Stand Up, Stand Out 2018 GSSNE COOKIE PROGRAM I n mid-November, GSSNE celebrated 101 years of Girl Scouts selling cookies with a kick-off celebration. Over 100 dedicated volunteers gathered together over breakfast to hear about the amazing accomplishments achieved by our girls, parents, and volunteers that are made possible by the Girl Scout Cookie Program. They were greeted by the 2018 Honorary Cookie Chair, Gail Alofsin, who shared inspiring words and what was new for 2018. Gail is a Girl Scout alum, educator, author, and GSSNE Leading Women of Distinction honoree. In January, more than 600 volunteers, girls, and family members took part in the Annual Cookie Rally! The event featured a variety of hands-on activities to help prepare girls for the cookie sale. These activities focused on the 5 Essential Skills that girls learn by participating in the Girl Scout Cookie Program. These skills are Business Ethics, Money Management, People Skills, Goal Setting, and Decision Making. ABC Bakers launched a new order management platform for cookies in 2018 called Smart Cookies. Smart Cookies enables the council, volunteers, and girls to manage all aspects of the cookie business. This platform includes inventory management, tracking financial transactions, the ability to send e-cards to customers, set and track goals, and manage recognitions and proceeds. Troops donated over 3,000 packages to local military organizations through the virtual cookie share feature in Smart Cookies and also sold 44,148 in packages of cookies using online and mobile devices. GSSNE was one of three councils that took part in a pilot through GSUSA and First Data called Frictionless Transactions. Approximately 20 troops were given Clover Go credit card processing devices to use at cookie booths throughout the season. The results of this pilot were outstanding, with participating troops experiencing a 20+ PGA lift in package sales and these sales resulted in over $8,000 in additional revenue. The ultimate goal is not only to be able to process credit and debit card sales, but also to track progress and ultimately invoice customers. We are working toward less money handling and a greater focus on managing the sale for our volunteers and girls. Each year, GSSNE selects a local organization to be the recipient of the annual Cookie Sale Community Service Project to teach girls the importance of giving back to the community and to learn about other non-profits in the area. Troops can choose to donate a portion of their proceeds to the organization. In 2018, The Confetti Foundation was chosen to be the recipient. The mission of The Confetti Foundation is to supply birthday parties to children who have to spend their birthday in a hospital, pediatric oncology clinic, or hospice facility. Troops donated $3,190.54 to this worthy cause to help provide positive memories and normalcy during a difficult time.