Friday, January 13, 2017

Help Older Girl Scouts Have a Successful Cookie Season!



Cadette, Senior and Ambassador Girl Scouts already know what a cookie can do – and have the experience to take them places through the Cookie Program.
As a teen, Girl Scout Cookies can bring girls a world of experiences! Whether they’re earning the Silver or Gold Award, traveling to new places, making a difference through community service – or even paying for their Girl Scout membership (or lifetime membership!) next year – our older Girl Scouts build on those Five Skills they learned as a Daisy or Brownie.
Here are a few tips for older Girl Scouts to have a successful Cookie Program:

Use Digital Cookie.
Girls can superpower their cookie sales with Digital Cookie, offering fun, easy tools to reach cookie customers, both near and far, while learning 21st century business skills.
And guess what? Girls who used the Digital Cookie platform in addition to traditional sales sold 76% more cookies and reached their goals faster—so amazing.

Approach businesses.
Corporate sales can be a great way for older girl troops to expand their cookie selling methods and sell more cookies in a short amount of time. Working with the council staff and community leaders, girls can identify large companies that might buy large quantities of cookies to give out to customers or employees. Or, the employees themselves might be interested in stocking up. 

Not sure where to start? Try these businesses:
  • Car Dealers (individual or an auto center) can purchase cookies and give a case to every customer who buys a car in March. 
  • Service Companies (house cleaners, oil change outlets, dry cleaners, etc.) can stock up on cookies and give a box to every customer on Girl Scout birthday or during a special promotional day. What customer wouldn’t love to come home to a clean house AND a box of cookies on the counter? 
  • Corporations can buy cookies and distribute to employees as a thank you for a special project. 
  • Real Estate Agents may want cookies to serve at open house events during the month of March. Give a case of cookies for every house sold (or maybe make arrangements for a year’s worth of cookies). 
  • Hotels and B & B Locations can purchase cookies to serve on their concierge floor or at afternoon tea during the month of March. They could also award a box to a “guest of the day” during the month of March. 
Check out this special Cookies@Work toolkit to help girls maximize sales!

We’ll also let service unit cookie managers know when a business in their area is interested in being contacted by a Girl Scout.

Participate in Operation: Sweet Appreciation. 

Girls who participate in Operation: Sweet Appreciation (OSA) or another Gift of Caring program sell an average of 70 more boxes than girls who don't. OSA donations can be made on the Goal Getter Order Card, Digital Cookie and at booth sales and all donations count toward each girl’s and/or troop’s overall sales.

Download these fun printables to use at booth sales to encourage people to donate.

Maximize social networks. 

Older Girl Scouts use the Internet for a variety of reasons including the online marketing and sale of approved Girl Scout related products.

Check out these social media graphics that can be shared to help spread the word about Girl Scout Cookies.

Just be sure girls stay safe and take the Girl Scout Internet Safety Pledge before they start.

Build skills by earning badges.
Girls can take their cookie sales to new levels by earning cookie-related badges and activity pins. Cookie Business badges demonstrate that girls at every level learn specific skills related to running their own business. Cadettes can work on writing an effective business plan or marketing plan. Seniors learn how to show college admissions officers and employers the benefits of the sales experience, as well as increasing customer loyalty. And Ambassadors learn about profit and loss, and research and develop new ways to build their cookie business. Sweet!

Want more resources?
Lots of tools are at your fingertips!
Little Brownie Baker Teen Resources (Please note: Digital Cookie replaces the Cookie Club for our council.)

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Scholarship opportunity: 2017 Chuck McLane Scholarship Program

2017 Chuck McLane Scholarship Program
Councils Must Submit 1-2 Nominees to GSUSA No Later Than February 21, 2017

In June of 2013, GSUSA announced the five year Chuck McLane Scholarship available for Girl Scout Gold Award Recipients. The scholarship program awards a $10,000 college scholarship to two (2) recipients each year, up to a total of ten (10) recipients by 2017. Meet the eight scholarship recipients awarded to date. This program is made possible through the generous support of the Arconic Foundation (formerly called Alcoa Foundation).

