Grow Your Girl Scout Troop

What’s even more fun than a new year of Girl Scouts? Welcoming new girls to your op cat (2)troop! After all, new members bring fresh ideas, different ways of looking at things, and excitement that can spark creativity and energize everyone. Plus, introducing new friends to Girl Scouting allows existing members to flex their leadership skills and build confidence. Basically, everybody wins!

Though you may already be a few months into the new school year, it’s still the perfect time to get more girls involved in your troop’s adventures. Get ready to recruit some fresh faces with these tried-and-true tips from Marissa Vessels, who writes for Girl Scouts of Northern California’s blog The Trailhead:

1. Host a Bring-a-Friend meeting.

It’s common that your girls might want to invite their friends to troop meetings to see what Girl Scouts is all about! So lean into your girls’ natural desire to be social and host a special “Bring-a-Friend” meeting for your troop (or just designate certain meetings throughout the year as being open for friends).

When hosting a Bring-a-Friend meeting, it’s important that the meeting is authentic to your troop’s Girl Scout experience. If your troop is full of outdoor adventurers, a meeting filled with crafts and games may not be the best way to attract the girls that are right for your group. And if your girls are a little more on the low-key side, your troop trip to a theme park might not be the right event for potential new Girl Scouts to experience. Instead, plan a meeting that will allow for lots of interaction between the girls, down time for you to talk to the potential new parents, and a fun activity that is true to your troop’s interests.

2. Add your troop to the Opportunity Catalog.

Did you know that there are thousands of girls all over the country waiting to find the perfect troop, and likely hundreds right in your area? We need to do our part to help these girls find their homes in Girl Scouts! Many councils have a troop Opportunity Catalog—an online listing that provides detailed information about the troops in your area that have open spots available. The troop catalog is the perfect opportunity to tell new members about what your troop likes to do and what makes you, you. You’ll fill in all of the details about the age levels of your girls, when you meet, and what kinds of activities you enjoy, which will help new Girl Scouts and volunteers find their perfect match. Check with your council on how to make sure you’re there.

3. Have your girls rock their Girl Scout swag on meeting days (and share their Girl Scout story).

No matter how old your girls are, wearing their uniforms or other Girl Scout logo merchandise out and about is a powerful way to recruit new members for your troop. Not only are these items symbols of pride, they tell a story of girls’ unique experiences—the skills they’ve learned, the adventures they’ve gone on—and it’s hard for friends not to ask about it. Encourage your girls to don their Girl Scout duds at school, back-to-school night, and out in the community on days that they have Girl Scout events to attend, and you’re sure to pique interest.

4. Invite your friends and their girls to attend Service Unit or Council events with you.

There’s something magical about the Girl Scout sisterhood, isn’t there? So what better way to recruit new members than to invite your friends and their girls to join along for a Service Unit or Council event to get a taste of the wider Girl Scout community! From building robots to singing songs around the campfire, there are opportunities for every girl in Girl Scouts, no matter what her interests are.

Whether we’re environmental champions, budding entrepreneurs, or passionate about changing the world, the next opportunity to stand up, speak up, and take the lead is never far away. So round up your favorite friends and invite them to see why Girl Scouts is the best place for their girls to grow into the confident, courageous, and strong women of tomorrow, today. (Seriously, what parent can say no to that?)

5. Hand out physical invitations for girls to share with their friends.

Your girls are by far your best recruiters. Make it easy for their friends to join in on the fun by giving out a handful of physical invitations for your girls to pass out at school, in the community, clubs, church, sports practice, dance classes, back-to-school night, student government meetings, and, well, you get the idea!

Your invitation should include space for your girl to write her name, her friend’s name, meeting details (date, time, and location), and your troop leader’s contact information.

 – GSUSA Blog, September 24, 2017
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Posted in Community Service, General, Membership, Volunteers | Tagged , , , , ,

Take the G.I.R.L. Agenda Pledge

Through your dedication to the girls you serve every day, you’ve already shown us that 500x655-2 GIRL pledgeyou believe in the power of every girl to stand up, speak out, and accomplish amazing things. Help us unleash that power in more girls today by pledging to add one or more girls to your troop!

