An Everyday Hero Standing with Girls

Man Enough to be a Girl Scout: Mark Jeffrey

It takes a special person to be a hero. Police officers, firefighters and EMTs risk their lives to protect us. Meet Mark Jeffrey from Grain Valley, MO, a dad to two amazing Girl Scouts, a police officer, former firefighter and EMT. Talk about a hero among! Most importantly, Mark is a proud Girl Scout dad and volunteer, making the world better for girls. He’s certainly Man Enough to be a Girl Scout!

Mark Jeffrey loves his community.  And, his decades of public service prove it. He served as an EMT and firefighter for 13 years before becoming a community officer then a police officer for Lake Latawana, where he’s served for 16 years. This devoted protector loves being out in his community and getting to know people. When he became a dad, he knew he wanted to have his children involved in organizations that would expose them to their community. “It’s important to be involved with your kids in activities that help us bond and make them into great people,” Mark said.

Mark and his wife, Erin, have three children – all involved in Scouting. Son, Chase (12) and daughters Alexis (9) and Elizabeth (5) have been in Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts since kindergarten. Mark has recently become an assistant leader for Alexis and Elizabeth – helping with shirt designs, cookie sales and general troop support. “I was in Cub Scouts for one year and it really stuck with me, so when my kids were born, I saw it as an opportunity to get back involved with Scouting,” Mark said.

Scouting is important to the family because it lets the Jeffrey kids explore and do things outside the house. “Scouting provides life skills that help you become a good member of society. It teaches girls they can go as far as they want. Kids get the opportunity to explore, learn and discover their interests, so they grow up to be great men and women of society,” Mark said.

Alexis is part of Girl Scout Junior Troop 716 and volunteers with Girl Scout Daisy Troop 1854, Elizabeth’s troop (PS – Michelle Twyman, leader for Troop 879, has a daughter in this troop too!). Elizabeth was inspired to join Girl Scouts because of Alexis. The two have a very close relationship and as Mark says, they’re almost like twins. Having an older Girl Scout participate means the world to the new Daisies who are working hard on their first year selling cookies.

“Elizabeth’s troop is crazy about cookies. She’ll ask anyone she sees to buy them. She went to one of Chase’s Boy Scout meetings and started asking them to buy cookies,” Mark said. What a go-getter!

The Jeffrey family is active in PTA for Matthews Elementary, supported Service Unit 646’s Holly Jolly Jamboree and participates in Grain Valley’s Police Explorers. The Police Explorers is a program introduces kids to law enforcement careers through interactive activities like learning to use handcuffs and touring the police station. While his daughters are too young to officially join, they’ve participated in many activities.

Each year in the PTA, Mark is a driving force behind the annual carnival fundraiser for the school. He builds activities, helps organize and is very hands on with the event. For Mark, it’s all about getting to spend more time with his kids and make their life better. “As a dad, my kids are my world. To see my kids having fun and being part of that, I get to be a dad and having fun with them, be part of their life,” Mark said.

Girl Scouts in particular allows Mark to be a male role model and watch his daughters become G.I.R.L.s (Go-getters, Innovators, Risk-takers, Leaders)TM.  “It’s important for girls to have good, male role models in their lives and a girl’s father should be the first one she sees,” Mark said.

Thank you to Mark, Erin and all the amazing supporters of Girl Scout Troops 716 and 1854 in Grain Valley, MO! Your hard work helps girls shine every day! THANK YOU! If you know of another amazing Girl Scout volunteer, share their story in the comments below.

GSKSMO Goes to the Nation’s Capital

Guest Bloggers: Sara Babcock and Roxie Cody, Girl Scout Ambassadors

Long before any primary or convention, we planned a trip where Girl Scouts could experience history and democracy in action. And, they could have robust conversation, learn from one another and know their voice matters. Last Thursday – Sunday, these 14 Girl Scouts traveled to Washington DC together, united as Girl Scout sisters. Thank you to Sara and Roxie for documenting their incredible experience.

We had the opportunity to witness the Inauguration of the 45th president of the United States through Girl Scouts and EF Tours with 12 other sister Girl Scouts. The trip was not only about the inauguration but about getting to know Girl Scouts from other service units, visit the Smithsonian Museums, monuments and memorials in and around DC. Before the trip Regan gave a very funny speech about group dynamics that had us all laughing and two of the younger girls helped us prepare for safety on the trip as well as airport etiquette.

