Cali Girls meet bright and early in the Disneyland theme park for a group photo Sunday morning. The girls enjoyed roaming the park and rides without wait times before it opened to the public for the day!
Each year Girl Scouts from the San Gorgonio Council dream of pixie dust and starlight. That's because for the past three years hundreds of them earned the Cookie Program Cali Girl incentive. During the 7-week cookie sale girls dedicated themselves to achieving goals and, when they succeed, magic happens.
"I do believe that a Girl Scout cookie can do anything and this weekend's Cali Girl outing to Disneyland proves that once again," said Elizabeth "E" Locke-Thomas, VP of Sales at San Gorgonio Council.
Each year "E" helps girls and parents achieve with Sparkle training and business etiquette, while supplying boundless energy and support during Cookie Season. Families and troop leaders, as well as Devon Spira of the Council, are all imperative members of the Cali Girl team who help drive girls to reach their Cookie Program goals year after year.
The Girl Scout Cookie Program is the largest entrepreneurial program for girls in the world. While there are many incentives for achieving sales goals, Cali Girl is especially popular, and motivates more and more girls to reach new levels of achievement each year.
During the record-breaking 2012 Cookie Program, 722 San Gorgonio Council girls sold more than 750 boxes of Girl Scout cookies each! Every one of these girls earned a place of honor at this year's all-expenses paid Cali Girl celebration at Disneyland.
Daisies--girls in kindergarten and first grade--were accompanied by a parent or guardian, received two "everywhere" park passes for Saturday, a $100 food card, tickets to World of Color, swag bags, and a special desert buffet awards event.
For the older girls, Cali Girl was a 2-day event, chaperoned by volunteers, and included a night's stay at the Disneyland Hotel, Park-Hopper passes for two days, special events tickets, an awards breakfast and take-away gifts and surprises.
Cali Girls at the Cali Girl Awards Ceremony held Saturday morning at the Disneyland Hotel.
Cali Girl began with Daisy check-ins at the Disneyland Hotel's Sleeping Beauty Pavilion. Despite the brisk, morning air, the excitement and anticipation generated waves of energy over the crowd of attendees. Girls began trading Swaps--handmade pins created by troops to commemorate the event-- almost immediately.
Voting for favorites was set-up at a nearby table and individual girls entered their own creations for a chance at winning a Swap Award during the awards ceremony.
In the Magic Kingdom Ballroom, a sea of wonderfully decorated tables awaited the Cali Girls. Each table held bright, Disney floral centerpieces, fresh baked croissants and muffins, fruit bowls, a Cali Girl schedule of events and colorful bracelets at each place setting.
A catered hot brunch of bacon, scrambled eggs, and French toast was served before the official Cali Girl Awards ceremony commenced. "E" hosted the awards, which began with a video look-back at the seven-week cookie sale.
Then the announcements that all the girls had been waiting for: top sellers for each Girl Scout level, and for the entire Council.
Among the 722 Cali Girls are this year's three top sellers for the San Gorgonio Council. Caroline Biggs with 4,001 boxes, came in as the third-place Council Top Seller for 2012.
"This is the first year that I was an overall top seller and feels great," said Caroline.
"Some of the strategies I used were going door to door, lots of booths with my troop and booths at home. I loved to up-sell, and always put my sparkle on!"
Brynn Stephens secured a second-place spot as a Top Seller by selling 4,131 boxes. "It felt really awesome when they called my name!" she remembers. I always say one box at a time," Brynn said about her selling strategy.
"Sometimes people think it's a joke, but I literally count every box. I keep a chart on the wall to keep track of the number of boxes and we mark off numbers."
Brynn says her mom is one of her biggest supporters. "She keeps me going and I couldn't have done it without her. And my little sister, of course, is also a Girl Scout who helped me a lot."
Then there's Caitlin Loret. Caitlin worked hard to achieve the title of Top Seller last year, selling 4,051 boxes. This year Caitlin made Top Seller for a second consecutive time with an astonishing 6,219 boxes!
