WALKER — The Walker High School gym was filled with Girl Scouts on Saturday, all of whom conducted smell tests, dressed like their favorite cookie and practiced their door-to-door sales skills — all in preparation for annual Girl Scout Cookies sales.
The annual Girl Scout Cookie Rally is an event that event coordinator Jamie Griffith said is meant to “get girls excited about the cookies themselves so they know the products and to teach them some of the sales techniques.”
The morning began with the girls reciting the Girl Scout Promise, which, according to Griffith, “basically represents everything the Girl Scouts stand for. It’s basically guidelines to live by and do good in the world.”
Booths were set up throughout the gym for the girls to learn the skills they need to be successful in their cookie sales. The Scouts dressed up like their favorite cookies, set goals for the number of boxes they wanted to sell, smelled the various cookies, painted their fingernails the color of their favorite cookie, practiced their selling techniques, tossed bean bags to test their cookie knowledge and learned how to remain safe while doing door-to-door sales.
“My station is about booths, which is a kind of a dangerous thing to do,” Trina Delaney, of Watson, said. “You know you’re in front of stores, so you have to be really careful to keep the girls safe and also show them selling techniques.”
Delaney said that even Girl Scouts can have bad days, but they have to learn to push through it.
“If you’re having a bad day, as my girls say, you suck it up, you smile and you greet the customers,” Delaney said. “A little bit of happy goes a long way.”
Griffith said the techniques the girls learn at the rally are essential to the success of the sale.
“I think the door-to-door practice is a really big help to the younger girls,” she said. “They don’t have any experience going up to people and asking for sales, so it teaches them the etiquette of how to talk to their customers and how to be safe.”
The girls weren’t just taught by adults, however. Many of the booths were run by the Girl Scouts.
“Our girls have participated in the Cookie Rally for a couple of years, so we felt like they had the skills and could teach the other girls,” said Alana Bishop, of Port Vincent. “They’re getting a little bit older now that they’re juniors and they really enjoy helping.”
One young Girl Scout did not need to attend the rally to know all about her favorite cookie flavor.
“My favorite cookie is the thin mint because it’s peppery,” Scout Charli Hatcher, of Walker, said.
The Girl Scouts is a family affair for Griffith and her mother, Vicky Kidwell, of Walker, who assisted Griffith with running the event.
“I was a Girl Scout when I was a girl, and when she was in fifth and sixth grade, I was her troop leader,” Kidwell said. “Now, I’m an assistant with her for my granddaughter’s troupe. ”
Griffith has a strong connection to the Girl Scouts that motivates her not only to be a troop leader but to organize and run multitroop events like this one.
“I was a Girl Scout for a long time when I was a kid; I learned a lot of stuff, gained a lot of confidence, and I just wanted to pass it along to another generation,” she said.
The Girl Scouts Louisiana East Cookie Sale will begin Jan. 16 with cookie booth sales beginning Feb. 27, and continues through March 15.