Girl Scout Volunteer Appreciation Week

Volunteer: a person who does work without getting paid to do it. Merriam-Webster 58340tmakes the word seem easily interpreted,as if it’s the most simple concept.  But at Girl Scouts, we know that volunteerism is not so easily interpreted, and it seems like all the money in the world would not be enough payment for the job that our AMAZING volunteers do!

For well over 100 years, Girl Scouts has relied on the steadfast help of moms, aunts, and grandmothers to fill the roles of volunteer troop leader, cookie mom, carpool organizer, service area leader, and the many, many other jobs filled each and every year by you – our volunteers.  Most recently, we have been blessed with an even larger pool of dedicated volunteers who come from all walks of life and may or may not be related to our very thankful members. Whether you are the mom committed to seeing your daughter create the same phenomenal troop memories of camp and cookies that you may have experienced as a girl, a dad dedicated to help teach your daughter the value of taking great care of our environment, or the employee of a local bank helping to ensure that our members understand the importance of goal setting and the value of a dollar, we recognize that we are not the only potential recipient of your very valuable time, and for that, we say THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! We couldn’t do it without you. The staff of GSCI and I want you all to know just how much we value the time, talent, and treasures you give to us and our membership. You are appreciated more than you will ever know!

Pam Kovacevich
CEO, Girl Scouts of Central Illinois

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Cookie Recognitions

GSCI offers an empowering recognition program that affords Girl Scouts the opportunity recognitions 3-9to make a variety of choices. Through this recognition program, the girls will follow a decision-making process that includes goal setting, product choice evaluation, and making purchasing decisions based on what they earned.

Troop recognition orders need to be placed by April 10 once the last box of cookies is transferred from the troop to the girls! Also, please make sure to place a “reorder” for any Operation Cookie Share donations the girls receive. Once the reorder is placed, those cookies will be in the troop cookie totals, and you can transfer those cookies from the troop to the girl so she receives credit for them.

If a girl sells at least 5 Operation Cookie Share boxes, she will receive an OCS patch. Please note that if she earns that patch, when you run the recognition report, you will enter a “1” in the box for the OCS patch, not the number of OCS boxes she sold. For instructions on how to place your recognition order, please view page 27 in the Troop Coordinator Guide or watch the video tutorial.

Please contact your local Program Specialist with any questions!

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Girl Scout Cookie Program Builds a Lifetime of Skills

LemonadesDid you know the Girl Scout Cookie Program is the largest girl-run business in the world? The Girl Scout Cookie Program produces $790 million dollars in annual sales with 200 million cookie packages a year to more than 50 million customers. For three months of each year, Girl Scouts around the country venture into the entrepreneurial world to learn business and financial skills and earn money to fund their Girl Scouting goals. Through “learning by earning,” Girl Scouting aims to empower girls through the development of five essential skills: goal setting, money management, people skills, decision making, and business ethics.

In the spring of 2012, the Girl Scout Research Institute set out to understand the extent to which Girl Scouts actually develop these five essential skills, as well as to examine the specific ways girls benefit from their participation in the Cookie Program. Survey responses from more than 1,400 Girl Scout Brownies and Juniors representing various regions of the country provided compelling evidence that girls do benefit from the Girl Scout Cookie Program through development of these essential skills.

A Positive Impact on Girls’ Lives

Girls who developed the five skills were more likely to report that they learned new things while selling cookies that will help them in school and other areas of their life than girls who did not (93% vs. 63% respectively).

Overall, 96% of girls reported that selling cookies was fun. Learning by earning made it even more fun. Girls were more likely to report cookie selling as fun when they developed the five skills than when they did not (98% vs. 90%, respectively).

Even though the vast majority of Girl Scouts were eager to sell cookies next year (95%), those who had achieved the five skills were even more eager than those who did not (95% vs. 90%, respectively).

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Girl Scout Cookies – Out of the Box

Eco-friendly packages preserve great taste!

Wondering why our Lemonades™ Thanks-A-Lot®, and Cranberry Citrus Crisp packages look a bit different?  They’re part of our eco-friendly packaging initiative!

