By Lillabeth B.

            From the moment I entered the building, I knew the Girl Scouts were there. It didn’t take too much effort to hear the giggles and excited chitchat coming from the end of the hallway, and following the sounds of laughter and chatter, I was lead to Exhibition Hall D. I was looking for the 2018 Cookie Rally, and if the giant cardboard cookie boxes and green balloons were any indication, I had found it.
            On January 20, Daisies, Brownies, and Juniors from all over the Greater Atlanta area gathered at the Cobb Galleria to learn all the best ways to sell Girl Scout cookies. But why is selling cookies so important? I asked a troop leader that very question as we waited to be admitted. “They learn great skills that can be applied to any type of business, but it also just encourages them to work together and learn to do something better,” she told me.
            She and Senior Girl Leadership Specialist Kathryn Schroeder are on the same page. According to Schroeder, “Girls learn the five skills of the Girl Scout Cookie Program through selling cookies: Goal Setting, Decision Making, Money Management, People Skills, and Business Ethics.” The Cookie Rally is specifically designed to teach girls each of these skills: “They get to practice things like going door to door, running a booth, setting goals, and making change; they also learn about the different cookies and what customers are looking for, so they know how to help their customers going forward,” Schroeder says.
            A series of stations was set up for each level of Girl Scouts, teaching skills specific to girls’ age range. I sat down with a Junior at her first station, Goal Setting, where she was “writing down goals I want to achieve this year”, such as “selling at least 200 boxes” and “earning more badges.”At the Brownie station Say Thank You, girls wrote thank you cards to their customers because, as one girl told me, “you have to be polite!”
            At the Ask an Expert station, three Seniors were answering questions and giving advice. One expert had sold 1,000 boxes her first year! I asked them why they loved selling cookies, and the unanimous answer was they loved everything it had taught them. “I’ve learned how to talk to people, how to not be shy, and how to be confident in myself,” one girl said. “You learn how to sell the cookies better each year; if you don’t reach your goal, next year you can be smarter about your goal and plan to reach that goal,” another added.

            All in all, the Cookie Rally was a huge success! Daisies, Brownies, and Juniors learned their way around cookies, money, and people, and how to get the most out of the Cookie Program. Registration for the 2019 event opens in October!

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