Leader Question: What do other leaders do when it’s time to distribute “recognition items” from fall or cookie sales? We usually put each girl’s items in a gift bag and pass them out at the end of a meeting, but of course they want to open their bags and show the others what they earned. We had a parent complain that her child did not earn the big ticket item and was very disappointed. I feel like as scouts, they should be learning how to get through situations like this and use it as an experience to help them try harder next time. At the very least, to be happy for their sister scouts and enjoy the troop reward they earned together. Thoughts?
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- Rebecca’s idea: We distribute awards to the girls when they are received – Parents need to understand that the prizes are “earned” also, girls should show support for fellow Scouts for how hard they worked maybe help them to understand the reward that can be received for working that extra bit harder.
- Candy wrote in: I have told both my girls and parents, like anything else, scouting is what you make it. Some girls are more dedicated than others. I order a patch for all of my girls who choose to participate so that those who may not have the minimum order for the patch still gets one and then print the little certificates you can find online so all the girls who sell are recognized. I also recognize each girl when they receive their incentives and explain the incentive for the number of items ordered. I congratulate all of them. Most of my girls were excited to see the awards the others earned. It is hard, because sometimes it is the parent, not the girl who does not want to participate. That is ok. Some choose to support school fundraisers over scouts and I respect their choice and some choose not to sell at all.
- Nikki’s experience: I think that it depends on their age. we have brownies and daisies. at this age, the number of boxes each girl sells is influenced by parental involvement, not just work on the scouts part… I put all awards in a nondescript bag and hand it out as the girls are leaving. this year we have girls working toward cookie camp and other big ticket items so we hope that they achieve that goal, but I will continue to teach our girls that achieving their personal goal and working toward a group activity and donating toward their chosen charity/service project is more important than winning prizes and patches.
- Melissa’s thought: We do it at our Christmas party. We put together a neat little award collage with all of their earned fun patches on it and also hand out a gift bag with Fall Product incentives in it. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a girl or adult complain. I think, thankfully, all of my parents understand that if they didn’t earn it they will not receive it. We also do a spring party before bridging to hand out more earned awards and cookie prizes.
- Michelle’s advice: You should celebrate the accomplishments of all your girls. If a girl has earned the “big prize”, that is something to be proud of and, as uncomfortable as the feelings of envy may be for some of her peers (and their parents), you shouldn’t be silent about it. Caveat: if the parents are really the ones doing the fundraising (i.e., 1500 boxes were sold at mom’s work), then the prizes weren’t really earned by the girl’s hard work, and publicly crediting her may come off as insincere.
- Sarah: It makes great incentives for next year. we had a girl upset one year because she didn’t get the stuffed animal. the next year that girl sold more.
- Monique: Life lessons, cookies is their own business….one person might work harder than the other just like at a job that person is going to get a raise the person that maybe not as well is not going to get that raise. It is life parents can’t run to the boss and complain.