In 2010, ABC Cookies took the Thanks-Eco Cookie BoxesA-Lot Girl Scout cookie “out of the box.” This single change allowed us to save 150 tons of paperboard from going into America’s waste stream. And we were able to ship more cookies per truck, saving an estimated 2,600 gallons of diesel fuel a year.

The move showed girls the impact one single action could have on the environment and helped position Girl Scouts as an innovative, earth-friendly enterprise. And the public relations mentions about this change contributed to a 5 percent average increase in overall sales per council.

Due to the positive volunteer and consumer response, ABC Cookies has expanded their repackaging of Lemonades and the new Cranberry Citrus Crisp in recyclable film for this cookie season! This will result in a combined reduction of 600 tons of paperboard into the waste stream.

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Operation Cookie Share

Girl Scouts of Central Illinois kicked off Operation Cookie SharePrint in 2010. Since that time over 190,000 boxes – worth more than $825,000 – of delectable Girl Scout cookies have been shipped to our service women and men at home and abroad. In fact, our Girl Scouts were so successful that this achievement is entered in the Illinois Congressional Records.

Operation Cookie Share is a program that allows customers to let military troops know that we appreciate their service by purchasing cookies for them. Operation Cookie Share is simple and fun, and is a great way for communities to show support for military troops through the purchase of Girl Scout cookies.

How Operation Cookie Share Works

Even though we are using a modified direct sale format this year, girls should still take along their order cards. On each girl’s order card there is a column listing each variety of cookie plus one additional column labeled “Cookie Share.” When the girls go out with cookies in hand (And during cookie booths!) please encourage them to not only ask the customer to purchase Girl Scout cookies for themselves, but to also ask the customers to purchase cookies for our military troops. Girls will enter the number of boxes each customer donates on the Cookie Share column. Customers do not have a choice of the variety of cookies to be sent to troops. Operation Cookie Share cookies are held in a “virtual warehouse” so troops do not take possession of the Operation Cookie Share cookies. At the end of the cookie program, all Operation Cookie Share orders are accounted for and then shipped to our military soldiers at home and abroad.

How Cookies Are Delivered to Military Troops

A special thanks to our good neighbor, State Farm! State Farm will deliver many of the Cookie Share cookies through their Adopt-a-Soldier program. GSCI will deliver Cookie Share cookies to the State Farm corporate office in Bloomington, and State Farm will distribute Cookie Share cookies at home and abroad. Operation Cookie Share has reached military troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Haiti.

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Bling Your Cookie Booth

Banish the boring! If you want to attract lots and lots of customers, it’s time to “bling” your cookie booth. Anything fun, bright, colorful, energetic, and creative will bring customers running.

What kind of bling is your thing? These ideas are just the beginning.

Power up your posters! Make ‘em fun. Make ‘em exciting. What will you say? How about…12_cookie_booth_tipton

  • Girl Scout cookies are here!
  • Our cookie goal is…
  • Cookie bundles are bliss!

Make it sing
Catchy tunes will catch some attention. Play a recording or sing along with your friends.

Color it bright
Balloons and colorful tablecloths will guarantee you’re not missed! Create savvy signage with a cookie booth overhead sign.

Set an outrageous theme
Maybe your booth will look like a fair or carnival, complete with a corn hole toss. Maybe you’ll create a booth that looks like it should be at Hogwarts. You decide!

Dress for success
Wear cookie costumes or dress up to fit your theme. Maybe you’ll be divas for the day. Or cowgirls. (Be sure customers can still see your Girl Scout identification!)

Wrap up the fun
Imagine a display of beautifully wrapped bundles of cookies. Each bundle of three boxes is topped with a fun bow. In the center of the table is a pretty platter with free, bite-size cookie samples. What flair! What sales!

Show off your goal poster
How can you make it shine? Customers want to see how sales are stacking up and will help you reach your goals.

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Girl Scout Cookie Booth Locator

Girl Scout cookie season is a much-anticipated yearly event both for the Girl Scouts and for people looking to satisfy a sweet tooth.

