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By Maureen Graham

THANK YOU to all who are helping girls to reach their goals by running their very own cookie business.  Cupboard managers, community product sales managers, troop leaders, other volunteers, parents, and most especially cookie eaters all play an important role in helping girls learn and succeed have fun. Thanks again for all you do!

 

March ACH Debit

What is an ACH debit? It is a financial transaction where funds are electronically withdrawn from a bank account.  We have three ACH debits scheduled to occur during the 2015 Cookie Sale where we plan to withdraw funds electronically from troop bank accounts:

 

- Due March 4: 45% of initial order (or 45% of packages owned by February 17, if no initial order was placed.) March 4 ACH calculations include quantities of Initial order gluten free.  We added initial order packages for the traditional and gluten free cookies; figured amount due to council (excluding the extra $1 for gluten free.)   Example: in packages 144 (in Snap) + 12 (gluten free) = 156 X 3.40 – $530.40 x .45 = $238.68 amount of March 4 ACH.

- Due March 25: 50% of remaining balance troop owes.

- Due April 8: Remaining balance due.  The extra $1.00 for Gluten Free will be collected on the final ACH.

 

If your troop is having trouble collecting the amount which will be withdrawn, please contact your Product Sales and Finance Specialist no later than the Friday before the ACH debit is to occur.

 

Controlling Inventory

Need more cookies? Have too many cookies? Controlling cookie inventory can be tricky.  Remember, the goal is to get to a zero inventory for your troop and our council by the end of the sale.  We want all cookies to be sold because leftover packages that are owned by the troop or council still must be paid for. 

 

How can you help?  The obvious – sell cookies while the demand is there; so help girls to sell early and often.  Next, if you need more cookies, place a planned order in Snap by Sunday night at 10:00 p.m. for exactly what your troop needs for the following week.  Our council relies heavily each week on reports that show where planned orders need to be filled throughout the council.  This information helps us determine where cookies are needed and when. So if your troop does not place a planned order, your local cupboard may not have the cookies on hand that you need.  PLEASE, help us help you by placing a planned order in Snap each week that you need cookies.  Finally, if your troop has too many or the wrong kind of cookies – reach out!  Contact families in your troop, other community troops, your Community Product Sales Manager and your Cupboard Manager and let them know what you have too much of.  Transfer cookies between girls or troops wherever possible. Remember that unopened, factory sealed cases can be exchanged for another variety at cupboards where additional inventory is available.  Need more tips on preventing left over cookies? See page 30 of the Answer Book for Troop Product Sales Managers.

 

Gluten Free

For any troop who would like more gluten free Trios; we have product available!  Troops are now able to take Trios in either ½ case or full case quantities.  Please know that the no return policy still applies.  If your troop hasn’t tried the gluten free please consider taking a ½ case (6 packages).  We are hearing that customers are asking about Trios at many cookie booths.  Remember that your troop can earn regular troop proceeds of .60 (for the recognition plan) or .65 (for the cash plan) per package, and packages will also count towards girl recognitions.  Please contact your Product Sales and Finance Specialist on how to get Trios for your troop. 

 

5 for 5 Program

We have had a great number of entries in the Buy 5 Packages Win 5 Cases promotion and hope it is helping girls to sell even more cookies.  We are aware that customers putting in their entries continue to get an error message.  While we are currently trying to fix this issue, please let customers know that their entry is still getting through and that they should ignore the message.  If customers are told in advance that they may get an error message when putting in their entry, but that we will still receive it, this would be helpful.  Thank you!

 

Also, to answer a common question we have been getting about the 5 for 5, yes, girls need to give customers a unique code for each five packages which are purchased in a single transaction.  So if a customer purchases ten packages, they will then receive two unique codes from the girl.  Hope this makes things clearer. 

 

Bling Your Booth! 

Plain is boring! We have seen a few blinged booths and they have looked fabulous.  There’s still time to Bling Your Booth and win!  Remember to take a photo of your cookie booth and upload to the GSUSA Facebook page, www.facebook.com/GirlScoutCookieProgram by April 30, 2015 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Your troop has the potential to win $500 cash! See the Winter 2014 Connections for additional details. Good luck!

By Maureen Graham

Buy 5 Boxes for a chance to WIN Girl Scout Cookies for a Year! 

Girls can sell more cookies all at once by sharing information about the Buy 5 Promotion with each of their customers and by inviting them to buy five packages for a chance to win five cases of Girl Scout Cookies!  Four winning entries will be selected, one winner from each of our four regions.  Each winner will receive 5 cases of their favorite Girl Scout Cookies – cookies for a year! 

