We came, we saw, we sold!

Posts tagged ‘Girl Scouts’

This is For The Birds

Who knew that a cookie booth could be just like an Alfred Hitchcock movie.

It all started one evening around 6:30 at a high-selling booth location.  The girls had plenty of room to roam and customers to greet.  Everything was great until the black cloud appeared on the horizon, and the bird apocalypse began.  Like the scene in World War Z where zombies scale the Jerusalem wall, the black feathered hoard came roiling toward us through the sky.  The grackle noise was annoying, but nothing compared to what lay in store.  When the flock moved from the trees in the parking lot to the roof’s edge, my partner mom and I realized we might be in for trouble.  We were.

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“Bombs” began to fall from the sky.  Exploding on cookie boxes, our storage bins, the sidewalk, and even passersby.  I hurried to the car for umbrellas and wipes while she covered the table with plastic.  Both girls hid under the awning of the store and wouldn’t come out even for a sale.

They laughed as we ran around screaming like Tippy Hedren in The Birds, but when a grackle landed a direct hit to my fellow mother’s jacket, things escalwet-ones-wipes-packated.  “Get it off!  Get it off,” she shrieked, dancing around.  Oh man, I like nature as much as anyone but bird poop is the worst.  Not even a 100+ box sale is worth this.  Finally, we demanded that our Scouts come help.  With umbrellas in hand, all spent the next 15 minutes wiping down cases, individual boxes, the table cloth and each other.  Satisfied it was clean and ready for business again, the girls went back to their posts and immediately scored a customer.  She was excited about Peanut Butter Patties and eagerly grabbed the box only to recoil with her hand covered in, you guessed it.  Amazing how people find the only one you missed.   A big apology and a few wipes later, she still bought a box, selected from a sealed case under the table.

Breathing a sigh of relief around 7:30 when the grackle offensive ended, my partner mom looked at me and said, “This is the shittiest booth I’ve ever had.”

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On my honor, I will try…

We’ve heard it all standing at Girl Scout cookie booths for the last eight years.

“Just how much money do you actually get for selling these?”

“Wow, they’ve gone up again. I remember when they were $_____.”

“I can get more cookies for a lot less in the store!”

“I don’t buy these cookies because Girl Scouts supported (insert scandal of the year).”

As that last lady began to explain in detail her issues with Planned Parenthood and Wendy Davis, my first reaction was to cover the girls’ ears but we all just stood politely and nodded until she left.

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Girl Scout cookies are fun to eat and the largest fundraiser of an organization that has been promoting the empowerment of girls and women for over 100 years. What may feel like an annoyance waiting for you outside Wal-Mart or CVS or even on your doorstep is actually one of the most multi-faceted educational experiences out there.

Many important lessons are taught through this process: learning to count change, handling multiple customers at once, employing new sales techniques, understanding proper attire for the weather, and responding graciously when customers decline. But what amazes me every year is the human relations aspect, an almost missional part of the practice. You truly come in contact with all walks of life and interact with people you might never meet otherwise. Being in their presence is what lends cookie booths their depth and significance.

“I’ve been waiting on someone to ask me and no one has. You are the first one and it’s been weeks. Thank you so much, of course I’ll buy some!” –a young man covered in tattoos and piercings.

“We got these from you in Afghanistan and it was always such a treat!” –Mike, veteran

“Girls, I would really like to buy some but I have this other habit (motions to cigarette case in his hands), one you should NEVER start, it’s a terrible thing.”

“I’d like to buy a box for the next person who comes by, here’s the money and you choose, okay?” (The next person was quite astonished when their box was free.)

“What’s your favorite flavor? Here’s a box for you and your selling partner.”

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Cookie booths are a lot of work. You haul around cases of cookies, a table, signs, your moneybox and all the accoutrement that goes on your Scout. Not to mention that in Texas in January and February the temperature may be 20 degrees or it may be 70 and it can change in the blink of eye. What you might not realize is that the girls you see at cookie booths want to be there. They’ve set a sales goal that will help them earn money to further their education and life experience.

For your part as the customer, it’s okay to say, “No.” That’s all part of sales. Just keep in mind when you pass a booth that you are part of how these girls see the world. What you share with them, monetary or otherwise will inform their view of others and society in general.

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Want to know the actual bottom line? Check out, http://www.gsctx.org/en/cookies/about-girl-scout-cookies/where-cookie-money-goes.html

For our troop, it is about $7000 a year which pays for all troop activities, materials and will be sending the girls to New York City this summer on a seven day trip.