Trying to find Girl Scout cookies in your community? Check out the link on the home page Keep Calm Cookiesof our website.  Click on the Cookie Booth Locator in the right hand corner under the scrolling headline pictures. Just type in your zip code, and you’ll see a list of the booth sales (during which girls sell cookies in or near stores, malls, and other businesses) in your area.

The activity of selling cookies is directly related to our purpose of helping all girls realize their full potential and become strong, confident, and resourceful citizens.

  • Girl Scouts learn life skills and are able to realize their goals and they have fun!
  • Customers get a great product and get to support girls in their own community.
  • All of the proceeds support Girl Scouting in our local community.

Through the Girl Scout Cookie Program girls develop five essential life skills:

  • Goal setting
  • Decision making
  • Money management
  • People skills
  • Business ethics

Many successful business women today say they got their start selling Girl Scout cookies.

GSCI cookie booths run from March 7 through April 14, 2014.

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Girl Scout Cookie Selling Safety

Stop Cookies HereThe Girl Scout Cookie Program is lots of fun! Just be sure to stay safe when you’re selling cookies. Please use these simple rules for a safe and successful cookie activity:

  • Show you’re a Girl Scout. Wear the Girl Scout membership pin and/or Girl Scout clothing to identify you as a Girl Scout.
  • Buddy Up. Always use the buddy system. It’s not just safe, it’s also more fun!
  • Be Streetwise. Become familiar with the areas and neighborhoods where you will be selling Girl Scout cookies. Avoid accepting anything larger than a twenty-dollar bill.
  • Partner with Adults. Adults must accompany Girl Scout Daisies, Brownies, and Juniors whenever they are taking orders for, selling, or delivering cookies. Girl Scout Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors must be supervised by an adult when selling door-to-door and must never sell alone. Adults should be present at a cookie booth in any public place at all times with the girls.
  • Plan Ahead. Always have a plan for safeguarding money—avoid walking around with large amounts of it or keeping it at home or school. Give proceeds to supervising adults to deposit as directed by your Girl Scout council as soon as possible.
  • Do Not Enter. Never enter the home of a person when you are selling or making deliveries. Never go up to a car on a street or follow a customer into a building or alley.
  • Sell in the Daytime. Sell only during daylight hours, unless accompanied by an adult.
  • Learn the 411 on online marketing and read and sign the Internet Safety Pledge at www.girlscouts.org/program/gs_cookies/cookie_activity.asp. Make sure you have adult permission and supervision for online activities, then talk to the Girl Scout adult in charge about how you can use the internet to connect with friends and family and bring the cookie program right to them! Be sure to follow the activities appropriate for your grade level.
  • Protect Privacy. Girls’ names, addresses, or email addresses should never be given out to customers. Instead, a designated adult’s telephone number and/or group email overseen by an adult is given for reorders or complaints.
  • Be Safe on the Road. Always follow safe pedestrian practices, especially when crossing at intersections or walking along roadways. Be aware of traffic when unloading cookies and passengers from vehicles.
  • Follow the Council Lead. This includes booth sale guidelines, program dates, donation programs, etc. Know whom to call if you encounter a problem or issue.
  • Be sure to check for any Girl Scout Safety Activity Checkpoints updates at http://www.girlscouts.org under Girl Scout Central: Cookies.
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Be a Smart Cookie

Crunch Time
Know your cookies! Get familiar with the names, flavors, and ingredients of the different cookie timetypes of cookies. Many people have food allergies so it’s good to know which cookies do not contain nuts, gluten, or dairy.

Wear the Uniform
Who can resist a girl in uniform? Wear your Girl Scout vest/sash with badges. Better yet, see if you can get ahold of a cookie costume to borrow. It’s almost impossible to refuse a Girl Scout dressed as a giant cookie!

Go Viral
Make a video to email to your family and friends who live out of town. They won’t be able to resist buying cookies after seeing you.

