There’s definitely something to be said about earning a pin! What can start on a Daisy tunic can eventually end up on an Ambassador’s sash/vest (The pin will move up along with the girl!). My troop loves earning pins. At an event a few years ago, another leader came up to me and asked what the diamond-shaped colorful pins were on my troop’s vests. I explained that they were Cookie Sales Activity Pins. Each year, the pin is a different color. I then realized, not everyone knew about what the Cookie Sales Activity Pins are and how to earn them.
Each year, as girls participate in the Girl Scout Cookie Program, they are building and honing in on business skills that are key in being successful leaders and businesswomen. By earning the Cookie Sales Activity Pin, it reminds the girls (and the parents) of what skills they are developing. The Cookie Program exposes the girls to five essential business skills, which are: Goal Setting, Decision Making, Money Management, People Skills, and Business Ethics.
Establishing a goal can include the number of packages she wants to sell, a project or trip planned, or a reward or experience. When a girl sets a goal, it teaches her to establish a standard of her own to do her best to achieve. She can apply this goal setting skill to school, work, and life!
Running a business is all about working with groups to make smart decisions. Decisions may include how the troop will use its money, how the troop will decorate the booth, or what role each girl will take at a booth. This practice of problem solving teaches girls to make decisions based on the input of the troop and is a key skill of a good leader.
Learning to budget and understanding the value of a dollar is a life skill girls need to make smart financial decisions in the future. They begin by taking cookie orders, handling customers’ money, and tracking sales goals. These hands-on lessons in financial literacy, business, and entrepreneurship are what makes the Cookie Program so successful for girls.
Learning how to talk to, listen to, and work with all kinds of people while selling cookies is important! These experiences allow her to develop healthy relationships and conflict-resolution skills she can use throughout her life. This is a tangible example of how Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, and character.
“I will do my best to be Honest and Fair…” Her Cookie Program business ethics reinforce the positive values she is developing as a Girl Scout and this becomes second nature to the girls as an individual, a troop member, and as an integral part of their community. The standard of ethics the girls learn in the Cookie Program is what makes this all-girl business an essential part of Girl Scouting.
The Cookie Sale Activity Pin plan is geared toward younger Girl Scout troops and will take girls through the requirements step by step in earning their pin. For older Girl Scout troops, tweak it accordingly – if applicable, go in depth as to why last year’s sales numbers were what they were. What are you able to change? What do the girls have control over? You may be impressed with what girls come up with!
Cookie Sale Activity Pins (check out this 2017 pink pin!) recognize the five skills learned and practiced during the sale and are available for sale at our shops and online. We can’t wait to hear about your girls earning their pins this upcoming cookie season. Don’t forget to share your stories and photos with us on Facebook!
Kathryn Klos-Pierson – Kathryn lives in Eden Prairie with her Girl Scout Junior, her husband, and her pet rabbit, Rico. She is the troop leader to 14 first-year Juniors. Her favorite Girl Scout activities are teaching girls how to be creative and how to appreciate outdoors (even if you’re not a camp director!). Kathryn is a manager in the Product Program department at River Valleys. One of her favorite activities is decorating for the holidays—especially Halloween!