Yep, another post about Girl Scout cookie season. This time I’m coming to you as a seasoned booth organizer and participant. Not as a troop leader explaining how cookie season works or to tell you what as a leader I wish you knew. I’m here to give you ideas for how to maximize your Girl Scout cookie booth times, and make them fun, engaging, and goal-oriented.
As you know, girls all over the country are (or will soon be) standing outside of grocery stores, markets, restaurants, and even in front of their homes. It can rain, snow, or parents might need to apply sunscreen. But these girls are selling cookies in rare conditions. They’re also encountering lovely, curious, and grateful individuals. And they’re encountering some that aren’t so nice. Some people will never understand things they just shouldn’t say.
But these are still girls, from Kindergarteners to Seniors in high school. Standing in these locations for hours on end can sometimes be mundane and exhausting. In order to make the time go by faster for the girls, we’ve come up with several ways to keep them engaged, talkative, and ready to make the next sale.
Make sure they know the cookie varieties
Host a cookie rally. Many Service Units hold their own, so you may be able to tag along at a rally local to you. This way the girls become very familiar with each cookie variety. We buy “cookie party packs” from our council, and have a rally with the girls to sample cookies and play games that teach them how to work with money.
One of the best ways to get the girls motivated to sell is with “cookie grab bags.” At the end of their designated cookie booth shift, each girl gets to grab a bag from a bin. These bags can have cookie booth patches, Girl Scout pencils, stickers, Starbucks gift cards, etc. Anything that you know your girls are interested in.
Favorite Girl Scout cookie game
There will be times when we have up to four girls at a booth. Some of them have a lot of wiggles to work out. We’ll have the girls each pick their favorite cookie. During their booth time, we’ll challenge the girls to sell a certain amount of boxes of their favorite cookie. This keeps them focused with a goal during their time at the booth.
Top seller(s) of the day
Sometimes we just have one girl selling (older girls) and sometimes we have many. As a way to keep focused, we’ll set a goal each day and award the top seller with a small prize. At the beginning of the season, we start really low. Maybe have a goal of 15 boxes. Whoever hits 15 boxes that day will earn the prize. Again, these are small prizes that don’t break the bank. As the season progresses, the goal gets harder.
Most creative booth set up
We’re at the point where the older girls like setting up the booth and decorating it for the day. Take photos of the booths each day and have your girls vote at the end for which day had the most creative booth set up during the season. You can actually find a trophy at party city that you can pass on each year.
The Girl Scout cookie color game
Like the favorite cookie game, we also play the color game. This is when our inventory has a lot of one cookie variety left and we need to work on moving it. We have the girls come up with something they like about the cookie and tell their customers about it. It always surprises me at how many boxes of a single variety they can sell when they focus on just one cookie.
Wrap-up party or incentives
The girls know we’ll have a wrap-up party at the end of the season. We have a lot of top sellers who are striving to earn enough sales to go to Summer Camp. The girls know if we have to beg them to do booths, we are exhausted. The more exhausted we are at the end of the season, the less excited we are about having a wrap-up party. Wrap-ups don’t have to be a party. It can be a fun incentive that they work for and motivates them through the 9 1/2 weeks of cookie sales.
Girl Scout “surprise” breakfast
Thoughout the cookie season, surprise your girls with a sleepover breakfast. Or “kidnapping” where you pick them up unexpectedly and take them to breakfast before booth sales. Not only are they excited to be doing something fun with their friends for their shift, but they’ve also enjoy a fun breakfast to get them started for the day.
There are so many things you can do to keep up the excitement of booth sales. Some of these girls would never be able to go to camp, Disneyland, iFly or some of the other prizes Girl Scouts offers if it wasn’t for the extra sales cookie booths help bring.
Be creative with your own additions and ways to keep the girls motivated during and between each cookie booth slot, and you’ll discover that the girls, the troop leaders, and parents will enjoy the time much more. And if you need help keeping your booth organized, check out our booth tracking sheets on Etsy.