Knock on Doors
Going door-to-door is a great way to build your sales and get to know your neighborhood. Make sure you introduce yourself, make eye contact, and smile. Remind them that their purchase helps support you and your troop. Be sure to bring your parent/guardian, troop leader or adult with you when selling door-to-door.

Package Your Product
Research shows that customers buy more cookies if they are bundled. So take advantage of this sales-increasing technique by dandling boxes of three and five. Don’t for get to add some personality. Tie them together with a simple ribbon or get fancy and add a tag with a cute message or thank you.

Sell on the Spot
Find high-traffic areas (shopping centers, offices, churches, etc.). The more people, the more chances you have to sell cookies. Be sure to ask for permission from the person in charge before you set up shop. Always Bling your Booth – we’ve got plenty of great tools and inspiration to make your booth a show stopper that will help you score big sales.

Go for Volume
Talk to local business owners about buying cookies in bulk to use as delicious gifts or incentives at work or about giving you space to set up a booth on location. A Girl Scout cookie booth is a service to the existing customers of a business and can attract new customers to the store or office.

Build a Fan Base
Call, visit, or email customers who have ordered from you in the past to get their pre-order. Re-contact your early customers to see if they want to order more. Keep records of names, numbers, emails, and favorite cookies to keep in touch with your cookie fan base.

Say “Thanks-A-Lot”
For those who pre-ordered cookies, include a thank you note. It shows that you truly appreciate their purchase and that you went the extra mile. When it comes time to order again, you’re top on their list.

Promote Yourself
Show your passion for your cookie business. We’re offering you additional sales tools like yard signs, car magnets, and T-shirts to help promote your cookie business.

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How to Support Your Girl Scout in the Cookie Program

Family support is the key to success. Girls have greater success in the Girl Scout cookie buttonCookie Program when family adults are informed and involved. These tips will help you turn “cookie time” into “family time” and provide important ways you can guide and support her to cookie success!

  1. Make sure your Girl Scout is a registered member of Girl Scouts of Central Illinois for the current Girl Scout membership year.
  2. Attend her troop/group cookie training. Be sure to ask the cookie volunteer for your Girl Scout’s troop or group how you can help with meetings or with other tasks.
  3. Understand the 5 Skills for Girls and how they impact your Girl Scout.
  4. Work with her to set goals and track her progress. Encourage her to set up an account on COCO, your Girl Scout’s online Cookie Command for goal setting, planning, and marketing.
  5. Encourage her to make a telephone or email contact list of her friends and family. She can create and send e-cards in the Online Cookie Marketing section of COCO.
  6. Review and discuss Cookie Activity Safety Guidelines.
  7. Coach her in selling techniques, including how to share her goals, and suggest additional reasons to purchase cookies.
  8. Accompany your Girl Scout to support her as she sells.
  9. Discuss how you can help her reach her goals, such as giving rides when she needs them or safeguarding her cookie money. Remember, closing the sale is her responsibility.
  10. Allow your Girl Scout to participate in a booth sale and volunteer to help. Ask friends, vendors, and colleagues if they will allow a booth sale at their location and/or be a driver or a supervising adult for a booth sale.
  11. Check on her progress during the sale. Help her live by the Girl Scout Promise and Law and discuss how it applies to business ethics throughout the activity.
  12. Let your friends know how proud you are of your Girl Scout and her participation in the Girl Scout Cookie Program. Check out Girl Scout Shouts, a collection of fun badges and art designed for sharing via social media or printing.
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The 5 Skills and Girl Scout Leadership Outcomes

Why do they matter?
Because when your Girl Scout has learned these skills, she’ll be poised for success in her career.

Think about it:
When employers interview job candidates, they all look for the same things. This is true whether the employer is a bank, high-tech company, university, hospital, publishing house, car dealership, accounting firm – or even the local pet store! They want:

Someone who can set goals and meet deadlines.
Blowing a deadline can mean blowing a deal!

Someone who works well with others.
Who wants to deal with strife and complaining in the workplace? Not the boss!

Someone who understands customers.
It doesn’t matter whether the “customers” are hospital patients, TV viewers, or other companies—every business has to know its customers and what they want.

