GSNI recently spoke with volunteer Angela Juneau about the Fall Product Program. Angela is a Cadette troop leader, Cookie Coordinator, and Service Unit Event Coordinator in Trefoil Service Unit. Angela’s daughter Katie is a Girl Scout Cadette in sixth grade. Angela was a Girl Scout as a girl and has been an adult volunteer for over seven years. Katie has been a Girl Scout since she was in kindergarten. Both of them are very passionate about the Girl Scout Leadership Experience!
What drew you to be a part of Girl Scouts as an adult?
I remembered the fun I had as a Girl Scout and wanted to be sure my daughter would have those same memories someday.
How many years have you participated in the Fall Product Program?
This is our troop’s sixth year participating in the Fall Product Program.
How has your troop benefitted from participation in the Fall Product Program?
The Fall Product Program has been a great way to kick-start our year and help pay for some great activities! The girls’ favorite trip, which they took with their Fall Product Program proceeds, was to the Rockford Children's Museum for a Spooky Science night. The girls were able to dissect a real cow's eye! It was amazing to see them get so involved in the dissection and how interested they were in learning about the eye.
Would you recommend participation in the Fall Product Program for other troops?
Yes, I would strongly recommend participation in the Fall Product Program! What troop doesn't need funds to get their year started and help them on the way to great adventures and hands-on experiences!
Communication is such an important part of life, and I think we should always take opportunities to practice, so we feel more confident when speaking later. Whether it is at school while giving a speech or during a job interview someday, girls will need to feel comfortable speaking in all kinds of situations.
Lastly, the girls have family, friends, and neighbors who will want Girl Scout Cookies in January. The Fall Product Program helps them get out there now, so future customers know there is a Girl Scout who will be back with cookies!
What are some common hurdles troop leaders, troops, and girls might face in participating in the Fall Product Program?
I think the biggest obstacle is competition with other fundraisers that happen at the beginning of the school year. Boy Scouts are selling popcorn. PTOs are fundraising. School programs, like band and sports, are out there, too. Kids are bringing home something to sell every day in the fall! I always suggest the girls first set a goal. We list some ideas of what we are going to do with the proceeds from our sale, so the girls can see what they are truly working towards.
Also, I hear troop leaders say they just are getting started with their year and sometimes worry about doing something wrong or taking on too much. Remember, you can (and should!) ask parents for help. Ask for a parent volunteer to be the troop’s Fall Product Program Chair.
Can you share some tips on how to lead a successful Fall Product Program?
For a successful Fall Product Program, talk to your girls! See what goals they want to set for themselves, and help them set realistic goals. Brainstorm what the troop is going to do with the proceeds. Let your girls make the suggestions and vote on what they want to do. This is their troop! Be sure to do the math with them. If they plan to visit the zoo with the proceeds, be sure they have a goal that will let them do that. If they want to visit Disney World, show them how much that costs, so they can understand how to budget.
What would you say are the way girls and their families benefit from participation in the Fall Product Program?
The Fall Product Program gives girls the opportunity to apply the 5 skills. Those skills include goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills, and business ethics. These skills will benefit them for the rest of their lives!