Sunday, January 3, 2016

All About Girl Scout Cookie Booths

This is what you need to know about booths! I write this directly for my troop, Troop 5823, but this is for every body. If you are a mum, a girl, new troop leader, whoever, you will have access to this. I learned a lot of lessons my first year doing cookie season last year. we did very well, but it was a lot of work and a lot of learning lessons a long the way! I am super stoked to share some of the knowledge with you. 

And remember, if you are seeing little girls outside a store in the freezing cold selling cookies, they have worked hard and are dreaming big, so buy from them. Or even donate (a box of cookies) to their troop! It will go far and affirm the girls! 

All About Girl Scout Cookie Booths, Girl Scout Cookies, Cookie Booths, GSCNC, Troop 5823, Via Bella

1) They are a TON of fun...

If you let it be. No, really, they are! They can be a huge blast. You can sing, dance, you name it. The  more fun you have, the better. I mean, who can't resist a bunch of singing girls? 

2) Booths May Change

Sometimes, not always, booths will change. This is due to better dates or locations. Or sometimes a booth will be cancelled. Sometimes our decision, the stores, or council.

3) It snowed? AWESOME. We are still doing the booth!

This is sometimes, most of the time actually, when are booth sales are the best. When the weather is the crappiest. Why? Because many troops will lack for a better term chicken out on doing a booth. And don't let the weather deter you because a lot of the times the stores will let you set up in a better location.

4) Last Minute Booths

Sometimes, booths will pop up, sometimes because of #2 (the weather) and we can snag up a booth another troop may not want to do. This may result in confusion, but don't be. Think of this as another way to get to that goal.... I mean, how many girls have said they want to earn the kindle? All these booths add up!

5) Prepare for Weather

You can have it be 50°F one day and 20°F the next. You need to be prepared to have what you need during the booths, including proper clothes, snacks, water, etc.

6) Can We Have More Than One Booth At a Time?

 Yes, our troop can have more than one booth at a time-- as long as we meet the requirements of girls in booths. In fact, it may boosts our sales too. The other reason for this being that we have one in Hyattsville and near the White House because people in our troop live all over and I am doing my best to respect that. 

7) What Are the Requirements for Booths?

In reference to #5, we need 2-4 girls, although sometimes there will be flakes and it will be one girl, which has happened once, but that is very rare! We need at least one registered adult there at all times, but really should have 2 adults, one being registered. 

8) Why Are There So Many Booths?

I generally have A LOT of booths signed up for but can release the ones we can't do. This allows you to pick times that work for you in locations that work for you. I have places all over that work in trying to secure places that would sell the best. Once I know for sure that we can't do one, I will release. The least amount of girls needed is 2, but in emergency, can do one. I have historically only had to release a few. 

9) How Many Booths Should My Daughters Do?

At least 2! The more you do, the more she will sell and the more she will reach her goal. If don't do any other fundraisers this year, and assume we won't, this will be the biggest part of doing fundraising. This pays for our patches, events, etc. 

10) How Does the FB RSVPs work?

I will RSVP girls in order of FB RSVPs and stick to that. Have not had a problem so far (meaning not the whole troop of girls at one time). Anyone else who RSVPs will be the back up. So if there are 5, we will do all 5 girls. But more than that really hinders and lowers the selling process for the girls. 

11) I Can't Do A Booth I RSVPed For...

Please update as you can and can't do booths. It takes a lot of energy to do booths and I just need to be up to date where you are at. It makes everyone more on edge when you don't follow through rather than just saying you can't do it. 

12) What If You Can't Make the Booth as the Leader?

If you do cookie booths without me, you will check out cookies and materials and check them back in with me. You are in charge of everything and will sign them in and out. As well, if you do Troop Cookies on the Go it will work the same. 

13) I was in Charge of a Booth and I have Less Money Than We Sold...

This happened last year and honestly sometimes it is the girls miscounting change. That is why it is super important to help guide them. Another great reason to have at least 2 adults. If you don't help double check what they are giving back, you will be held liable for the difference. When you check out the troop change as well as the cookies, everything is accounted for. This is to protect you. 