Who is eligible to apply?
  • Girl Scout Gold Award recipients who completed  a STEM Take Action Project (project involves a STEM field -Science, Technology, Engineering or Math)
  • Recipients who will attend an accredited four year college or university as a freshman beginning in the fall of 2017 to pursue and complete studies in a STEM-related field. (At time of submission,  applicants may not be enrolled in college yet but will have to confirm enrollment before scholarship can be awarded.)
The parameters and structures of the scholarship  include:
  • Scholarships are awarded to Gold Award recipients with an innovative, sustainable
  • STEM-related  Take Action Project that has significant impact on a community.
  • Strong focus on girls from diverse and underrepresented communities.
  • Recipients must be enrolled in an accredited four year college, beginning their freshman year in the fall of 2017, and complete their studies in a STEM-field. (Recipients will be required to submit transcripts after their sophomore  year showing they are pursuing
  • studies in a STEM-related field and have maintained a grade point average of at least 3.0.)
  • Distribution of payments will be as follows:  Recipients will receive the first $5,000 for their freshman fall semester followed by the second $5,000 for her fall junior year.
  • Scholarship funds may be used exclusively  to defray educational costs such as tuition, fees, books, and supplies, as well as room and board in a college dormitory.
Application  process:
  • Girls should submit completed applications to acarson@gswpa.org by February 13, 2017
  • Each council is responsible for reviewing the girls' applications they receive and for selecting up to two nominees. Councils must utilize the scholarship parameters when reviewing  applications.
  • Councils must submit two applications  to GSUSA by February 21, 2017 via email to AlcoaScholarship@girlscouts.org. Late submissions  cannot be forwarded to the review committee. Applications should be submitted as a Word document and the file name should include "First Name_ Last Name_Council Name_2017  Alcoa Scholarship"
  • A panel of corporate and community leaders will assist GSUSA in choosing two scholarship recipients from the pool of nominees. Councils and applicants will be notified by May 8, 2017.
Questions? Email us at AlcoaScholarship@girlscouts.org or contact Jodi Schwarzer at 212-852-
8076.

Download scholarship information and application.

Scholarship opportunity: 2017 KPMG Future Leaders Program

2017 KPMG Future Leaders Program
Empowering and investing in future generations of women leaders

The KPMG Future Leaders Program is an annual charitable initiative focused on developing future generations of women leaders.

Funded by proceeds from the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship and KPMG Women’s Leadership Summit, the program affords top female high school seniors, selected by the Office of Condoleezza Rice, the opportunity to enhance their personal growth through college scholarships, a leadership development retreat at Stanford University, a mentor for one year, and an introduction to golf.
The program’s main purpose is to help these young women continue to build a strong foundation and instill the confidence and leadership ability they need to succeed in college and ultimately in their long-term careers.

The Future Leaders selected receive:
  • A KPMG Future Leaders Scholarship of $10,000 per year for 4 years of college
  • A three-day KPMG Future Leaders Retreat with Condoleezza Rice at Stanford University from July 17-19, 2017. The retreat will focus on leadership training, career development skills and an introduction to golf clinic
  • A pairing with a mentor for one year through the KPMG Future Leaders Mentoring Program, the mentor being a female executive leader that attended the KPMG Women’s Leadership Summit, from whom they can seek guidance and support during their freshman year of college
Applicant criteria includes: 
  • High school senior girl planning to enroll in a 4-year undergraduate program for the upcoming fall semester 
  • Proven track record of academic excellence and leadership potential
  • Minimum 3.5 cumulative GPA 
  • Interest in a business or STEM academic track 
  • Active in the community 
  • Demonstrates a significant financial need

Deadline to apply: January 30, 2017

Download scholarship information and application.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

It's a bird! It's a plane! No, it's a Super Troop!

