Monday, October 22, 2012

Susan Gurwitch: Two Little Girls, Five Skills

Susan Gurwitch, COO
First of all, thank you to all of you who read last month’s blog and came back to read this one and thanks to those of you who are reading for the first time.  I would love to hear from you!  Suggestions about what blog topics you’d like to see discussed are always appreciated!

This past month, I have been knee deep in GSSI’s Fall Product program, where Girl Scouts sell nuts, candy and magazines to raise funds and learn business skills.  I am lucky to be blessed with a wonderful Product Program Manager, Jessica Stanley, who has been patient with all of my questions and suggestions.  I have learned so much about the program, especially about the 5 Skills that all of the girls who participate will be embracing.   These skills are goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and business ethics.  I can see for myself that the girls are really enjoying developing these skills and gaining confidence.

It’s funny, at least once a week I get home with my girls and they seem to disappear.  Once I get everything inside (two book bags, two jackets, one briefcase, and multitudes of paper from the school), the doorbell rings.  When I answer, I find two excited little girls practicing their selling techniques.  Josie, my five year old, tells me what her troop will be doing with the dollars earned (having an ice cream party) and lets me know she needs to sell 25 products to meet her goal.  My older daughter, Cooper, tells me about the way the program will help the community if I am interested in helping her troop give to Project Thank You, which sends Girl Scout honey roasted peanuts to U.S. service members.

I never realized how much the girls learn from the candy and cookie programs.  I have watched Cooper’s confidence grow as she talks to neighbors about the products and both of them seem to understand the value of money better.  I am also very lucky to have two great troop leaders (Laura White and Andrea Driver) who are making sure the troop members and parents understand there’s more to the program than just making some money.  Of course, I am also aware some of our parents are concerned about where the money goes when it comes to council. Just so you all know, less than 11% of the funds that come into GSSI go to administration.   As far as Girl Scout councils go, that’s a very low percentage!  Everything else goes to camp upkeep, programs, financial assistance, volunteer training, etc. 

Well, I have to run, the girls are ready to start knocking on doors…

We've been having a blast with GSSI's Fall Product Program!