Someone who can influence others.
This doesn’t just mean selling a product. Employers want people who can sell ideas, pitch projects, and convince other employees to help out.

Someone who is honest, trustworthy and reliable.
Kind of goes without saying—or it should!

Sound like anyone you know? 
That’s your Girl Scout, using the 5 skills she learned in the Girl Scout Cookie Program.

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Cookie Program for Juliettes

The Girl Scout Cookie Program has grown into a leading business and economic literacyCarmel deLite program that is run by and for girls. The program provides an important ingredient for leadership by helping girls develop five key skills: Goal Setting, Decision Making, Money Management, People Skills, and Business Ethics.

Last year was the first year Girl Scouts of Central Illinois used the direct sale format, and our Girl Scouts and troops were very successful. By using the direct sale format, troop profits increased by 25%, 35% more girls earned free membership, girls earned 26% more Cookie Dough and recognitions, and girls reaching the 250 and 500 boxes sold level was up over 110%.

Of course, we also experienced some growing pains while getting used to the direct sale process. To make the process smoother for our volunteers, members, parents, and staff, the product sales team met with cookie focus groups and have also reviewed the troop leader and parent surveys in order to improve our 2014 cookie program. You will notice several improvements this year, and we are thankful for all our volunteers who provided us with honest and helpful suggestions to help make this year’s program better than ever.

Please take time to thoroughly review the 2014 Juliette Cookie Guide. This guide will inform you of the many new improvements to our program and will answer most of your questions. Also, please don’t forget to have your parent/guardian complete the Parent Permission Form for you participation.

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The Power of the Girl Scout Cookie Program

Cookie PilesA Girl Scout recent study found that, through the cookie program, girls learn skills they can apply to everyday life.

85% increased their money management skills as they developed budgets, took cookie orders, and handled customers’ money.

83% developed business ethics, learning to fulfill promises to customers and considering how best to contribute to their communities with their earnings.

80% set goals and created objectives to reach them.

77% made important decisions, learning to work as a team to develop a business plan, deciding when and where to sell cookies, and determining what to do with the money they earn.

75% developed people skills, learning to talk to, listen to, and work with different kinds of people.

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Girl Scout Cookie Program

There’s more to Girl Scout cookies than what’s in the box. When a Girl Scout sells you cookies, she’s building a lifetime of skills and confidence. She learns goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills, and business ethics – aspects essential to leadership, to success, and to life.

The Girl Scout Cookie Program has grown into a leading business and economic literacy program that is run by and for girls. By putting her mind and energies to something, a Girl Scout can overcome any challenge. There are no limits. She can be anything. She can do anything.

We’re excited to announce many positive changes this year, including using a hybrid direct sale format. A hybrid direct sale format will provide your troop more opportunity in sales and troop profit. Girls will earn Cookie Dough and recognitions throughout the entire program, including through sales made at cookie booths.

To help jump start the cookie program, your Girl Scouts may pre-sell using the order card and social media beginning December 20, 2013.

Cookie Varieties- $4.00 per box

  • Thin Mints
  • Shortbread
  • Peanut Butter Patties
  • Peanut Butter Sandwiches
  • Caramel deLites
  • Lemonades
  • Thanks-A-Lots
  • Cranberry Citrus Crisp (New)

Introducing Our New Cookie – Cranberry Citrus Crisp
A crispy cookie made with whole grain, full of tangy cranberry bits, with a zesty citrus Cranberry_Citrus_Crispsflavor.

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Cravin’ the Cookie!

Cravin‘Tis the season for Thin Mints, Carmel deLites, and Lemonades as Girl Scouts in Central Illinois prepare the largest girl-led business enterprise in the world!

Celebrate the cookie craze with these fellow cookie fans! Share your silliest, wackiest, funniest, and sweetest moments of cookie anticipation and excitement, and you could be a star in our next video!

It’s easy as 1-2-3. 1) Record your shining moment. 2) Upload to Youtube, Vine, or Instagram. 3) Submit at cravinthecookie.org.

Join the excitement and you could be a cookie star!

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