We believe there is a place at the table for every G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™. And we know you believe it, too!

Together we can accomplish amazing things and build a better world for all of us, so let’s get to it! And when you recruit more girls, you reinvigorate your troop with new excitement, ideas, and potential, all while giving more girls the opportunity to unleash their G.I.R.L. to embark on a lifetime of leadership, success, and adventure. That means more unstoppable change-makers and more futures superpowered!

Between November 1 and November 15, 2017, take the Girl Scout Agenda pledge to add one or more new Girl Scouts to your troop by March 1, 2018, and tell us how your troop is working to advance the G.I.R.L. Agenda in your community.

The G.I.R.L. Agenda is our nationwide initiative to elevate every voice in the advancement of girls’ leadership and status in the world. By pledging to add at least one new girl to your troop, you’ll help even more girls spark positive change through civic engagement.

Four grand prize winners will be randomly selected to have their story shared on Girl Scouts of the USA’s Facebook page on Thanksgiving Day and receive a FREE limited-edition G.I.R.L. Agenda patch for their troop. Additionally, 600 prize winners will be randomly selected to receive the patch only. SWEET!

Posted in General, Membership, Volunteers | Tagged , , , , ,

Girl Scouts and Code.org: Preparing Girls to Smash Glass Ceilings in STEM!

Girl Scouts is all about being girl-led, and developing new programs is no exception. That’s why we surveyed girls to find out which science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) topics they most want to explore. The results weren’t surprising—computer science, engineering, and outdoor STEM landed in the top three!

Today’s digital natives live in a world powered by technology. They want to do more than experience it; they want to help create it. Girls said they want to learn how to create apps, design video games, build robots, develop websites, create digital avatars, and much more. Because they know that code informs every aspect of their lives, and they want to know how to use it to shape their world.

To meet this need, Girl Scouts has collaborated with Code.org, the national leader in providing computer science curricula for youth, to develop robotics and computational-thinking programs for girls. “We are thrilled to partner with Girl Scouts to introduce more girls to computational thinking,” said Hadi Partovi, founder and CEO of Code.org. “In the 21st century, these critical-thinking and problem-solving skills are essential for all girls as they become tomorrow’s leaders and innovators.”

Research indicates that girls “opt out” of STEM as early as second or third grade, so our initial program launch focused on elementary school girls. Girl Scouts and Code.org share a common goal—to make sure every girl believes that computer science is for her and that she has opportunities to continue learning, experimenting, and coding. To that end, we are currently developing middle and high school computational-thinking and robotics programs.

Badges and Awards for Girl Scout Daisies

Daisy Think Like a Programmer Award: Daisies participate in computational-thinking activities and learn how programmers solve problems.

What Robots Do Badge: For their first robotics badge, Daisies learn that robots are so much more than metallic figures that show up in cartoons! They also learn about the various jobs that engineers hold and use engineering skills to design a robot that solves an everyday problem.

How Robots Move Badge: After learning about the different parts of a robot, Daisies are ready to start their computer programming journey! Computational thinking helps Daisies understand how robots act on instructions.

Design a Robot Badge: Everyday problems can sometimes be solved with the help of simple machines, such as gears, levers, and pulleys. To solve a problem, Daisies brainstorm, design, and build a prototype robot.

Badges and Awards for Girl Scout Brownies

Brownie Think Like a Programmer Award: Brownies participate in interactive computational-thinking activities and learn how programmers solve problems.

Programming Robots Badge: When Brownies begin to explore computer programming, they also need to know how robots gather data and information. Girls practice coding on a device and build simple machines to explore how robots act on instructions.

Designing Robots Badge: Robots are often inspired by humans and nature, so Brownies learn about biomimicry and build a robot arm! These budding engineers also build a robot that helps humans or animals with a simple task.

Showcasing Robots Badge: Learning about robotics competitions and science fairs prepares Brownies to present their own robots. Additional inspiration comes from talking to experts and members of robotics teams, and troops will even be encouraged to check out a robot in action!