On Inauguration Day, it took us 4 hours to walk to the National Mall. We were surrounded by tons of people while standing in the security line to enter the National Mall. There were a lot of security and military personnel from all over the US, even some from Alaska!

The audience was a mix of supporters, protesters, and those just wanting to witness history in person as we watched the Inaugural speech of the 45th President of the United States of America on a JumboTron next to the Washington Monument. What we witnessed were many speeches that recognized importance of the peaceful transfer of power to President Trump. It was ironic to be standing next to the Washington Monument, remembering a class lecture where we learned how George Washington shocked the entire world when he peacefully transferred the power of the presidency, starting the tradition we have today.

The next day we visited the Capitol Building; the Mall was so overwhelmed with people that they had closed the Capitol Building and we had the opportunity to see the Women’s March first hand. Everywhere we looked there were people holding signs and supporting the Women’s March. Some were holding signs, but not all. Those that didn’t made us curious as to what they were there support specifically. Everything during this trip was very interesting to see and to experience.

During the trip girls prepared and gave small speeches about the places we were visiting when we arrived, including the Vietnam and Korean War memorials, well as the Lincoln Memorial.

An older girl in our group, Annaleigh, said that her favorite part of the trip was our first day when we visited with Congressman Kevin Yoder. “He was very kind and willing to answer our questions not just briefly, but he gave very descriptive answers”

Overall he was a very kind and accepting person. He took our questions seriously and didn’t talk down to us.

Fellow group members Naomi and Courtney both said that they “liked making new friends and that the trip as a whole was low drama!” We walked a lot every day (11 miles on Inauguration day, alone); so in addition to having a good pair of shoes, having a low drama group was very important. Especially when everyone, was tired, sleepy, and a bit cranky!

When asked why she wanted to come in this trip, one of our group members, Riley said “I wanted to try something new.” Which we personally think exactly describes everything we did on this trip. It was all new and exciting. Some of us had never ridden a plane, the metro (subway), or been to a food truck before.

We were complimented multiple times by our bus driver and the tour director for being attentive and so well behaved. Overall, it was a very engaging and interesting learning experience for all of us involved.

“This trip was important because I got to witness an inauguration, a crucial part of our nation’s politics. The most important thing I got to do on the trip was attend the Women’s March. Dissent is also a very important part of our country; attending the march made me feel like I was part of something bigger.” Lillie said.

Thanks to Girl Scouts and EF Tours we were able to try new things, met new people, and had experiences we will never forget.

Girl Scout Cookies Power BIG Adventures for Girls

2017 B.I.G. Cookie Kick-Off a Skill-Building Success

Click the image to watch the video!

We love Girl Scout Cookies, yes we do! We love Girl Scout Cookies, how about YOU?

It was a BIG day filled with cookie cheers, skill-building and fun at our B.I.G. Cookie Kick-off at UMKC on Saturday!

More than 400 Girl Scouts came to conquer all the steps to earn their Girl Scout Cookie pin. They rotated through the interactive booths led by our awesome teen Girl Scouts. These booths included playing a game of cookie safety bingo, exploring the history of the 100 years of Girl Scout Cookies, writing thank you notes to soldiers, practicing the cookie ask, counting back change, taking a great cookie photo or two, adding a cookie goal to the wall and so much more.

What a day! Our Girl Scouts kicked things off with an opening pep rally that was 100% girl-led; including a visit from Juliette Gordon Low, troop leaders stacking those cookies as high as possible and the fantastic Taiko drummers, including some super talented Girl Scouts. Following the pep rally, our Girl Scouts were super pumped ready to tackle those interactive booths and meet & greet with our fantastic community partners and program experts. And, in between they voted for their favorite Bling Your Booth entry. A tough vote, for sure!

Before you knew it and after a little lunch, it was time to cheer on the UMKC Women’s Basketball team. Prior to tip-off, our Girl Scouts joined the UMKC cheerleaders to get the crowd ready. Our Girl Scouts love to dance and cheer. And, speaking of cheering… 100 Girl Scouts took the floor during halftime for a special Girl Scout Cookie Cheer. They were AWESOME!

Following the game, our Girl Scouts enjoyed (you guessed it!) more dancing and a little time with the UMKC basketball team.

We couldn’t tell who enjoyed the day more – our Girl Scout attendees, our energetic Teen Girl Scouts, our adults or the role model UMKC athletes who joined us throughout the day. OK, maybe it was Roo who you could find at the GS Cookie photo booth most of the day!

The B.I.G. (Believe in Girls) Cookie Kick-Off was an incredible event! There are so many to thank you who made this day possible. First, our event chair who brought this vision forward and championed it to a successful reality. Thank you, Amber Cannady! A huge shout-out to our entire event team who generously gave their time, talent and creativity to make this event come to life!

Our Teen Girl Scouts were awesome and embodied what it means to be a G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™!

All of our inspiring community partners and program staff showed girls how they can used their troop proceeds and Cookie Dough to have BIG adventures!

Thank you to all of our adult volunteers who helped our teens get ready  for their interactive booths and served throughout the event.

And last but certainly not least – thank you to our Super Skill-Building Girl Scouts and their parents / caregivers who joined us for the B.I.G. Cookie Kick-Off!

What was your favorite part of the day? Tell us in the comments below!

See all the photos from the B.I.G. Cookie Kickoff Here!

A First Class Girl Scout and Volunteer

Spotlighting Claudia Boosman

G.I.R.L.s (Go-getters, Innovators, Risk-takers, Leaders)™ are capable of anything. One of the best parts of being in Girl Scouts is being surrounded by people who never set limits on what you can dream to be. Meet Claudia Boosman, a Highest Award Girl Scout, former troop leader, proud alumna and member of Daisy’s Circle who learned in Girl Scouts that she could be anything she wanted to be. As a mom, she knows more than ever, that Girl Scouts helps girls be the best G.I.R.L.s they can possibly be!

Claudia began her Girl Scout journey in the 1960s when her mother and a friend started a troop. All her friends joined and Claudia found herself enjoying the experience of selling cookies door-to-door and trying new things. She loved primitive camping at Camp Oakledge and the challenges Girl Scouts let her conquer. “It was a whole world of trying and learning something,” Claudia said. Most importantly, Claudia found Girl Scouts to be a place where she could be anything.

“No matter what I did with Girl Scouts, I was never told I couldn’t do something because I was a girl. This was pre-feminism, so I wasn’t thinking about it in those terms, but there was so much positive reinforcement and I was constantly told ‘you can do that,’” Claudia said.

As a naturally driven girl, Claudia became a Highest Award recipient, earning her First Class Award in the 1970s. “I was driven and liked to accomplish things, I could do all of that with the First Class Award,” Claudia said. That sense of accomplishment has made her a proud alumna who supports the program today, especially since it encourages team and individual skill building. “Girl Scouts matters because it’s one of the few activities where a girl can explore and learn as an individual […]there’s a balance of group and individual activities – especially with the Highest Awards,” Claudia said.

After getting a Journalism degree from the University of Missouri, Claudia entered the corporate world and became a mom of twin girls. Her girls, Jo and Kate, became Girl Scouts as Daisies with Claudia serving as leader for Troop 439 in Lee’s Summit. As a leader and a mother, Claudia got to experience time with her daughters that she wouldn’t otherwise have.

When the girls were Daisies, Claudia remembers a project on kindness that showed her the skills Girl Scouts was teaching. The troop drew pictures of their friends and said nice things. Claudia showed them her drawing then crumpled it to show the power of negative words. “The shock on all of their faces was incredible. The message was: ‘this is what happens when you say hurtful things.’ It was a great moment and message that Girl Scouts can provide to show girls a life skill,” Claudia said.

While in Girl Scouts, Claudia and her daughters travelled with the troop and had incredible experiences together. They even won an award in a Lee’s Summit parade! Girl Scout life is about experiences, and the Boosman family certainly lived those to the max! “Girl Scouts is all about the experiences you can’t get anywhere else. It gets girls in the door and into experiences they just won’t get anywhere else,” Claudia said.

Though Claudia is no longer a troop leader, she’ll never forget the power of seeing a girl’s eyes light up. “Any mom that’s thinking about being a leader – just jump in and do it. You’ll get all the support you need and the excitement of the kids makes it so worth it. It’s the hugs. The kids would hug me after we did something and it always blew me away. You just don’t get that in the corporate world,” Claudia said.

In addition to her service as a volunteer, Claudia joined Daisy’s Circle, GSKSMO’s monthly giving program, to make sure Girl Scouts is available to any girl who wants to join. “I want to be part of making sure Girl Scouts is as widely available as possible, for any girl who’s interested,” Claudia said. “You put your money where your heart is, and Girl Scouts is where my heart is.”

