Look to the parents in your troop.
You probably discussed the Girl Scout Cookie Program during your first parent meeting, but you’ll want to let parents and caregivers know of your specific volunteer needs ahead of cookie season.
“Having a parent involved is especially beneficial because they get a glimpse at what it's like to be on the leadership side of Girl Scouting,” explains Kat Schukneckt, a troop leader from Girl Scouts of Wisconsin Badgerland. “Our troops encourage parents to volunteer in a way that embraces their interests and talents. Someone may not want to handle the financial side of cookies, but they may be perfect for bringing our troop's booth vision together. Our parents understand that the cookie program is a lot of work, and I've made it clear that it just can't happen without additional support. Making sure parents understand what the girls get out of the program and that it's not just about the money puts everything into perspective for them.”
Ask your co-leader(s).
If you have a co-leader (or several), consider splitting the cookie duties or recruiting a volunteer for a specific area in which you’ll need extra help. “With my first troop, my co-leader and I split the duties, and we handled the program quite well,” says Nancy. “She’s a great motivator and was terrific at our cookie booths and during our lead-up troop meetings. I love spreadsheets and math, so the tracking and sorting became my jobs. The longer we worked together, the smoother our cookie seasons became—an intangible benefit to picking up the job as leaders.”
Talk to your co-leaders about who will handle which aspects of the cookie program; don’t assume that the most outgoing person, for instance, will want to be on site for every cookie booth.
Explore outside your troop.
One of the best resources for cookie newbies? Experienced troop leaders! If you’re a fresh face, try teaming up with these seasoned pros or asking them for their best cookie season tips. “I usually take care of the all the cookie stuff, but I do get help from other Girl Scout leaders in my area,” says Laura Flanagan, a troop leader from Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan. “We share ideas for booths and transfer cookies to each other's troops as they or we need them. I have about four other leaders who help me and vice versa. It’s nice to work with leaders who know what’s going on.”
Check in with your service unit cookie manager at the start of the season; they’ll answer all your cookie queries and can connect you with fellow troop leaders in your area.