The Girl Scout Cookie Program Teaching Essential Skills for a Lifetime
A well known component of Girl Scouting is the Cookie Program, the largest girl-run business in the world. Once a year, Girl Scouts around the country venture into the entrepreneurial world to learn business and financial skills and earn money to fund their Girl Scouting goals. Through “learning by earning,” Girl Scouting aims to empower girls through the development of five essential skills:
Goal Setting Girl Scouts set cookie goals individually and, with their team, create a plan to reach them. Girls develop Cooperation and Team Building skills all along the way. This matters because girls need to know how to set and reach goals to succeed in school, on the job, and in life.
Decision Making Girl Scouts decide where and when to sell cookies, how to market their sale, and what to do with their earnings, furthering the Critical Thinking and Problem Solving skill that will help them in many aspects of her life. This matters because girls must make many decisions, big and small, in their lives. Learning this skill helps them make good ones.
Money Management Girl Scouts develop a budget, take cookie orders, and handle customers’ money, gaining valuable and Practical Life Skills around financial literacy. This matters because girls need to know how to handle money – from their lunch money to their allowance to (someday) their paycheck.
People Skills Girl Scouts learn how to talk (and listen!) to their customers, as well as learning how to work as a team with other girls. These experiences help them to develop Healthy Relationships and Conflict Resolution skills that they can use throughout their lives. This matters because it will help them do better in school (on group projects, on sports teams, and on the playground) and, later, at work.
Business Ethics Girl Scouts act honestly and responsibly during every step of the cookie sale. Their business ethics reinforce the Positive Values they are developing as Girl Scouts. This matters because employers want to hire ethical employees – and the world needs ethical leaders in every field.