, and everything else that goes into planning a trip. From there, they set a Product Program goal to make that trip happen. After the products arrive, girls help sort them, write thank you notes, collect money and deliver to customers.
During Cookie Booths, girls gain confidence as they approach potential customers and face the potential for rejection. In Girl Scouts, rejection is okay, and when you’re with Girl Scout sisters, you’re in a place where taking a risk and failing forward is celebrated.
As you can see, goal setting is a huge part of Girl Scouting. One of the greatest examples of this is the Girl Scout Gold Award – the highest honor in Girl Scouting. Check out our next article to learn all about this prestigious award and how girls change the world to earn it!
Written by Brenna Smith, Communications Manager, Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan