Be Prepared! / Big Scout Project / Scouting

As the Cookie Crumbles…

Cookie season came and went without an acknowledgement of it in this blog. I am so sorry.

I didn’t realize how short the season was–January 19-February 25, according to the central TX website. I could’ve sworn I had more time with this. Next year, I’ll be on it.

Only honest-to-goodness girl scouts can sell cookies, directly to the consumer. I know, I know — we’ve all known parents of scouts who do a lot of that heavy lifting in the break rooms  and lobbies of the office buildings in which they work. But hopefully the girls conduct a few transactions of their own, too, because that’s clearly part of the point.

I confess, I’ve come up with plenty of excuses over the years not to buy cookies (“Sorry, I’m low-carbing it,” “Just bought them from my next door neighbor”), but I’ll never do that again. You can find out why in 1:27 right here:

This year, I made myself a promise: buy cookies every single time I saw them being sold. I imagined a freezer full of thin mints carrying me into the summer, actually. But I only saw one scout and her mom in all my travels, holding court inside the front doors of the supermarket on a cold January afternoon.

She’d sold a good chunk of inventory already, and I could see why. She knew her product. She was poised. She was energetic. She could tell you anything about her cookies–the ingredients, the calorie count, the history. She had ideas for serving them. She was a born marketer, and if that’s what she wants to do when she grows up, she should have no problem finding–or making–work for herself. And if nothing else, she’s earned the cookie badge!

Really good cookies, really great packaging!

My delicious takeaway: one box of Thin Mints, one box of Thanks-A-Lot. The latter was new to me, and I bought it mostly because scouts are piloting new more eco-friendly packaging. Let me tell you guys — they are fabulous cookies.

With such a small haul, I put out a call on the BSP Facebook page to see if I could track down some more cookies, and that’s when I heard from Marie, here in Austin.  While her inventory was low (peanut butter, not my thing), she turned me on to Operation Cookie–a great program that sends cookies to active military personnel stationed away from their families. I sent Marie a check for her remaining boxes, and they get sent to the troops.

Great program–and it’s not too late for anyone to meet the sugar needs of our men and women in uniform.

Let’s face it, though–I would have bought a lot more cookies if only I’d encountered them. As successful as the cookies are in their mission (“To Help Girls Do Great Things”), it’s a seriously odd business model. To see what I mean–and to have a great, great laugh–I highly recommend you click right now on this Saturday Night Live video from last spring. And note: Mr. Mulaney, I direct you to the video earlier in this post… we really can’t quarrel with success–even if we do want our Thin Mints in July.

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2 thoughts on “As the Cookie Crumbles…

  1. Jean,

    Thanks for sharing the video. My mother presided over the largest cookie sales in the nation for 2 years; I’m sure cookie sales have exceed those levels now, but it’s amazing what a cookie can do. They fund resident camps, offset the costs of council programs so that girls can experience new and exciting things without having to pay money, and provide camperships (camp scholarships) to allow girls who otherwise couldn’t afford it to go to resident camp.

    As a camp counselor, I remember a young girl named Dolly who came from a very poor family. She came to camp for 7 days with 2 pairs of socks, 2 pairs of underwear, 2 shirts, 2 shorts….you get the idea. She sold over 1,000 boxes of cookies, and her award was one week at the resident camp of her choice. She was so excited to come to camp! She had so much fun, and one of the counselors in her unit washed her clothes every night. She got to swim, ride horses, do archery, play games, just like all the other kids at the camp. And she never would have gotten that opportunity without the simple goodness of that perennial treat, the girl scout cookie.

    Whenever I walk past a cookie both, or answer the door to a child selling cookies, I never say no. I know how difficult it is to ask a perfect stranger who towers over you if they want to buy a girl scout cookie, and as I gladly hand over the money, I see Dolly in each of those girls.

    I similarly by from boy scouts, band/orchestra kids, and basically any child raising money for anything, because I remember the look in Dolly’s eyes when she sat atop that horse in the horse corral.

    Thanks, Jean, for bringing back good memories!

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