 

Badges and Awards for Girl Scout Juniors

 

Junior Think Like a Programmer Award: Juniors participate in interactive computational-thinking activities and learn how programmers solve problems.

Programming Robots Badge: Juniors learn how robots receive instructions (which isn’t so different from how axons work in the human brain!) Girls study the anatomy of a robot and create a simple machine. They also practice coding using tangrams to explore algorithms.

Designing Robots Badge:
 Learning about artificial intelligence in the field of robotics is the next step for Juniors. To earn this badge, girls talk about what robots can do, identify a global problem, and create a plan for a robot to solve it.

Showcasing Robots Badge: After Juniors build their robots, they talk with experts and members of robotics teams to learn more about competitions and science fairs. By presenting their own robots, girls have a chance to share their knowledge and practice presentation skills, like a true leader!

For more information about the new badges, visit www.girlscouts.org/ourprogram.

Select badges were created by Girl Scouts of the USA with contributions from notable organizations in the STEM and outdoor industries, including Code.org, GoldieBlox, the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, SciStarter, the Society of Women Engineers, and WGBH/Design Squad.

Posted in Community Service, Membership, Program & Activities, Volunteers | Tagged , ,

Girl Scouts Partners with JOANN Stores

GSUSA has teamed up with JOANN to unveil a brand new Girl Scout Rewards Program. JOANN, the nation’s leadingJOANN craft and fabric retailer, is offering 15% off all eligible purchases every day for Girl Scouts. Through the partnership, JOANN will also offer in-kind education, recruitment support, and in-store events. And Girl Scouts will be allowed to have cookie booths in front of JOANN stores.

Through fun, educational activities and special events held at its stores throughout the year, JOANN will help girls embrace their inner “maker” spirit, learn new skills, and give back to their communities.

In addition to giving girls the chance to explore their creativity, JOANN guarantees that a minimum of $1.5 million from the Girl Scout Rewards program will go back to GSUSA  over the next three years, demonstrating its deep commitment to girls’ leadership development. These funds will support GSUSA’s mission to build girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. To learn more about the Girl Scout Rewards program visit www.joann.com/girl-scouts.com 

Posted in General, Membership, Product Sales, Program & Activities, Volunteers

Why Girl Scouts, Why Now

New STEM and Outdoor Programming for Girls, New Digital Tools for Volunteers

Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA), the BEST leadership development organization for girls—is offering Girl Scouts even more opportunities to learn skills and prepare them to empower themselves with the experiences they need to succeed in life.

Today, GSUSA introduced 23 new badges in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and the outdoors—our largest programming rollout in almost a decade!Girl Scouts will be able to design robots and racecars, go on environmentally conscious camping trips, create algorithms, collect data in the great outdoors, try their hand at engineering, and so much more. And the best part? These new badges are girl-tested and girl-approved!

The new Girl Scout programming builds girls’ skills and encourages their interest in STEM and environmental conservation from an early age—areas girls are not typically encouraged to explore outside Girl Scouting—increasing their confidence in an all-girl, girl-led environment where they feel comfortable to try new things, take appropriate risks, and learn from failure.

GSUSA created select badges with contributions from notable organizations in the STEM and outdoor industries, such as GoldieBlox, WGBH/Design Squad, the Society of Women Engineers, the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, Code.org, and SciStarter.

These awesome badges have debuted on Girl Scouts’ first digital platform for volunteers, the Volunteer Toolkit, making it more accessible than ever to unleash the power of every G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™. The Volunteer Toolkit helps parents and volunteers easily plan meetings and activities; keep track of important information; and, ultimately, make it easier to support amazing experiences for girls!

In the toolkit, most programming for girls in grades K–5 is autopopulated so troop leaders can view activity plans and necessary materials, customize meetings, and track troop finances all in one place. Plus, the instructions included throughout make subjects that might otherwise intimidate some volunteers—like STEM—accessible and understandable, so they can confidently carry out troop activities. Which means helping girls take the lead in their adventures just got a whole lot easier!