We can’t thank Claudia enough for her continued support of Girl Scouts as an advocate and member of Daisy’s Circle. I think it’s safe to say Claudia is a prime example of what it means to be a G.I.R.L.!

If you know of another amazing Girl Scout Alumna or member of Daisy’s Circle – share their story in the comments below. Were you part of Claudia’s troop? Share your favorite memory!

One Smart Cookie

Spotlighting: Service Unit 682’s Product Sales Manage Jim Savage

It’s cookie time! As girls are out building their business skills, earning proceeds and delivering cookies, volunteers are behind the scenes making it possible. Product Sales Managers (PSMs) are service unit level volunteers who manage the Cookie Program for their areas. One of our amazing PSMs is Jim Savage, a police officer, Eagle Scout and Girl Scout dad from Gardner, KS. Jim works tirelessly to provide an exceptionally organized program that helps girls learn vital business skills.

Jim Savage loves Scouting and knows the power of this program firsthand. As an Eagle Scout, he learned many life skills that propelled him toward success. “What I tell people is – this is a program that will stay with you for the rest of your life,” Jim said. With such a belief in the program, it’s no wonder that all four of the Savage children are involved in Scouting.

 Maggie (14), Darby (10) and Kinsey (8) are all Girl Scouts and Jimmy (6) is a new Tiger Scout. In addition to his Girl Scout volunteer roles, Jim is Den Leader for Jimmy’s troop and is wife, Becky, leads Kinsey’s Troop 3140 and is the asst. leader for Darby’s Troop 1634! Even with busy schedules – like Darby’s 16hr/wk competitive gymnastics commitments, they value Girl Scouts because it helps their kids in their own ways. While the Silver Award helped Maggie break out of her shell, a more competitive, outgoing Darby has learned to cooperate and share leadership roles with others in her troop.

Jim decided to become PSM 4 years ago after serving as Troop Cookie Dad with Maggie’s Troop 1200. He saw the power of the Cookie Program and an opportunity to use his skills to run it in a professional manner. “I’ve seen the effects of disorganization in other endeavors, so I approach the Cookie Program almost as a profession,” Jim said. This dedication makes Jim an exceptional PSM.

Making sure parents are connected and engaged is a particularly important to Jim because he knows it improves the experience for the girls. “It’s been my experience that when parents have a bad experience, they pull their kids from the program. I want to make sure that not only do the kids have a good time, but the parents are informed, engaged and happy for their girls,” Jim said.

Jim gets the most satisfaction from the Cookie Program when he sees girls learning the 5 Skills. “I want to make it a fun and fair program for all the girls […] and make sure the troops are talking about the 5 Skills. I love seeing the older girls help with accounting and using the skills they’ve learned,” Jim said.

“The Cookie Program is one program, but fits every girl differently. From Daisy to Ambassador Girl Scouts, you can alter it to get the results each girl needs […] so every girl gets a different experience and reaches goals she chooses,” Jim said.

In addition to being a resource for parents, Jim feels good knowing he’s a positive male role model for girls who may not have that influence in their lives. “I love having the opportunity to be a role model in our community, especially for girls that don’t have a male role model. I love talking to the girls and being able to provide them guidance,” Jim said.

At the end of the day, being involved with Girl Scouts means more time for Jim to spend with his daughters. As a dad, he hopes other dads see the opportunities Girl Scouts provides for dads to spend valuable time with their children. “…just because it says ‘Girl Scouts’ doesn’t mean dads can’t be part of it. Dads like to be involved with their daughters…and it doesn’t have to just be moms and girls […] It’s an invaluable opportunity because you can never have too much time with your kids,” Jim said.

We thank the entire Savage family for their incredible dedication to girls and making the Cookie Program an incredible learning opportunity for their service unit. He’s certainly earned the title “Man Enough to be a Girl Scout!” If you know of another awesome Girl Scout volunteer or dad, comment below!

The Gift of Language

Spotlighting Girl Scout Volunteer Carla Redondo

Para ver este blog en español, haga clic aquí

Have you ever thought about what it’d be like to speak a second language? For many girls in our council being bilingual isn’t just a skill they have, it’s a pride point. Being bilingual is a verbal badge of honor that shows they’ve not only learned to speak to a wider audience, but learned about another culture. Carla Redondo, a proud Girl Scout mom and volunteer, believes that being bilingual is a powerful way to help her daughter excel in the world. That’s why she’s stepped up to provide a critical skill to Girl Scouts as a volunteer – English to Spanish translation.

