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‘Built by Girls’ the theme for the 2nd Girl Scout ‘Cookie University’ at DSU

December 27, 2016

“Built by Girls,” the theme for the second annual Girl Scout Cookie University hosted by Dakota State University on Jan. 21, 2017, fits in well with the construction taking place on campus.

It also fits in well for the Girl Scouts invited to the event, as they build the skills they’ll need for the upcoming Cookie Sale Program and their future careers.

Julie Danielson, membership specialist with the Girl Scouts—Dakota Horizons Council, said Cookie University is a “financial literacy program, covering leadership, goal setting, decision making and money management.”

Topics are designed to fit the girls’ ages. Daisy Girl Scouts (kindergarten and first graders) will learn about counting money and determining costs. Older girls will attend learning lab sessions which deal with running a business, and include topics such as money management, business planning, and customer service.

The Senior and Ambassador Girl Scouts will learn about marketing themselves through interviews and résumés in the “My Portfolio” session, in preparation for college and jobs.

The education also includes Digital Cookie, which takes selling cookies to a digital platform. Girls create a personal website from which they can market their cookies (such as Facebook links and personal emails inviting people to order cookies), manage customer lists and track sales. Girls can also accept payment through the mobile app which allows girls to accept credit card payments on the spot.

“Digital Cookie brings this experience to another level. Girls are learning how to build their own e-commerce site, explore marketing automation and close the sales cycle via the mobile POS. It’s really an incredible learning experience. This is real world stuff,” said Kate Reed, Chief Marketing and Advancement Officer for the council.

“It’s a nice program for young women,” said Dr. Deb Tech, assistant professor in the College of Business and Information Systems. Tech is the DSU coordinator for the event. Over two hundred girls attended the 2016 session.

Campus volunteers are again helping with the program, including DSU education students who will facilitate the learning labs, Tech said.

Cookie sales will take place Feb. 3 through March 5. A new Girl Scout Cookie is being added to the 2017 line-up to honor 100 years of girls selling cookies, the Girl Scout S’mores Cookie.  

Girl Scouts attending the “Built by Girls” event will earn their financial literacy badges, and receive a “Cookie University” patch. Parents and volunteers may also attend a session which will cover both financial literacy and cookie topics.

The 2017 Cookie University begins at 1 p.m. on January 21 with a welcome at the Dakota Prairie Playhouse. Learning labs will be held in East Hall, Kennedy Hall, and the Tunheim Classroom Building. A rally at the playhouse will end the afternoon’s session at 5 p.m.

The girls and leaders or parents may then attend the DSU men’s basketball game against Presentation College. Cookie University participants will receive free admission, and special halftime activities are planned for the girls.

In the case of inclement weather on Jan. 21, Jan. 22 is the back-up date.

Interested Girl Scouts may sign up through their troops or the Girl Scouts—Dakota Horizons Council at www.gsdakotahorizons.org. Questions may be directed to Melissa Toft at 605-336-2978 ext. 9800.

Other regional schools hosting similar events this winter include Minot State, SD School of Mines, NDSU, UND, and a Bismarck middle school.