Power up your Cookie Sales by setting a goal to become a Super Troop!

No, you don’t need capes (or the ability to leap tall buildings in a single bound) to become a Super Troop. Just reach a Per Girl Average (PGA) selling of 160 boxes of cookies--or get to 175 for even more benefits! 

Check your troop’s PGA on the Sales Report tab in eBudde throughout the sale to monitor your progress. All troop cookie orders—whether through the traditional order card, Goal Getter Order Card, Digital Cookie or booth sales—count toward your PGA.

Why be a Super Troop? Troops with a PGA of 160 packages or more can earn an exclusive Super Troop t-shirt for each girl selling and one t-shirt for an adult volunteer. Troops reaching a PGA of 175 or more earn an additional 5 cents for every box of cookies they sell! 

Not only does working toward Super Troop status help your troop, but the more cookies a girl sells, the more Girl Scout Bucks and Recognitions she receives. And Girl Scout Bucks double when used for GSWPA-sponsored camps!

Are you up to the challenge? We know you can do it! Here are some tips for achieving Super Troop status:

Goal Getter Cards
Door-to-door sales don’t have to end in January! Make sure all the girls in your troop are using Goal Getter Order Cards (available to download at vipetraining.littlebrownie.com). These can be used to take in-person orders after initial orders are submitted. Additional cookies are available at Cookie Cupboards through March 19 to fulfill customer orders.

Remember Operation: Sweet Appreciation
Girls who participate in Operation: Sweet Appreciation or another Gift of Caring program sell an average of 70 more boxes than girls who don't. Sweet! OSA donations can be made on the Goal Getter Order Card, Digital Cookie and at booth sales and all donations count toward each girl’s and/or troop’s overall sales.

Download these fun printables to use at booth sales to encourage people to donate.

Promote 5 for Five!
Encourage cookie customers to buy five boxes to be eligible to win five CASES of Girl Scout Cookies through our 5 for Five Contest! Just give them a 5 for Five certificate (available on vipetraining.littlebrownie.com), which includes instructions for entering the contest along with an exclusive code.


Bling Your Booth!
Not only will a blinged out booth draw customers and increase sales, but your troop could win either $100, $75 or $50 in GS Shop certificates through the Bling Your Booth contest!

Check out our Pinterest board for some bling-y inspiration.

Take it Online
Social media is a great tool for boosting cookie sales. If a girl is 13 or older, she can post about cookies to social media channels herself, otherwise a parent will have to help. Just be sure to follow the guidelines on the Girl Scouts Internet Safety pledge and Safety Activity Checkpoints.

And, with the Digital Cookie platform, it’s easier than ever for friends and relatives that live far away to support your cookie sales. Cookies can be ordered online and shipped directly to the customer, wherever they live, through March 19. Just send them an email through your Girl Scout's Digital Cookie site so they can place their order!


Cookie Troop 100 Challenge 
In honor of 100 years of Girl Scouts selling cookies, one lucky troop from EVERY council around the country will win $100 each to put toward their awesome cookie Take Action or service project through GSUSA's Cookie Troop 100 Challenge. And one VERY lucky troop nationally will win $3,000 to super-power their project! 

Think Outside the Box
Encourage your girls to get creative and come up with fun and new ways to market their cookie sales. Hand out recipes that use Girl Scout Cookies to customers to encourage them to buy one more box. Make flyers to give to customers that explain each girl’s cookie goals and how they will use their cookie proceeds, along with information on how they can buy more cookies. Have a mobile cookie booth (ex. selling from a cart, wagon or sled) or organize a neighborhood blitz with a “Cookie Caravan.” The possibilities are endless! 

Follow Up!
Have girls reconnect with their customers toward the end of the sale. Customers may have eaten all their cookies and want to purchase more to last until next year. (We all know that Thin Mints are awesome frozen!)