Carla and her family moved to the US seven years ago from Venezuela. They moved to Lawrence, KS because her husband, Roberto, became a Fulbright scholar and was working on his Phd in architecture! He’s now a KU professor and Carla has been able to focus on the most important thing in their lives – their daughters, Helena (8) and Carlota (2 ½). Before leaving Venezuela, Carla got her degree in architecture and was working as a supervisor on projects for her firm. Once in America, she added graphic designer to her extensive list of skills, which has made her an especially valuable resource for Girl Scouts.

When daughter, Helena, became a Girl Scout, Carla was exploring the Spanish section of the Girl Scout website. While there, she saw a note asking for volunteers and contacted Lisa Peña, Manager of the Hispanic Initiative at GSKSMO. The two started talking and the rest is history!

The family loves that Helena is in Girl Scouts because they see her exploring new things. “I think it’s a great experience for her to learn outside of school,” Carla said. It’s the time that she gets to spend with Helena learning about things like nature – which is what she’s noticed her daughter taking a particular interest to. Because Helena attends a school with a no homework policy, Girl Scouts gives her activities to pursue that don’t include watching TV most of the time! “We spend quality time together and even though I’m not a Girl Scout, I’m learning alongside my daughter,” Carla said.

Not only is Carla the assistant troop leader for Helena’s Brown Troop 3861 in Lawrence, she also generously gives her time in other important volunteer roles. Carla is a Puente Volunteer (a communication liaison between a Spanish speaking mother and an English speaking troop) in Shawnee, she’s translated New Leader Express training materials and serves as a bilingual trainer for new leaders.

Her biggest project recently has been to translate the entire Cookie Training Manual! What makes Carla extra special for this project is her background in graphic design, which meant she could translate right in the software that it was designed in. She spent 23 hours translating that one manual – THANK YOU, CARLA! The best part? Seeing her daughter proud of the work she’s doing.

“When I was comparing the two versions of the Girl Scout Cookie Manual, one in English, one in Spanish, Helena asked me why I had both, I told her ‘I did this,’ and she felt so proud,” Carla said.

The time and effort Carla gives to support other Spanish-speaking Girl Scout families and girls is simply incredible. For her, it’s more than just giving back, it’s about instilling pride in her daughter. “By volunteering with Girl Scouts, I’m opening [my daughter’s] eyes to how beneficial it will be to her when she grows up, to be bilingual,” Carla said.

We can’t thank the Redondo family enough for the gift of their skills and time. They’re truly opening up a world of Girl Scouting to girls through language.  Thank you for making a difference in the lives of girls.

If you’re looking for volunteer opportunities, like Carla, let us know! Also, if you’re a Spanish-speaking family and interested in Girl Scouting, please contact Lisa Peña (lpena@gsksmo.org)!

All the Reasons to Camp Like a Girl Scout this Summer!

Camping has long been an aspect of Girl Scouting. Girl Scout Camp is where your G.I.R.L. (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, leader)™ will lead like a Girl Scout.

Because at Girl Scout camp, she will be:

A GO-GETTER: Determined to succeed. Bold. Honest. Fair. Ambitious.

An INNOVATOR: Creative. Will think outside the box. Use resources wisely. Experiment.

A RISK-TAKER: Try new things. Be courageous. Step up. Discover. Embrace the unfamiliar.

A LEADER: Confident. Responsible. Empathetic. Advocate. Empowers others.

Because when she camps like a Girl Scout, she empowers herself for life.

We’re excited to announce that registration for 2017 Summer Camp is now open! We have some new and exciting programs and sessions that we want to make you aware of!

Badges – In most programs, girls will complete steps and earn a badge at resident camp. In all programs, girls will complete steps in additional badges that coincide with girl-led activities!

Teens Only Session – Session 4 (July 6 – 14 & July 9 -14) features programs just for girls going into 6th grade or higher! Teens will rule Camp Daisy and will enjoy connecting with other teens!

Extended Programming – throughout the summer are some extended programs, mostly for teen Girl Scouts, to build skills and friendships that will last a lifetime!

Journeys! – Complete your Sow What Journey (9 – 12 grade) or Breathe Journey (6 – 8 grade) at camp this summer!

