Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Cookie Craziness!

Well how does this time manage to sneak up on me every year?  As a seasoned leader I think I have finally mastered the art of denial over the Holidays.  It's best to just hit the ground running Jan 1.  In my service unit, cookies arrive the weekend after the school Winter Break.  I barely have the Christmas Tree down and Holiday decorations packed away and I have to make room for the cases of cookies.  With 2 large troops, I'd be lying if I did not say this causes my heart to twitch.

As Girl Scout Leaders, we are always willing and constantly adding more responsibilities, expectations and commitments.  Cookies should not be one of them!   Digest that tip for a minute... Leaders should delegate the cookie job.  I struggle with taking on more than I can handle.  In the past I felt guilty asking for help or insinuating I can't do it all.  Leading 2 troops fixed my guilt issues.  I can't physically (or mentally) tackle it all.  Relying on parents to help with cookies is not only wise, but a necessity.

Fortunately I have never had a problem finding willing moms to help make my job easier.  I ask for a Cookie Mom volunteer(s) at my first parent meeting of the year and stress that we will not sell cookies if I cannot find a mom(s) willing to be a Cookie Mom.  If anyone expresses interest, I spend several weeks encouraging and reassuring the candidate they would be perfect for the job.  Just because I am blessed to have Cookie Moms does not mean I am out of the cookie equation all together.  I keep in close contact with my Cookie Moms and encourage them to let me know if they are getting frustrated, if they need help or have special requests for the troop parents. I feel my job as a leader is to make my Cookie Moms happy and make the job as easy on them as possible.  This increases the odds they might return each year as Cookie Mom.  There is nothing more valuable to a leader than a well trained, experienced Cookie Mom!  For this reason I like to reward my moms at the end of cookie sales.  Sometimes the troop elects to give them a gift card or I will host a luncheon.  Last year we enjoyed an evening of light appetizers, wine and fellowship at a painting studio.

If you manage a large troop(s) sometimes you need to get creative.  It is a bit unreasonable to assume one Mom can manage cookies for 26 girls.  Her entire garage, floor to ceiling, would be packed with cases of cookies.  There are ways to make cookie management more do-able for your troop.  You could have multiple cookie moms, you could have a "Booth Scheduler" and/or you could break the cookie mom job down into 3 separate jobs with accounting, initial order and re-order.  Big troops have to find ways to accommodate the demand with the resources and volunteers you have.  Consult your service unit manager for suggestions and advise.  Ultimately you will need her blessing and support in order for your cookie selling experience to be successful.  Just be aware the more people you have involved in the cookie selling event, the more leader coordination that will be involved.

I always tackle this crazy time of year with humor.  It is easy to become stressed by the chaos.  Fortunately there are plenty of clever minds and internet fun to put a smile on your face.  Here are just a few:

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