Include an adult phone number or email address with initial deliveries in case customers want more cookies. Want to know an easy way to do this? Print out labels with parent/guardian contact information and stick them on each box.

Our Pinterest page is filled with even more fun and easy ideas for boosting your troop’s sales—and helping your girls learn marketing and creativity skills at the same time!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Top 10: It's a great time to sell Girl Scout Cookies!

It's almost January, which in western Pennsylvania means one thing: It's Girl Scout Cookie time! Here are the top 10 reasons why it's a great time to sell Girl Scout cookies!
  1. Recognitions! Girls will hoot over this year's owl-themed lineup of great goodies for go-getters! Fancy a FitBit? Admire the American Girl Doll of the Year? The hottest must-haves are choices for top sellers in 2017!
  2. Keep the fun going! Troops can use cookie proceeds to pay for girls’ memberships through Early Bird registration in the spring.
  3. Earning and learning! The proceeds troops earn from the Cookie Program funds camp, travel, events, programs, uniforms, community service and more!
  4. New Girl Scout S'mores Cookie! The favorite campfire treat is now a Girl Scout Cookie--and they'll be available for customers to buy and try starting Jan. 6. Find out more about the Girl Scout S’mores™ cookies.
  5. Treats for troops! Take donations to send cookies to men and women in the U.S. military and local veterans groups through Operation: Sweet Appreciation!
  6. It's tradition! Girls 2017 marks the 100th year of the first known sale of cookies by Girl Scouts! Find out more about this major milestone
  7. Cookie Troop 100! To celebrate 100 years of Girl Scouts selling cookies, one lucky troop from EVERY council across the country will win $100 each and one VERY lucky troop will win $3,000 to support their Take Action project! Check it out!
  8. Digital Cookie! Girl Scouts can reach customers near and far--and gain 21st century business skills--through their very own online sales sites on Digital Cookie. Girls who pair Digital Cookie with traditional sales sold 76% more cookies than girls who did not sell cookies online!
  9. Mad skills! Girl Scouts find the G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ within to do awesome things for herself and for her community through the development of the five essential skills: goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills, and business ethics.
  10. Girl-powered! The Girl Scout Cookie Program is the largest girl-led business in the world! What's sweeter than that?

Monday, December 26, 2016

Digital Cookie superpowers sales!

Is your daughter participating in the Girl Scout Cookie Program this year?

Now there's one more way to superpower her sale—by adding online selling with the Digital Cookie platform. 

She can reach friends and family, near and far, to grow her sale. And she can participate at her convenience, based on her schedule and availability, all from the comfort of your living room. How cool is that?

Girl Scout Avery Schaeffer and her mom Chrissy love the convenience of using Digital Cookie to reach out-of-town family. The Schaeffers have lived in western Pennsylvania for only 10 years.

"All of our family is either in eastern Pennsylvania, Washington, DC, Florida, or California," Chrissy said. "Avery loves to sell to her family, but it’s challenging to actually get the cookies there. We were excited when Digital Cookie started."

Avery agrees that staying close with her favorite cookie customers is a whole lot easier thanks to the online platform. "I like to use Digital Cookie because my family who doesn’t live around me can still support my troop’s goals.”

Did you know? Girl Scouts who pair Digital Cookie with traditional sales sold 76% more cookies than girls who did not sell cookies online! Sweet!

Ready to jump in? 

Check your email for registration details and instructions. Getting your Girl Scout started on Digital Cookie is super simple, with just four easy steps! She'll register, set up her site, invite customers, and track her goals. That's it!

Check out these Four Easy Steps to Get Movin' with the Digital Cookie Platform!

No registration email? Whether you didn't get one or deleted it by accident, never fear! Just go to digitalcookie.girlscouts.orgenter the email address you used to register your Girl Scout and click ‘Forgot password/Need a registration email.’ then work with your Girl Scout to set up her page, play some cookie games and start inviting customers to purchase cookies and have them shipped to their door. 