Excursions – Learn skills at Camp Daisy, then take them offsite with our resident camp staff and do adventure activities, kayak on a lake (Kayak Kansas), problem solve on a high ropes course (Challenge Accepted) and more!

Mini Camp – for Brownies & Juniors who are new to outdoor experiences and overnights away from home. These two-night experiences will give her a taste of summer camp and leave her wanting more!

We know that choosing to send your Girl Scout to resident camp is a big decision for both you and your girl, so take sure that you both take the Camp Readiness Quiz on page 4 & 5 in our 2017 Summer Camp Digital Guide! If the results indicate that either one of you aren’t quite ready, think about going to camp WITH your Girl Scout!

You & Me: Ladies is for Girl Scouts in K-3 grade and a female caregiver in her life!

You & Me: Gentlemen is for Girl Scouts of all ages and male role model in her life

S’mores & More is for the whole family! Mom, Dad, Brother, Grandma, Grandpa, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins and friends!

We asked our Resident Camp Director Marley Parsons (aka Ferris) why she is so passionate about camp and why it’s so beneficial for girls to go to Girl Scout Resident Camp. As a lifelong Girl Scout and lover of the outdoors, she passed along some great resources to reference when considering summer camp!

 

More than S’mores – In 2014, Girl Scouts of the USA published a study by the Girl Scout Research Institute called More than S’mores. For this study they talked to nearly 3,000 Girl Scouts in fourth-through-eighth-grade about their outdoor experiences

American Camp Association (ACA)-  Camp Daisy Hindman is accredited by the American Camp Association. The ACA is a community of camp professionals who, for over 100 years, have joined together to share their knowledge and experience and to ensure the quality of camp programs. On their website is a great article called The Case for Camp- Why Kids Need it Now More Than Ever.

So what are you waiting for?! Get your Girl Scout registered for Summer Camp! The first 400 girls who register for any camp program (You & Me, S’mores & More, Mini or Resident Camp) will receive this limited edition Camp Daisy bandana!

Cookie Dough Gives Girl Scouts an Opportunity to Choose their Next Big Adventure

Cookie season is officially here and what a special season it is – the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouts selling cookies! We’re sure you’re out and about working your business, collecting those pre-orders; But have you thought about what you’re going to do when Cookie Season comes to a close and you’re faced with the decision of choosing an item from the Girl Recognitions or Cookie Dough?!

What is Cookie Dough you ask?! Cookie Dough is credit that may be earned by Girl Scouts during the annual Cookie Program. Girls can choose to earn “Dough” in lieu of another recognition item! Cookie Dough can be redeemed in a variety of ways at Girl Scouts of NE Kansas & NW Missouri and may be redeemed through Sept. 30, 2017!

Girl Scout Shop – get your year-end recognition items, Girl Scout swag, or buy materials for your next Girl Scout year!

Travel – with a variety of council-sponsored trips coming up in the next few years, you can apply your Cookie Dough to your travel balance!

Outdoor Experiences – get outdoors and try something new! Cookie Dough can be redeemed for any outdoor program we offer – archery, tomahawks, zipline, low ropes and resident camp. And, it also can be redeemed for service unit day camp.

While cookies have long been an aspect of Girl Scouting, so has camping! What better way to celebrate being a Girl Scout than by using your cookie proceeds to go to resident camp?!

Girl Scout Junior Alexis Wolfgang chose Cookie Dough last year, and doesn’t regret that decision!

When she began setting her goals for last year’s program, she had her eyes on item at the 1,250 level – a Chromebook! Alexis put on her entrepreneur hat and turned her business into a family affair! It only seemed appropriate since she helps her dad, Brett with his home remodeling business and her brother, Drake in his Boy Scout fundraising efforts!

From the day the Wolfgang family received their cookies, they were setting up their little shop out of the back of Brett’s truck. Alexis would make the signs and handle the customers and Drake would fashion a costume out of the cardboard cases!

“I like to watch her succeed, set the goal and see it through.” Brett explained. “Every year that comes she works more and more on her own.”

When GS Cookie Season concluded, it was no surprise that Alexis had reached that coved 1,250 goal and earned herself that Chromebook, however she also earned every level leading up to that. Recognition levels are cumulative, so Alexis went through and chose where she wanted to receive Cookie Dough over the item. When it was all said and done, she had earned $150 in Dough!

With that $150 in Cookie Dough, Alexis decided to go to resident camp at Camp Daisy Hindman! While there she rode horses, did STEM activities and went canoeing for the first time ever! In her short three days there she made friends and memories to last a lifetime!

