This is a busy week for our council as many of you will be picking up your cookie orders and preparing for booth sales. From the volunteers and staff who work the deliveries, to the parents who sort the cookie orders, help girls deliver the packages and collect money, to the troops that work the cookie booths, and the cookie chairs and product sales staff who keep everything organized – it’s really a team effort!
You’ve all worked so hard, and your positive energy is encouraging to me as we deal with some negative publicity surrounding the cookie program. Trefoil Integrity is a small but vocal group that disagrees with decisions made by the council related to camp properties. As we enter the final weeks of the cookie sale, their efforts to discourage people from buying cookies and give money directly to the troops are accelerating. Some of you may have seen or heard things in the media or read email messages that have been circulating, encouraging a boycott of the cookie sale.
I have met with these individuals and I have listened and tried to understand their points of view. I have also tried to discourage this boycott activity because it is harmful to the efforts of our girls and our adult volunteers, and because it brings negative public attention to the Girls Scouts. In the past few months, we have taken steps to be more transparent and inclusive of our members – girls and adults – in our plans to move forward. It is unfortunate that these efforts have been met with increased activities to discredit the council.
I believe that our best course of action at this time is to have a cohesive and consistent message about the cookie program and its benefits to girls and our communities. Our council marketing and communications department does a great job of promoting the cookie program with advertising and public relations – but reaching all 18 counties with positive messages will take many more voices – it is absolutely a team effort. We need your help to share the positive stories of the girls’ activities that relate to the cookie program. Please share any special stories or pictures with Kim Graves who can be reached at 330-983-0376 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We also encourage you to reach out to your local newspapers and TV stations and share your girls’ successes with them.
Let’s show the world what a cookie can do! Here are some of the key messages that we use in our cookie campaign that may be useful to you as you interact with cookie customers and members of the media in the coming weeks:
Many thanks go to the girls, adult volunteers, parents and others who have supported this year’s cookie program. Despite the activities of those who are seeking to impede our efforts, it is important that we move ahead with confidence and a positive attitude, secure in the belief that the Girl Scouts of North East Ohio is an organization worthy of the community’s trust and support. Like all of you, I have seen firsthand the value that our programs have in the lives of girls, and I am proud that the cookie program helps further our mission of building girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place.
Yours in Girl Scouting,
Toby Ann WeberInterim Chief Executive OfficerGirl Scouts of North East Ohio