Need even more reasons to join the Girl Scout Movement? The Girl Scout Research Institute recently released new findings that show how participation in Girl Scouts helps girls develop key leadership skills proven to help them achieve bright, successful futures. Compared to their non–Girl Scout peers, Girl Scouts are more likely to be leaders because they:

  • Have confidence in themselves and their abilities (80 percent vs. 68 percent)
  • Act ethically and responsibly, and show concern for others (75 percent vs. 59 percent)
  • Seek challenges and learn from setbacks (62 percent vs. 42 percent)
  • Develop and maintain healthy relationships (60 percent vs. 43 percent)
  • Identify and solve problems in their communities (57 percent vs. 28 percent)
  • Take an active role in decision making (80 percent vs. 51 percent)

The most powerful part is that no matter where girls live or what their age or background is, Girl Scouts can help them develop to their full potential and excel in all aspects of life.

So, at a time when 81 percent of U.S. voters think preparing girls for leadership roles should be a national priority*, there has never been a better time to stand with girls. And Girl Scouts is the best place to do it. If you believe there is power in every G.I.R.L., join Girl Scouts today and unleash it!

GSUSA Blog July 2017

Posted in General, Membership, Program & Activities | Tagged , , , ,

Superpower Your Girl Scout Year

Meet the best tool a leader could ever ask for when leading their Girl Scout troop . . . The1496328367984 Volunteer Toolkit (VTK) is a digital resource that supports troop leaders and co-leaders, making the process of running a troop easier and more efficient. Check out some of the toolkit’s top features below. Then watch the video playlist above for a detailed walk-through.

Look What’s New to the VTK:

  • Outdoor Journey for Dasies, Brownies and Juniors with multi-level content.
  • Three (3) brand-new STEM Journeys in engineering, programming and citizen science.
  • 38 new badges and Journey awards to chose among, including the first-ever Daisy Outdoor and Citizen badges.

Through the VTK, troop leaders can:

  • Plan the troop’s calendar year
  • Email parents with one click.
  • View the troop roster, renew girls’ membership, and update their contact information.
  • View Daisy, Brownie, and Junior Journeys and badges to plan for troop meetings. There are three prepopulated year plans in the VTK for Daisy, Brownie, and Junior leaders, with 15 meetings each.
  • Customize meetings by troop year with other badge and Journey options.
  • NEW! Access the VTK as a multilevel troop (troops with a mix of girls in Daisy, Brownie, and Junior levels).
  • Explore individual meeting plans that show a breakdown of every meeting, including a list of the materials needed, and editable time allotments for each activity within a meeting.
  • Record girls’ attendance at meetings and their badge and Journey achievements.
  • Add council or custom troop events to the troop’s calendar.
  • Enter the troop’s finances (depending on the council’s process).
  • Easily locate resources, such as Safety Activity Checkpoints.
  • NEW! Access 18 activities that now include a “Get Outside” option, which provides alternative outdoor options.

What About Parents?

  • Parents can now access the VTK to see what their girl’s troop or group is doing (e.g, meeting information and which badges and Journeys she is working on).
  • Parents can also view the troop’s finances (depending on the council’s process).

Log in today! Click on My GS in the upper right-hand corner to get started. First time user? Use this handy guide!

Posted in General, Membership, Program & Activities, Volunteers

Unleash the Super Hero Inside – Fall Product Activity

The Fall Product Activity is a council-sponsored program that combines educational 2017 FP Imageactivities with money earning opportunities for the troops. The activity takes place October 1-20, 2017 and  is directed toward family and friends- those closest to Girl Scouting and enables troops to earn start up money by selling magazine subscriptions as well as nuts and candy.

Programming focuses on leadership, collaboration and exploring personal values through discovering, connecting and taking action to help girls explore their future potential.

The 5 Skills:
The Fall Product Activity teaches Girl Scouts 5 core skills to grow into leaders in their own life, in business and in the world.