1.       Customer purchases five packages of Girl Scout Cookies in a single transaction between February 14 and March 22. (All transactions qualify whether direct from a girl, at a booth sale, or through COCOdirect.) 

2.       Customer receives a code from the Girl Scout.

3.       Customer enters their information by March 25 at http://www.gslakesandpines.org/pages/5for5Program/

4.       Four winning entries selected week of March 30; winners notified by April 6, 2015

So, as a troop leader, you’re wondering, “What is this mysterious code that my girls will be sharing with their customers?”  It’s simple.  Please use the following formula to create unique codes for each customer. Use your troop number, followed by the girl’s initials, followed by the customer number.  So, for example, if you are from Troop 45321, and Maggie Lemonade is the name of the girl who has three customers who each purchased five packages of Girl Scout Cookies, the codes she will distribute to them will be as follows:  Customer #1 – 45321ML1, Customer #2 – 45321ML2, Customer #3 – 45321ML3.  Have two girls with the same initials in your troop? No problem.  Just add their middle initial or another letter to distinguish the two, for example MEL or MML.   

 

A good way for your troop to prepare to implement this promotion would be to have business cards or slips of paper printed up with the website link, then a line for each girl to write her individual code – adding a 1, 2, 3, etc., at the end of her code for each customer that she has that purchases five packages.  Girls can give a slip to each customer that qualifies. 

 

Questions?  Contact your Product Sales and Finance Specialist.   

 

Service Unit Finance Reports DUE February 15.

 

Just a friendly reminder that your Service Unit Financial Report is due to your Product Sales and Finance Specialist by February 15.  You can find the form here:  http://gslakesandpines.org/pages/FinanceForms.  The instructions are there as to how to use this writable form, otherwise you can print it out and fill it in before sending.  Thank you!

 

By Kelsey Parker

Caitlin Cowan leader for troop 15046 in Minneapolis says, "We'll purchase a large number of Milkweed seed packets from SaveOurMonarchs.org Save and then set up tables at neighborhood festivals this spring to teach people about monarchs and the girls will hand out seed packets."

 

SaveOurMonarchs.org distributes Milkweed seed packets to help to save the Monarch Butterfly from extinction.  Milkweed is the ONLY sustenance that the Monarch caterpillar can consume.  

 

Troop 15046 is working to save monarachs as the project for their Bronze Award.  They are trying to raise awarness and invite other Girl Scout troops to do the same.  For more information or to join them in their campaign contact Caitlin Cowan at 612-385-2331or by email at girlscouttroop15046@gmail.com.

 

 

 

By Kelsey Parker

Girl Scouts have been invited to come and lead the pledge of allegiance at an upcoming Bemidji Axeman game!  The currently have the following games available for Girl Scouts to participate:

Sunday February 8th
Saturday February 28th
Friday March 13th
Saturday March 21st
Saturday April 18th
Saturday May 2nd
Sunday May 31st

Participation includes a complimentary ticket to the girls. If there is more then ten family members or friends that also wish to attend they can also offer a discounted ticket to them as well. 

They do ask that there is a minimum of one adult per four children.

To sign up or if you have any questions contact Sam Navratil at 952-358-1084 or by email at snavratil@bemidjiaxemen.com

By Kelsey Parker

Calling all Brownies and Juniors!  Join your fellow Girl Scouts for a fun weekend getaway this summer to the Twin Cities.  YOU get to help decide what we will do during our time together.  We could visit the Science or Mill City Museum, check out the animals at the zoo, attend a Twins game, shop at the Mall of America, go swimming, take a group photo at the Sculpture garden, have a picnic, the choices are endless!  Register by March 1st to vote on our locations during the trip. 

For all the details click here

Ready to sign up!?  Final registration deadline is June 1st.  Registration form (printable) or Register Online

By Tricia Andrews

Ice Castles | Eden Prairie, MN | All Ages | Admission $6.95-$12.95, kids 3 and under free | Opens December 26 |

Imagine a magical collision of the Apostle Island ice caves, frozen waterfalls, and glaciers, formed into towering organic archways, tunnels, canyons and thrones.  By day this frozen wonderland glimmers with glacial blues and frosty whites.  After dark the ice formations cast a multi-colored glow with the help of thousands of LED lights embedded within the ice.  Experience Ice Castles with your family or Girl Scout troop! Visit www.icecastles.com for fees, hours and directions.  Groups of 11 or larger may contact groupsales@icecastles.com for group rates. For more information contact Amanda Roseth, director of event operations, at 952-240-9316 or amanda@icecastles.com.




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Dreams to Reality

Plan to Join us at...
River's Edge Convention Center | St. Cloud, MN
March 12, 2015 | 5:30 - 8:30pm 

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Click logo above for more information and to purchase tickets!   



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