Thursday, January 7, 2016

Girl Scout Cookie Season Q & A {for Customers}

So I asked on Facebook in a group I am in what is the most common questions you get.
I got some from parents, some from scouts, and some from of course you the customer!

Realise that these situations, as bizarre as they may seem, leaders have come across. This is to help you in these pickles of situations to be able to handle them with what leaders have learned from it. 

So here you go!

Girl Scouts, Cookie Season, Customers, Q&A, Via Bella, Troop 5823

Q:  Customers . Why are they so expensive? Any sugar free?

A: They are cookies, they are not sugar free. if you are on a diet or need sugar free you can check sugar content for the least sugar or feel free to donate a box of cookies to our hometown heroes or to the military. They can seem expensive, can't they? Instead of thinking of just the product, think of it as a gift for donating to the Girl Scouts. When you buy a box of cookies, you are donating to the troop, the council in which you buy them to keep camps open and to give scholarships to girls, plus for the actual product itself (it is not free for the Girl Scouts to make!) We appreciate your donation to the girls and we hope you like your gift of your choice of cookies! 

Q: Why are they only sold once a year? 

A: They are only sold once a year- yes. The amount of work that it takes in incredible to be able to sell them. While we definitely focus on making the troop money we also focus on the skills. And like any subject in school, you only cover a unit for a certain amount of time before moving on to another unit. For them to master the skills, they do not need to be doing the booths all year long. Also, on a more practical front, do you want your cookies to melt before you buy them? That is why we sell in the fall or winter into spring. Otherwise, they would melt and you would be a very sad customer. 

Q: Why do we have to wait so long before we get them? 

A: We have to put the order in and the bakers make these according to the initial orders for troops plus what they will need for booths, plus extras for the cookie cupboards. They also have to shipped out and give to councils. Then they are given to Service Units. Then they have to be divided for the troops and cupboards. Then the troops get them. Then we divide them for our parents. Then our parents get them to you! 
Q: Why can't I order gluten-free from the girls?

A: UPDATE: In 2017, you can order them from your girls in this council, GSCNC. However, after mid January, it will be based completely on availability that the girls have from their troops. 

The toffee-tastics, which are the gluten free ones are very limited. So you can order them from your girls. However, due to them being limited to availability, you are only able to get them if the girls are able to get them. Troops had to order them in September of 2015 for selling in January 2016. Yes, that early! So again, availability is the key.

Q: Why did they change the names?

A: This is a common misconception. If you have moved recently, you may think we have changed names but in reality either the flavours changed due to popularity or the bakers are different. There are two different bakers for Girl Scout Cookies-- Little Brownie Bakers (such a cute name, right?) and ABC Bakers. My council uses Little Brownie Bakers. 

Q: Why isn't there a sugar free cookie? 

A: They have tried them several times and they do not sell. Bottom line, the troops suffer and get stuck with the cookies that don't sell. So if a cookie does not sell and the troop has it, they can't give that box of cookies back. Often times, we already have extras at the end of a season, let alone that won't sell. 

Q: Do you have (insert cookie made by other baker or cookie that has been discontinued) cookies?

A: What we have available, you will see. If we have the ability to get more of a cookie, get their/your information and we can get it to you. Otherwise, no, it makes no sense that we would be able to have access to another bakers' cookies or discontinued ones. 

Q: Why are they so much? You know I can get a box in the store that tastes the same for half the cost all year long.

A: As much as my first response is to cringe at this question- I will answer it. They are so much because of how they break down into costs. We pay for product, proceeds to council, troop, service units, scholarships, camps, etc. Think of it this way-- same as going to a restaurant. You are not just paying for the product. You are donating to the troop and getting something back for it-- win win for everyone. And honestly, more people pay more for a cup of coffee from Starbucks than what they would buy a box of cookies that supports girls. 

Q: Where are the "real" Girl Scouts? (While CSA in FULL uniform stand before them.) "Shame on you for taking away the sales from the little girls."

A: This is incredibly offensive and I will defend my older girl scouts the same way I would my little girls. First off, those Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors in my troop are in the same troop with those daisies and brownies. You don't ever say that to a girl scout. If they are selling to you, they have just as much right to sell as the younger girls. They are not taking sales from a daisy just because they are older. They have that spot to sell girl scout cookies. Also, you are funding their dreams to be congressional aides or earn their gold awards where they turn around and do an immense amount of community service back into the community. That is why they are selling. 

Q: Why are you NOT wearing green?

A: My first response would be, because I am not a leprechaun. For real though, why would I be wearing all green? Is it St Patrick's Day? I am girl scout or a girl scout leader and our colours are not all green. We have these amazing colours (blue, brown, green, tan) to be able to celebrate growing up and all the learning we do in girl scouts. 

Q: You are too old to sell cookies?

A: No. If I am a girl scout, no matter my age, I have dreams and goals. You could be funding a trip to the museum, my community service projects, my uniform, all the amazing things I get to do. As I get older, your money does just as much good because I have learned to give back. I will do that within my community service, my bronze/silver/gold awards.

Q: Do you take food stamps? (Booths on the 1st or 2nd day of the month)

A: Simple answer...No.

Q: I just got home from XX can I send cookie to XX company?

A: Yes we need a name and APO address. You will need to help with donating anything toward shipping. 

Q: Sometimes customers ask the girls what they do with the cookie money or how will the troop spend what they earn.

A:  Every troop uses their cookie money differently. In my troop specifically I make it required that as well as a fun activity we do a community service as well as a practical use. For this year my kids want to go to the pool, spa day, hiking, camping, horse back riding. They were required to choose a community service project. They choose Operation Christmas Child as well as doing a Walking Library. The practical use will be used for patches when they do activities. 


You, the customer, let me know if you have other questions.
Catch me on twitter at @Via_Bella with hashtag #gscookieqsVB
I will answer them and up date them here! 

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