14) Can My Friend From Another Troop Join Us....

Yes, but it can complicate things. If they are looking to earn cookie credit rather than just helping out, I have to go through a process to transfer cookies and money to the other troop or vice versa. This is to make sure that the girls who are working hard get the credit. The exception I will make, because I want other girl scouts to experience this, is to contact me via the troop email and the email of that parent and their troop leader. It will get complicated as in having to transfer cookies and funds from that day's booth over to the parent or leader. So it is easiest not to unless they don't expect cookie credit. I will occasionally make exceptions though. 

15) Do I have to wear my uniform? 

Yes, it identifies you as a scout. It is like working at Wal Mart and expecting that people know you work there without wearing the uniform. You will or could see a dip in your sales if you don't.

16) Why Can Only 2-4 Girls Work The Booth?

Several reasons that only 2-4 girls can work a booth. Safety reasons, noise level, focus for the girls, and also division of labour and proceeds that go back to them. If you have to split the boxes sold amongst 5 girls versus 2, it makes a difference how many you get. 

17) I Know That Susie Q RSVPed With Me, Why is She Not Working The Booth?

This will very rarely happen but say Susie Q has done 10 booths and Amanda P has only done 1, I will will try to fit Amanda in where I can. Now, most of the time, Susie Q and Amanda P will be working the booth with your daughter. But if we have 10 girls RSVP for the same booth, I want to be fair to everyone. 

18) Apple's Daughter Only Worked 1 Hour of the Booth While Mine Worked 4 hours. How is the Division of Boxes Sold Done? 

I am fair on this front. If Apple's daughter only sold for one hour, I will credit her for the division of boxes sold that hour. It makes it more complicated for me, but more fair for the girls. I don't want any girl feeling they are getting shafted in any way in the boxes they get for selling.

Example: 200 Boxes sold in 4 hours. There were 4 Girls the first hour and 3 the last 3 hours. 
That is 50 boxes an hour. 
First Hour = 50/4 girls = 12.5 Boxes 
Second, Third And Four Hour = 50/3 girls = 16.6 Boxes x 3 = 49.8 boxes
With any denominator boxes, that also gets split.
Hope that makes sense. 

19) Sam, Genia, and Angel sold 500 boxes at their booth and we only Sold 100. 

There is nothing wrong with this. What is sold is what is sold. There is no telling how successful a booth will be or won't be. That is why you have to play, have fun when you sell and work hard. When you do your sales go up! I have worked hard on my part and done my research with what business' have their busy times so you can sell more. I can only do so much, which I already do a lot, to get you the best spots I can as your troop leader. 

20) Can I Bring My Personal Stash of Cookies to Sell at the Booth?

This is a huge no for several reasons. I have set up a booth at the end of the year for this first off. Second off, it throws off the numbers big time if someone does this and gives an unfair advantage to one girl versus another. Now, if we run out of cookies, yes, and I will get your make up batch of cookies to you another time. I have had happen where I swap cookies out, etc etc. So there are situations where it may warrant it, but not without asking and generally no. 

21) I am in Charge of the Cookie Booth, What Will That Look Like?

A) You pick up the troop change, the cookies, the materials I have, etc. You will sign for these. 
B) Go to your booth with plenty of time. 
C) Go in, talk to the store manager to let them know you are there (often great to have your second person do this or stay with the stuff).
D) Set Up where they ask you to. Some stores will care, others won't. If it is overly nasty outside, ask for an alternate spot but be respectful.
E) Start Selling. Make sure to cue the girls in on what they are doing, especially if it is their first booth. 
F) Put out the donation jar if you have one-- not always will you have one. 
G) Always check the change made by the girls. If you don't you will be held liable for differences. 
H) Always check off the cookies sold-- tally marks, whatever-- it makes a huge difference. This can be a great task to give the girls. 
I) Take down-- you can keep selling as you take down. Sometimes there will be a troop behind you, sometimes not. 
J) Come back to me, bring all the materials, cookies, money, to check back in. We will count it and sign off on all of it. 

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