“Selling cookies and hanging out with my friends is my favorite part of Girl Scouts,” Alexis said. “When I look over the recognitions, I like being able to choose cookie dough!”

“She likes it because she can choose to buy things she needs or pay for things she wants to do like camp,” Brett said.

Alexis totally agreed!

So while you’re out and about taking those pre-orders think about increasing your goal to earn some more Dough to Camp Like a Girl Scout! Programs can be found at www.gsksmo.org/camp  and registration officially opens at 9:00 am, today! The first 400 girls who register for any camp program (You & Me, S’mores & More, Mini or Resident Camp) will receive a limited edition Camp Daisy Bandana! Camp balances aren’t due until 3 weeks prior to the program, so you have plenty of time to earn and then redeem that Cookie Dough!

5 Tips & Tricks for a Successful Cookie Program

From Girl Scout Senior, Kimma Edwards

It’s official – we are celebrating a BIG milestone!  Well before Girl Scout Cookies were produced by licensed bakers to sell nationally, Girl Scouts baked and sold cookies on their own. Our girls were entrepreneurs going as far back as 1917! In 2017, we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first known instance of Girl Scouts selling cookies and learning the basic skills and acumen they need to be leaders in business and sales, manage their personal and family finances, and gain self-sufficiency and confidence handling money.

Girl Scout Senior, Kimma Edwards from Olathe, Kansas has nearly mastered those skills. In the 10 years of her cookie business, she has sold over 7,500 boxes! Last year alone she sold 2,000, earning a coveted spot in a suite at Girl Scout Day at the K and being one of our council’s top cookie sellers!

“Selling Girl Scout cookies in general is just so much fun for me. I love seeing my accomplishments at the end of the season,” Kimma said!

We caught up with Kimma to see what tips and tricks she has for Girl Scouts of all ages to be as successful as her with their own businesses in this historic year!

  1. Set a Goal
    “The most important thing to sell is having a goal,” Kimma said.
    Kimma looks at the recognition sheet and sets her goal passed on the items and amount of Cookie Dough she wants to earn. Last year it was suite tickets for Girl Scout Day at the K (2,000 boxes), this year she has her eyes on the luggage set (1,250 boxes).
  1. Use the phrase “Would you like to support my Girl Scout Troop?”
    “You don’t necessarily have to buy cookies to support our troop,” Kimma explains. She says that using the phrase ‘Would you like to support my Girl Scout Troop’ is more polite and that it gets the attention of those who have it in their minds that they don’t want to buy her product for various reasons. It opens the door for her to have a conversation about her goals, how the Cookie Program powers great adventures and Cookie Share.
  2. Work as many Cookie Booths as possible.
    When she was a Daisy, Troop Leader and Mom, Misty Edwards would create a schedule for girls to work in 30 minute shifts at Cookie Booths. Throughout the 10 years, the shifts have expanded and they have been more strategic with their booth setup. Her advice is to cover all the entry and exit points of the location and use the magic phrase above!
  3. Talk to EVERYONE.
    When cookies arrive in February, you will find Kimma carrying a Girl Scout Cookie duffle bag stocked with cookies everywhere she goes and asking everyone she encounters if they would like to support her troop!
  1. Work with your Girl Scout sisters.
    This coincides with #1 – Set a Goal. The girls in Troop 431 know each other’s Cookie Program goals and they work together to achieve them. This past year Kimma was working toward her biggest goal yet, as was her Girl Scout sister Desi, however their goals were different. On the last weekend of Cookie Booths, Kimma and Desi set up their shop at a local Wal-Mart and utilized all the tips above. At the end of the day, instead of splitting the work 50/50, Desi only wanted credit for enough boxes to get her to her goal, giving Kimma the remaining number which just barely pushed her over the 2,000 mark. That’s Girl Scout teamwork right there!

It’s evident that Kimma has learned The 5 Skills (Business Ethics, People Skills, Decision-Making, and Goal Setting) that the Cookie Program has been teaching for 100 years and those are skills that will stay with her for a lifetime.

“I don’t know what it is about it, but selling Girl Scout Cookies is just so much fun. It’s my favorite part of Girl Scouts!” She explained. “It’s even helped me think about what I want to do. I think I want to be a business owner, maybe own a toy store or candy shop because I really love children.”

What tips and tricks do you have? Share them below in the comments section.