Monday, December 10, 2012

Brownie Badge: Give Back

It's almost that time of year again in Central Missouri... the time when girls gain skills such as goal-setting, decision-making, money management, people skills, and business ethics. It's important that young girls understand that this isn't just about cookies. The Cookie Program isn't the only time they will need the skills they may not even know they are learning.

Our troop, before selling one box of cookies, sat down to talk about what we were going to do with the money. How were we going to help the community with the money we earned? We talked about the Cookie Share program. Cookie Share is a way for people to purchase a box of cookies and then it goes to a charity. We could either go with the group Girl Scouts selected or we could choose our own local group to help. 

This badge was a lot of talking and planning, rather than some others where you are crafting, hiking, and playing team building games. We broke it down like this:

1. Businesses that give back 
As a group, the girls (and a parent) went online and found a company that gives back. The girls then brought information about the company to share at the meeting. 

2. Set a giving goal
We talked about what was fair to take from our cookie money to give back to a charity. We "ran the numbers" and broke it down. The girl remembered from the previous year that we normally do 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 for Spend, Save, Give. They felt that was a good way to divide it up and wanted to stick with that. 

3. Talk about involving customers
As a group we designed a Cookie Share flyer. I then made copies and each girl took one with her cookie packet to spread the word. We also used these at our booth sale.

4. Practice giving back
This really wasn't completed until the cookies arrived. The girls selected the local Ronald McDonald House to receive our Cookie Share cookies. But, they did plan on how to present the cookies. They wanted to include a card and they even said we needed to check and make sure what kind of cookies they would accept. Several of the girls are in "no peanut" classrooms, so they are aware of food allergies.

5. Tell customers
Each year our troop comes up with a thank you postcard they all sign to put with each order of cookies. In order to meet this goal, the girls decided to add a short note on the thank you that said how many boxes of cookies we donated to the Ronald McDonald House through the Cookie Share Program. This was a little tricky, as the initial order period was over but direct sales were still going strong. So, we formatted the note to say the number of boxes from the initial sale. 

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