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Region 4 Team

Erika Rhode Braatz

Membership Specialist

Alexandria Office

Tracy Zimmerman
Membership Specialist
Waite Park Regional Center   

Jess Hoffmann

Product Sales & Finance Specialist

Waite Park Regional Center

Tricia Andrews

Director of Program

Bemidji Office

Ben Carey
Volunteer Specialist
Waite Park Regional Center 

Chasidi Funk
GSIA Specialist
Waite Park Regional Center      



Region 4

The latest news for Girl Scouts in St. Cloud, Alexandria, Willmar, Princeton, and surrounding areas. Do you have something to share? Contact any member of our Regional Team.


Family Updates


By Hannah McCabe

Ever wonder what sort of things the Early Bird hides in her nest? Bring your 2015-2016 Girl Scout membership renewal to Kaleidoscope on May 2nd for the chance to pick a surprise out of an egg! Contact Hannah McCabe at 218-302-3182 or hmccabe@gslakesandpines.org with questions.

By Maureen Graham

Kerfoot Canopy Tours just outside of Henderson, MN in the beautiful Minnesota River Valley is offering a Girl Scout Special at 50% OFF welcoming Girl Scout troops with groups of ten or more on their zip line tours.  Kerfoot Canopy Tours was recently named the best Minnesota Zip Line by WCCO 4 viewers.  Guests must be at least ten years old and weigh between 70-250 pounds. Girl Scout Special not available on Saturdays.  For more information visit www.KerfootCanopyTour.com.

By Tricia Andrews

Minnesota Lynx Girl Scout Day| Friday, June 5, 2015 | Target Center | Girl Scoutsand Families |$20 or $25 Girl Scouts Packages

Celebrate Minnesota Lynx Girl Scout Day by watching Lindsay Whalen, Maya Moore and the rest of the Minnesota Lynx take on the Tulsa Shock!  Don't miss the Lynx and their home opener!  All Girl Scouts will receive a gift with a Lynx Girl Scout patch and other fun prizes!  Party Zone activities include Girl Scout March Across the Court, face painting, pop-a-shot, games and photos with Lynx mascot Prowl.  Click here for registration details, or contact Kate LaFerriere at 612-673-1686 or laferriere@timberwolves.com.

By Ben Carey

Thanks to all the girls who submitted their drawings for this year’s Leader’s Day Card! After much deliberation the staff has chosen this years winners! As a reminder from each level of scouting, staff selected one card and then chose and overall winner.

This year’s winners are:

Brownie: Zoya Rich, Troop 4437

Junior: Madison Lee, Troop 792

Cadet:Mazy DiFranco, Troop 4255

Senior: Kirsten Schroer, Troop 395

And the overall winner is Lily Habighorst, Troop 16

Lily’s card will be sent to troop leaders council wide to say thank you for everything that they do for girls and Girl Scouts!

Congrats Lily and all of this years winner!

By Hannah McCabe

Have you been considering one of our international council trips, but just haven’t had time to register yet? Here’s a little incentive! If you register for Costa Rica 2016 or England, Ireland, Scotland 2017 before March 31st, you’ll save $200 off of the total tour price! Plus, you can use any expiring cookie dough if turned in before April 30th. For more information and to register, contact  Hannah McCabe at hmccabe@gslakesandpines.org or (218) 302 – 3182.


Volunteer Updates


By Maureen Graham

Community Product Sales Managers should have been receiving shipments of cookie sale recognition items this week.  Unfortunately it appears that the duffle bags which girls earned at the 650 - 749 package level were omitted from this shipment.  Our vendor is making a separate shipment of the duffle bags and we have heard they should be going out today.  So if your shipment is missing a duffle bag or bags, they should arrive very soon.  If you have any questions, please contact your Product Sales and Finance Specialist.

By Ben Carey

Are you looking to learn more about troop management and how to run an effective Girl Scout troop?

Troop Management Training will be offered in Willmar on April 27th starting at 6:00 pm. We'll meet at Bethel Church located at 411 Becker Ave SW.
We'll cover the basics of running a troop and how to ensure that your girls get the most out of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience!

This training is a requirement for troop leaders and assistant troop leaders but all volunteers are encouraged to attend as able.  Have you been trained before? You’re more than welcome to attend as well your experience and skills will help our session leader immensely! And who knows, you might learn something new too!

What: Troop Management Training

When: Monday, April 27th 6pm

Where: Bethel Church, 411 Becker Ave SW, Willmar Minnesota

Who: Untrained Troop Leaders and Assistant Leaders but all Volunteers are encouraged to attend

Why: Because we want to prepare you to serve your Girl Scouts the best we can!

Learn more and to sign up here: Troop Management Training

By Maureen Graham

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!  Thank YOU and please extend our thanks to your parents, cupboard managers, community product sales managers, and anyone else who did extra work during the 2015 Cookie Sale Program to help girls achieve their goals. It is much appreciated!

