Cookie Booth Assignment Procedure

Many people have asked how cookie booths are assigned, so here's the information step by step. This system unfortunately is a lot like a lottery, but that's because there are a lot of troops who shop at the same stores. If you have questions or feedback, feel free to let me know. Be sure, however, that this procedure has been devised over several years of doing this and we have given much consideration to designing a method that is fair to everyone. -- Lee

  • All requests received by the Service Center are date stamped. Forms submitted online also have a received date/time. Requests which arrive before the first acceptance date (January 2nd) are treated as if they arrived on January 2nd.
  • Before I start, I group all of the booth requests by date received and shuffle them up. (Each time I start a new date or new pass through the requests, I shuffle.)
  • First I assign one 4-hour booth for all troops whose requests arrived on or before January 2nd. Any requests for more booths are clumped together and set aside for the next pass.
  • Then I assign booths for all troops whose requests arrived on January 3rd... and so on... until January 12th, the due date.
  • Then I do that all again--the ones from the 2nd, then the 3rd, up to the 12th--to assign all troops who requested more than one booth their second booth.
  • I'll give troops their third and possibly even fourth booths if there is sufficient space at the stores. Remember I've still only assigned booths for those troops who submitted their requests by the due date of January 12th.
  • When I feel there isn't enough space to assign another whole set of booths for everyone (usually this means not that there was really no space, but the number of people who are asking only for the prime locations on the first weekend gets to be too much for me, and I have to start guessing), then I assign booths for those requests which arrived January 13th. And then January 14th. And so on... until I am finally caught up to current. I will give those late troops the same number of booths that the others received--so if the others only had 2 booths assigned, the late ones will get no more than two.
  • At this point, I will open up all unfilled spaces on a first- request basis. I post the Round 2 Rules when it's time for this. The reason I don't continue placing booths based on peoples' requests is because I'm generally down to the dregs (although there is often good boothing still available, just unusual times and locations) and I feel I need feedback on these before I assign them to you. People can contact me by email (best), phone, fax, or via the council office for additional cookie booths at that time. I will continue to add cookie booths, accept cancellations, and reassign cookie booths until the end of the sale. The procedures for requesting additional cookie booths will be listed on my site.

Unfortunately, there are always gobs of requests for the same locations at the same time--there are more popular stores and there are more popular times/dates. Many of the larger stores (example, Wal-Mart) are located centrally and several different neighborhoods shop there, so many troops will all want to booth at that one store. If your first request is taken, I try your second choice, and so on-- everyone gets a booth, it just may not be your first choice.

When I'm assigning, I use the information you write on your form. If there's not enough information on the form (i.e., you only list a couple of acceptable locations and they're all full), my only bias is that I don't assign Food City or other stores that have been reported to have overall low sales, Video stores, Craft Stores, Car Washes or Gas Stations unless you requested them or unless I can find nothing else available. I try to substitute a grocery store for another grocery store or department store with a department store where I can. I try to find a location nearby. If you don't tell me you can do weekdays, I will not give you weekdays. If you don't tell me you can do evenings, I try not to give you evenings. Of course, as the schedule fills up, I have to try to fit everyone in somehow, so I may make exceptions to the above rules. But that's my general rule.

The moral of the story is: Please give me lots of choices when you fill out your form. The more information you give me, the more likely I'll be able to assign a cookie booth that you are happy with.

Back to Main Page Send me a note