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Let’s Review

We made it home last night about 9:20 p.m. It was a wild ride with four stops along the way, stand still traffic on I-35 and torrential rain. But we got back in one piece and it was a great trip. Well worth the three years of ‘banked’ cookie money from selling over 20,000 boxes of Girl Scout cookies. So, let’s review just what a cookie can do!

Last Sunday, thirteen girls and six moms headed to Tyler, Texas en route to Hot Springs, AR. Fun at the pool and all you can eat pizza.

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Then on to Hot Springs the next day to live at the Radford Girl Scout House for the week.

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Our first activity of the week was to dig for diamonds at Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro.

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Followed by a quick trip to Sonic for supper. Yum, Slushies!

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Wednesday we all wore our pink shirts and visited Garvan Woodland Gardens in the morning,

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Bath House Row, The Grand Promenade and The Arlington Hotel for refreshments in the afternoon.

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We walked up the hill to fill our jugs with natural spring water and shopped downtown.

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Finally ending the evening with a haunted tour.

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Late night after getting back to the house and having snacks and showers.

Little Rock bound the next morning and ready to learn about Heifer International.

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Enjoyed our time at Heifer Village and learning about “Green Building.” Then we were off for fun in the sun? at Willow Springs.

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Not so much…

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So we came home for supper and the girls had a blast just hanging out, visiting and giving foot massages! What a deal.

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Bedtime, sweet dreams ladies.

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After a lazy morning and a delicious meal of breakfast tacos, we departed for Magic Springs and Crystal Falls.

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What a day of overwhelming fun. Over eating and playing hard, hard, hard!
It led to an interesting night for some. Seeing Krista out of bed and thinking it was time to get up, Miss Karen deflated her air mattress at 4:00 a.m.–oops!

6:00 a.m. came way too early for everyone but there were kapers to do and cars to load. They did not enjoy the kapers!

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We left the house in true GS fashion–cleaner (way cleaner) than we found it. Then it was time for breakfast and more spring water fun before hitting the road to Texas.

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It took us quite a while to get home but we made it eventually and all Safe and Sound.

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Thank you leaders and mamas! It was a wonderful, memorable trip for the books. The shirts were quite fitting by Saturday too. 🙂

Just in case you can’t read them, they say, “Fatigued Mom.”

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Time to go!

Leaving for a full day in Hot Springs. More to come soon. Good morning!

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Sonic Stop!!

The diamond fun lasted so long we scrapped plans to eat at the GS House tonight. Sonic time baby! Hungry girls, time to eat and have a pleasant ride home.

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Day One, Headed to Tyler

It’s been a good day. Hit the road from P-Ville about 9:20 this morning and arrived in Tyler around 2:30. Smooth sailing on the road, not too many potty stops!20130714-184631.jpg

We stopped for a picnic lunch at the park in Jewett, Texas.  It was such a pleasant day today, about 77 degrees outside and cloudy.  Amazing! We all looked at each other like, are we still in Texas?  Perfect driving weather too.20130714-184643.jpg

Pulled in to Tyler and found the hotel.  The girls were shocked that all we had planned for them was swimming.  It was a good surprise and they spent hours in the pool and running around the courtyard of the hotel.  Lots of fun to be had there.20130714-184702.jpg

Some housekeeping, prepping for lunches tomorrow and the all important snacks that each girl and mom will get two of every day.  Krista has devised an ingenious way of handing them out in a fair process.  Doesn’t that giant bag of treats look like fun?  Who wouldn’t want to plunge their hand into that and pull out a surprise?  And they get to twice each day!20130714-184707.jpg

While they swam and played, we ordered pizza from Mazzio’s.  Wow, been a long time since I had their pizza.  Denise and I both have high school memories associated with their restaurants.  The girls were getting a little antsy waiting on the pizza but the TV and a funny movie calmed them for just long enough.20130714-184717.jpg

Yum!  Hot pizza for everyone and salad with ranch, who could ask for more on the first day of ‘vacation?’  They ate and ate and ate.20130714-184722.jpg

and then they ate some more!20130714-184734.jpg

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Now it’s shower time and they are all upstairs getting clean and into PJ’s.  You should have heard them all “calling” the showers.  “I call first, I call second, well, I call third,” and on and on.  Thankfully, they are all good sports.  We think they’ve worn themselves out but will top them off with a sandwich making session once they are all clean and ready.  Then off to separate rooms for a little TV and ‘quiet’ time before bed.  We’ll let you know how that went in the morning, ha!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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