 

Now that the sale is completed, please close any open Cookie Apps you have been using (COCO, Cupboard, etc.) so that during the next cookie sale when the app is re-opened, all of any upcoming updates will be readily available to you.

 

2014 Cookie Dough expires on April 30, 2015. 

 

2015 Cookie Dough is currently being printed and put together.  This will be sent to the 01 Troop Leader as soon as we can get it out the door.  Adventure Points will be mailed directly to girls.  We should have both the Cookie Dough and Adventure Points out before the end of the month. Recognition items will be sent in early May to community product sales managers for distribution to troops.

 

The Buy 5 Packages Win 5 Cases promotion was a success. We had over 4300 entries!!!  One winner was drawn per region.  Congratulations to our winners!:

Region     Name                   City

R01            Sam F.                  Becida

R02            Greta Q.              Finlayson

R03            Elizabeth W.     Mora

R04            Amy K.                 Avon

 

It’s not too early to start thinking about putting together your Annual Troop Financial ReportAn accurate accounting of troop funds is required every year. Complete and return this entire form, to your Troop Finance Consultant (TFC) or Service Unit Manager (SUM) or Treasurer (SUT) by June 15. (Please do a file, save as to your computer before entering information.  This form will automatically calculate income, expenses, and final balance.  Please enter expenses as negative numbers. You may print out and fill in the form if you prefer.) Attach the most recent troop bank statement and a copy of your checkbook register that corresponds to the dates of this report. The troop leader should keep all receipts and canceled checks on file for seven years. Make a copy of this report for your troop’s records. Questions about the Annual Troop Financial Report?  Contact your Product Sales and Finance Specialist. 

 

By Maureen Graham

March 22, the last day for girl credit, is fast approaching.  Thank you to everyone who has helped girls to succeed in running their cookie business this season!  We have several updates to help you through the next stage of the cookie sale.

 

COCOdirect packages were uploaded to Snap this week.  Our girls have sold 2,306 online so far, which is exciting for a first year program.  Congratulations girls!  We will make sure that any additional packages sold online this weekend are credited to girls before the recognitions orders are placed next week.

 

Gluten Free Trios have also been transferred in Snap. Troops will notice that Trios are showing up as Cranberry Citrus Crisps. This will have the smallest impact on next year’s orders.  The key in distinguishing which are Trios is that they are being transferred from the Gluten Free Cupboard.  Because Snap is not currently set up for two different price points, we are not able to increase the dollar amount for Trios so they are currently billing at the same price as the other cookies.  Please note that we will add the extra dollar per Trios package and enter that as a Gluten Free Bank adjustment after the final ACH debit.

 

The last day for RETURNS is Tuesday, March 24.

·         Troops may only return full unopened/unmarked cases (up to the number of girls selling in the troop) if the troop met the requirements of 120 packages per girl selling on the initial order (this can be done at your local cookie cupboard, also). 

Not sure if your troop met this requirement?  Go into ABC Snap > Reports > Troop Balance Summary (make sure to filter by packages)…look for the initial order line – this will tell you how many packages the troop had on the initial order – and divide it by the number of girls selling for the troop.

·         This is a one time return per troop and has to be completed by Tuesday, March 24 (no exceptions).

·         Remember, Exchanges may still be done if you have a full unopened/unmarked case of cookies for a different full unopened/unmarked case of cookies, as long as we have the varieties in stock.

 

March 25th: Troop Recognition Order due in SNAP.  Remember to transfer packages to girls before creating the recognition order. 

 

The second ACH debit will occur March 25.  The amount being withdrawn will be 50% of the remaining balance owed.  The final ACH debit will be April 8 for the remaining balance due.  Troops having difficulty collecting money from families must fill out an Outstanding Money Report and notify the council at least seven days prior to the ACH date to have their debit amount adjusted.  Outstanding Money Reports must be sent no later than April 3, 2015.  Questions? Contact your Product Sales and Finance Specialist. 

The Waite Park and Duluth Cookie Cupboards will be open the following for the rest of the cookie season:

Saturday, March 21 – 9:00am-12:00pm

Monday, March 23 – 8:30am-5:30pm

Tuesday, March 24 – 8:30am-5:30pm

Wednesday, March 25 - 8:30am- 5:30pm

After Wednesday, March 25, the cookies at the Waite Park and Duluth Cupboards will be moved to the Waite Park and Duluth Girl Scout Offices.  Troops may still get cookies after March 25 as long as varieties are available.

 

Evaluations on this year’s Cookie Sale, found in the back of your Answer Book(s), are due by April 15 at the Waite Park Regional Center.  Please take the time to fill these out and return them.  They are helpful in planning next year’s sale!

 

Happy Cookie Season and Thank You again for all that you do!

 

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!



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Dreams to Reality

Plan to Join us at...
The Kitchi Gammi Club Duluth, MN
Thursday, May 28, 2015 5:30pm - 8:30pm

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Click logo above for more information and to purchase tickets!   



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All Rights Reserved.