Please note: Digital Cookie is not supported in Internet Explorer. Please use another web browser to access the site.
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Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Three Girl Scouts Named GSWPA’s Top Youth Volunteers of the Year

Girl Scouts Megan Shissler, Jamie Neely and Gabrielle Corcoran
Girl ScoutsWestern Pennsylvania (GSWPA) today named three Girl Scouts its top youth volunteers of the year.
The honor was granted to Megan Shissler, 14, of Delmont, Jamie Neely, 12, and Gabrielle Corcoran, 13, both of Pittsburgh, as part of the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards.
A nationwide youth volunteer recognition program, the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards are sponsored by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals.
By selecting Shissler, Neely and Corcoran as its top youth volunteers, GSWPA has advanced their applications for state-level judging in the 2017 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program. Prudential will announce Pennsylvania’s top youth volunteers of the year on February 7, 2017.
Shissler, a ninth-grade student at Greensburg-Salem High School, earned a Girl Scout SilverAward for her project to redesign and update her community’s website, delmontboro.com. Her goal was to make the website not only more relevant and updated, but to also increase web traffic and give her community a better online presence.
Neely, in seventh grade at North Hills Junior High School, helped renovate a community garden in Troy Hill. She assisted in creating a brightly colored cinder block garden and adding picnic tables with built-in chess\checker boards. To help make the project environmentally friendly, recycled cinderblocks, pallets, and reclaimed wood were used and new rain barrels were installed. Neely organized a picnic at the completion of the project to reveal the improvements to the community.
A seventh grade student at Providence Heights Alpha School, Corcoran wanted to help the Sisters of Divine Providence at her school take time from their duties to relax and have fun. She scheduled social time for the sisters and introduced games for them to play. Corcoran also created a Knit-a-Thon, benefitting the sisters who take a vow of poverty. More than 200 people were involved in the event, including three local businesses.
Girl Scout Katie Handy
GSWPA also recognized Katie Handy, 17, of Jeanette, for her exemplary volunteer service with a Prudential Spirit of Community Certificate of Merit. She is a senior at Hempfield Area Senior High School.
Handy is working toward a Girl Scout Gold Award for her project to landscape the grounds at the Baltzer Meyer Historical Society’s one-room Harrold Schoolhouse in Greensburg. She is leading a team of volunteers to remove trees, weeds, plant flowers, and bury an exposed pipe. Her project will make the grounds safer and more beautiful for the historic schoolhouse’s many visitors.
“We’re extremely proud of each one of these Girl Scouts who have worked so diligently and creatively to help make their corner of the world a better place,” said Patricia A. Burkart, CEO of GSWPA. “Their leadership is an inspiration to us all.” 
As Local Honorees, Shissler, Neely and Corcoran are now in the running to be named one of two Prudential Spirit of Community State Honorees for Pennsylvania. State Honorees receive a $1,000 award and an all-expense-paid trip with a parent or guardian to Washington, D.C., for several days of special recognition events. Other state-level honorees will receive bronze medallions or Certificates of Excellence.
During May’s national recognition events in Washington, America’s top 10 youth volunteers of the year will be named by a distinguished selection committee. Each of these National Honorees will receive an additional $5,000, a crystal trophy for his or her school or organization, and a $5,000 Prudential Foundation grant for a charitable organization of their choice.
"Young people who contribute their time and talents to their communities are role models for all of us," said Prudential Chairman and CEO John Strangfeld. "We salute their dedication, their achievements, and their spirit of community."
"Demonstrating civic responsibility through community volunteerism is an important part of life," said NASSP Executive Director JoAnn Bartoletti. "These Honorees practice a lesson we hope all young people, as well as adults, will emulate."
The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards represents America’s largest youth recognition program based exclusively on volunteer service. Since 1995, the program has honored more than 115,000 youth volunteers at the local, state and national level. Learn more at spirit.prudential.com or www.nassp.org/spirit.