This year I am the cookie mom. A phrase that is greeted by a ‘thank god it isn’t me’ or ‘wow are you slightly insane’ look from every other adult I run into. It isn’t so bad really, we have the space, I have a background in logistics and I’m pretty well located for the troop. Some things I messed up because I was new but nothing really bad and I know how to fix them. The online system is ‘functional’ and that is a kind description but it is better than nothing. It eats up time and energy and resources and I’m frustrated at the issues in the system and our local area. However, I volunteer to do this because my kids truly benefit from the cookie selling process.
Here is my story; My oldest was painful, hide behind you, shy. Something about selling cookies helped her interact with other adults. She listened when we said ‘talk to their eyes’, the script is easy and expected, and people generally like the product so she was rewarded over and over by people saying yes. Now she has a much easier time giving asking questions either in class or in a store and her independence and self-confidence grew because of this process. That will be something that will help her in ways she won’t even know.
My second is a natural talker but this gives her not just an opportunity to interact but a showcase. She can dance and nobody tells her to stop. She also gets a bit of the lesson that when you pay attention to the process it works better as her sister racks up sales by asking every.single.person.
Number 3 was a tag along for years and now has her own troop. Doing something separate from her sisters and me is great for her. By all reports, she is a star at the booth and that is just how kids are – when mom is gone behavior is 110% better. I did join her for a booth this weekend and she was very well behaved and a good salesperson. They are only 6 but are doing a great job.
All three of them are amazingly nonbiased in their sales. Person covered in gang tatoos? “would you like some girl scout cookies?” Group of teens not speaking English? “would you like some girl scout cookies?” Little old people who literally can’t hear them “would you like some girl scout cookies?”. I think people buy them just because they are considered worthy to ask when others would cross the street, ignore, or avoid them. How great is this for their future? They live in a world where everyone is worth the time to ask and every decline is answered with a “have a nice day” because the next opportunity is moments away. <- BTW this was also a great learned trait, the No’s are as valuable as the Yes in learning about the world.
The primary purpose of the cookie sales is to fund the girl scouts but for me that is a side benefit to all the great personal skills they are learning.
That being said, in the past 7 days I’ve been to a cookie booth on Thursday night 6-9, Saturday 12-2 AND 5-8. Sunday 4-6. Monday we stopped at a few places and today we have another list. In and around cookie booths I grocery shopped, had an extra kid for a playdate, saw a local school play, and in general had a great weekend because we had things going on but nothing was overwhelming. This week we are entering the tricky phase of getting rid of inventory and I have some good plans to hopefully make it work out. In the end it is worth it and if anyone feels like supporting a MN troop here is our online link.
(seriously though, no pressure)
ps. Just because I find value in this crazy activity does not mean I won’t be very happy when its over. I’m already thinking of ways to celebrate freedom from the cookie mafia.
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