Okay, I wasn’t even cookie manager, so maybe I’m being a little dramatic. And I totally failed at the pre-sale thing, but let me tell you, a month and half of manning the cookie booth every weekend? That can wear you down. Let me check my math…2-21, 2-28, 3-21, 3-22, 3-28…okay, so it wasn’t a month and a half every weekend, and my husband even took her to the second, but three times in two weeks makes it feel like a month!
My daughter thought so, too, and was pretty much done this weekend. Too much, too close, I think. If it had been spread out more throughout the month, I think she would have kept up the enthusiasm. As it is, we’re both glad to be done. However, she did really enjoy the experience and is excited to do it again next year complete with sign making and decorations.
So what did I learn?
- Pre-sales may or may not be important, depending on your daughter’s goals. She still sold over two-hundred boxes.
- Two-hundred boxes may sound like a lot, and it is, but these cookies sell.
- Troop prep really shouldn’t wait until cookie information is everywhere and the packets are being handed out. A leader should be on the ball and start cookie prep and planning at the beginning of the year, at least if you want to add badge work or booth decoration. It needs to be on the calendar early! Time flies.
- I don’t want to be cookie manager! I didn’t want to before, but now I really don’t want to.
- I love this simplified, one page size order form (MiniOrderCard) that I found on Southern Alabama’s Council website. This is great for passing around an office or potentially sorting orders by location (office, Sunday School, dance class, etc.) Of course, if you don’t use ABC Bakery the card won’t have the correct cookie selection listed, but the website has other cookie sales resources that might be useful.
- Keeping track of booth sales for the cookie manager’s benefit is easier if you use graphics instead of words. Even adults find pictures faster than words, so for girls, having each cookie visible on the sheet instead of listed makes the whole process a lot smoother. I edited up my own graphic to use:
- And then promptly forgot to print out a new sheet our second booth slot. So, not having any ink for our home printer, I grabbed the unused pre-order form and some post-its, clipped it nutrition fact side up to a clipboard, slapped a post-it over the facts/under each picture, and viola: sales record. (Just be sure to label each post-it before you pull it off so the cookie manager can tell which note goes with which cookie.)
- Just because one Brownie can only stand to stay behind the table and man the money box for 5 minutes before she abandons it to talk to people doesn’t mean she’ll like the idea of not taking turns (even if the other girl present is really uncomfortable being in front of the table).
- On a related note, division of tasks can be confusing and lead to mild drama at this age group. One handles the money and the other sells, right? So “why is the girl at the money box calling out to people as they walk past?” “That’s my job.” “It’s confusing if we’re both talking to people.”
- Upon arrival, it is best to make one or two cases loaded with a few boxes of each cookie and the money box the first things unloaded, because people will inevitably want to buy while you’re setting up and all is mass confusion.
- It needs to be clear that one girl handles money at a time, and that girl should only deal with one customer at a time. Otherwise, overwhelming confusion is a real possibility.
And that’s about it for our cookie journey this year.