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DeKalb County Girl Scouts learn cookie salesmanship

GENOA – Barking dogs, freezing temperatures and icy driveways couldn’t stop Genoa residents Savannah Cravatta and Morgan Siers from traversing their neighborhood.

They meant business. At 11 years old, these girls are already chief executive officers, of cookies.

“The Girl Scouts are a hearty bunch,” said Savannah’s mom, Debbie.

Local Girl Scouts are marching through the area as they make their final push to sell their trademark cookies before order sales end Wednesday.

Savannah and Morgan, both cadets in Troop 6120 and the Girl Scouts of Northen Illinois, donned gloves, boots and coats Thursday night as they walked door-to-door, sales forms in hand. The girls proudly wore their Girl Scout vests over their coats, which were illuminated by the front porch lights at the houses they visited.

“Would you like to buy some Girl Scout cookies,” the girls ask in unison at one of the doors.

The cookies cost $4 a box with Thin Mints, Samoas and Tagalongs topping the list of cookies customers want, they said.

“I sell a lot of Savanna Smiles, because I’m Savannah and I do smile,” Savannah tells her potential customer.

At the end of their trip down the block, the girls have seven more boxes of cookies on their order sheets.

Through door-to-door nights like this, along with parents bringing order forms to the office, booth sales and other avenues, Girl Scouts earn their Cookie CEO badge. The badge is awarded after setting goals, discussing their sales tactics and small business and reaching their goals. Through the endeavor to earn the badge, they learn how to sell their renowned product, including learning how to take no for an answer.

Their troop goal is for each girl to sell 111 boxes, with some of the proceeds being set aside for a trip to Blue Springs Caverns in Indiana that Savannah and Morgan want to take with their troop sisters.

Each troop sets goals and designates where they would like the sales proceeds to go. In addition, Girl Scouts earn prizes for selling a certain number of boxes. Savannah has her sights set on a basketball, which requires she sell 115 boxes.

The girls also look beyond the physical things the girls can earn by selling cookies. They learn money management, business ethics, people skills and decision making.

“The main thing is about how hard you work and what your attitude is about doing it, not necessarily all for the money,” Morgan said. “In Girl Scouts, you want to build your character, not for your financial benefit.”

Although order sales end Wednesday, there’s still more time for those interested in securing a box. Booth sales at area businesses start Feb. 14 and run through March 9.

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