Cookie season is here, and you’re feeling proud of your Girl Scout troop for rocking their goal setting conversation and committing to a cookie goal that’ll power their weekend camping trip this summer. But before your girls break out their order forms, there’s another group you need to rally: your troop’s parents and caregivers.
That doesn’t sound difficult—after all, most troop families want to be supportive—but what happens when you have parents who see the cookie program as just another task on their lengthy to-do list rather than an entrepreneurial experience for their cookie boss?
The cookie program is a team effort, and adult support plays a major part. Here are a few ways to motivate any apprehensive parents in your troop.
Hold a cookie-specific meeting for parents and caregivers.
Even if you discussed the cookie program at your first parent meeting, make time to reconnect with troop adults. Hold a cookie parent meeting. Discuss how the cookie sale will operate, tasks for parents, deadlines for what is due when, skills the girls learn by participating, and how the girls want to spend the troop profit. Parents were more than happy to help their girls build these skills.
Your troop parents will likely have more questions about what’s expected of them and their girls, so be sure to review all aspect of the program. You can also let parents know at the meeting that you’re looking for some extra support.
Share your troop’s goal and how they’ll get there.
Open the conversation by outlining the goal or experience the girls are working toward, and talk about the girls’ decision-making process and that you’re proud of their ability to work as a team. When people ask why they’re selling cookies, they can say ‘we’re building a butterfly garden’ or ‘we have a camping trip we’re hoping to take.’” Families are much more supportive if they know where the cookie proceeds go; the same goes for customers and other members of your community!
Once you’ve shared your troop’s vision, let the adults know what the goal means for their girl. Open communication with the parents is key to a successful troop cookie sale.
Outline the immediate and long-term benefits of the cookie program.
Explain that the profit from the cookie program funds the rest of the year’s badges, programs, and events, and other activities and trips the girls have discussed. Remind them that the cookie program is not about the cookies or the money. Parents love to hear how the sale works—the girls set their own goals! We purposely set low and high goals so the girls can reach some but work hard for others. Once parents hear how hands-on the sale is for their daughters and how they’ll learn how to make change and speak to customers and work as a team, they’re much more willing to participate in the program.
Stress the five skills girls learn from the cookie program set them up for success in school, extracurricular activities, and beyond; helping parents and caregivers understand the big picture goes a long way in building the support you need.