It's cookie time. Girl Scout Cookies are in; I picked them up Monday -- all 116 cases of them -- schlepped them into my dining room, sorted them by girl, and started in on my daughter's orders. Some are bagged and ready for delivery/payment; most are covering the dining room table...
Cookie booths start in a few days. We're scheduled for 15 of them over the next six weeks. Oh, sorry: We're scheduled for 15 of them over the next six weeks!!! =) Woot! Yippee!! I actually like cookie booths, but not all my girls do, so it gets to be a bit of a drag sometimes. And frankly, booths are exhausting. It's not just cookies and a table. There's a lot of prep work: A cash box with start-up money, paperwork (permission forms, health history forms, cookie booth tally sheets, deposit slip for running to the cookie depot if necessary, "I really do have this booth at this time" sign-up sheets), the right amount of cookies, a supply of bags for big orders, snack and water bottle, cell phone and cookie people's numbers... And crazy hats. Yep, that's our thing -- We wear crazy hats to get attention. See, we're not allowed to call out to passersby. We can smile and say, "Hello," but we can't
assault bombard attack even ask potential customers if they would like to buy Girl Scout Cookies.
Then there's the booth itself and the cycles of busy and slow, monitoring the girls for appropriate behavior and money handling, being ready to chit-chat with the customers who like that, being businesslike with the ones who don't, explaining that no, we don't have such-and-such type of cookie anymore, and yes, they were great, and yes, they should bring those back again, and yes, cookie prices have gone up, but it's the first increase in eight years, and for us, it's about supporting Girl Scouts more than the cookies. We get to keep 65¢ per box, and if we sell a thousand boxes, we get to keep 68¢ per box. My girls are working towards their trip to Great Wolf Lodge and are learning money management and business skillls.
I'm not sure how to explain what happens afterwards. It's a bit of a scrum as we break down the booth and load up the car with whatever is left. But that's when my work begins. I have to count all the remaining cookies, do the math, count the money, figure out what we keep and what we send to Council, assign cookie sales to girls' accounts for incentive tallies, set up a bank deposit, and enter everything into the cookie system. I'll tell you, my nerves take a hit until I've verified that the cookie tally equals the amount of money in the tin!
So the next time you're out and see Girl Scouts doing a booth, a kind word to "the cookie mom" would be much appreciated. So would exact change.