"It feels cool," said Caitlin, "to make Top Seller again." When asked about her selling strategy she's very straightforward. "We went out every single day." Giving her very best, Caitlin continued to sell cookies one day at a time and kept a positive attitude about every aspect of her business.
"If a person didn't want to buy cookies, I'd ask them if they wanted to donate a dollar to send cookies to the troops." Caitlin made over $2,900 for ICare by asking that simple question.
Of course, she wasn't alone when she broke her own record by 2,168 boxes. Caitlin received huge support from her friends and family. "My friends bought many boxes to support me and my parents took the time to transport me to cookie booths," she told us.
Her mom, Tina, and her father, Paul, are both active in Caitlin's Girl Scouting career. Tina is the Leader of her daughter's troop and Paul acts as Co-Leader. A Girl Scout can go miles on her own integrity and Sparkle, but the Lorets prove a family's love and support can really go the distance!
In addition to our Top Sellers Caroline, Brynn and Caitlin, a fourth Girl Scout from San Gorgonio Council reached the 4,000 box level. Naomi Jefferson-Glipa achieved top recognitions by selling 4,000 boxes.
"Making new friends with the girls in my group, not having to wait in line for Star Tours because we got to get into Disneyland early, seeing Princess Tiana in the parade (she actually waved right at me!), and getting to scream 'What can a cookie do!' to every Cali Girl I see," said Naomi.
"It was like being a celebrity at Disneyland. Everyone was asking us if we were Girl Scouts and when we told them how many cookies we sold they were amazed."
Besides Cali Girl, these four entrepreneurial stars have earned a journey to Washington, DC for Rock the Mall. On June 9, 2012, they will join over 250,000 Girl Scouts and adults for the world's largest Sing-Along.
"E" notes, "I'm proud of our Girl Scouts and nothing compares to seeing each and every one achieve her goals. Our girls learn life's most important lessons, that hard work does pay off and having a dream is the key to success. Then to see them rewarded in this grand fashion merely exemplifies those lessons."
By noon all Cali Girl groups dispersed into the Disneyland theme parks for a day of adventure and fun. "Mob" activities were scheduled throughout the day for Cali Girls, allowing large groups of Girl Scouts and chaperones to attend events together.
At the Tomorrowland Terrace Stage, girls experienced and participated in the live-action Jedi Training Academy attraction. Girl Scouts joined the Disney-certified Jedi masters on stage to learn the ways of The Force.
Darth Vador even made an appearance and threatened the show until several Girl Scouts bravely stood up from the crowd to challenge him.
The Phineas and Ferb Rockin'Rollin' Dance Party! at Disney's California Adventure theme park also organized a Mob event for Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio. Chaperones and girls had fun learning new dances, and even our older Girl Scouts let loose.
The Disneyland Hotel Water Park was also scheduled for Cali Girls from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. for a little pre-summer splash fun.
Later in the evening the Daisy Awards Ceremony and Desert Buffet was hosted at the Banquet Hall in the Paradise Pier Hotel. A cast of Disney characters, along with Phineas and Ferb, greeted excited guests for pictures and autographs.
Scrumptious cupcakes encrusted with Cali Girl chocolates and dusted in shimmering pixie dust covered buffet tables lining the room.
"For Cali Girl we strive to create the most magical memories that a girl will experience for that 48-hour period," said Jua-Nita Houston, Director of Events at San Gorgonio Council. Jua-Nita worked with Disneyland Resort to bring the Cali Girl experience to life.
"We want to make them feel special and honored. They work hard to get to that goal and we want to make sure that when they reach it they experience the magic that makes it all worthwhile."
What can a cookie do? It's magic.
Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio builds girls of courage, confidence and character who help make the world a better place.
To find out how you can get involved with Girl Scouts, either as a volunteer or member, call 1-800-400-GIRL (4475) or visit us online at www.girlscoutssangorgonio.org.
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