Online Learning:
For online learning activities designed to enhance the troop program activity pieces, click here!

Goal Setting:
Setting goals is the key to a successful sale. Troops and girls who set goals earn big. Talk about what your plans are for the fall and what the funding would be needed to make it happen. Give your girls the opportunity to fully experience Product Sale Programming and don’t skip the Goal Setting and Decision Making skill building! The Fall Product Sale isn’t as simple as saying “sell 350 boxes of cookies” since the product line is varied. By leveraging all product options, the girls can discover, connect and take action to meet their troop’s funding needs.

Posted in Fall Product Activity, General, Product Sales, Volunteers

Happy 2018 GS Membership Year!

Here at GSCI we are all very excited to kick off our new membership year with optimismGirl that we are poised to bring the Girl Scout Leadership Experience to thousands of girls across the state of Illinois! Of course, we couldn’t do it without the help of our parents and leaders, so welcome and thank you for recognizing that the mission of Girl Scouting is unduplicated and will provide your girls with an experience unmatched by any other extracurricular that they could participate in!  2018 will see the launch of G.I.R.L. in force. Our Go-getter, Innovator,
Risk- taker and Leader will soon be experiencing new and improved outdoor badges and journeys as well as increased STEM opportunities. All of this will be easily accessed for our K-5 and multi-age troops via the VTK (I know, alphabet soup right?) The new Volunteer Tool Kit, which is planned to expand to include older girl troops eventually, gives leaders access to programming to help girls work on Girl Scout badges and Journeys and allows the leaders and girls to plan their year ahead all while providing access to awesome tools for their troop and eventually their troop bank account information. If all that’s not enough, we have amped-up our traditional programming this year that includes a reprisal of the Quincy Mall Event, Girl Scout Extravaganza, GS Day at the Capital, GS Day at the Cardinals (stay tuned for a super exciting announcement) and based on input from our Voices of the Girl survey and local focus group input we have added more core (staff-led) camping opportunities. All of this and more awaits you and our girl members in 2018. We hope you enjoy the year as much as we intend to!

Pam Kovacevich
CEO, Girl Scouts of Central Illinois

 

Posted in Community Service, General, Membership, Program & Activities, Volunteers

New Badges and Journeys!

GSUSA has introduced 23 new badges in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and the outdoors – the largest programming rollout in almost a decade! Girl Scouts will be able to design robots and racecars, go on environmentally conscious camping trips, create algorithms, collect data in the great outdoors, try their hand at engineering, and so much more. And the best part? These new badges are girl-tested and girl-approved!

The new Girl Scout programming builds girls’ skills and encourages their interest in STEM and environmental conservation from an early age – areas girls are not typically encouraged to explore outside Girl Scouting – increasing their confidence in an all-girl, girl-led environment where they feel comfortable to try new things, take appropriate risks, and learn from failure.

Posted in Membership, Program & Activities, Uncategorized | Tagged ,

New Adventures Plus

You’ve got mail! The 2017-2018 Adventure Guide Plus should be in your mailbox! Registration opens August 9th. EventsAdventures+Plus+2018+Cover2 are based on four pillars: Entrepreneurship (Guardians of the Girl Scout Galaxy), Outdoor (Camp Discovery), STEM (museum events), and Life Skills (Mom and Me First Aid Tea). Don’t forget about the Momentous events Big Tap Campout, Quincy Mall Event, STEM Explorers, Career Day, Cookie Rallies, Polar Bear Lock-in, Leadership Summit, Honor Brunch and Girl Extravaganza, Family Day at Camp Widji, and Girl Scout Day at the Capitol! We can’t wait to see you there!

Posted in Program & Activities

Join Us for Leader Chats

Based on leader feedback, GSCI has created Leader Chat to support leaders in making the process of running a troop easier and more efficient. It’s a way of keeping our leaders informed and engaged.

GSCI staff members will be facilitating Leader Chats on a monthly basis through online webinars on varying topics all specifically designed to help you plan and stay organized throughout the Girl Scout year. Each month we will explore a new topic in a 30-minute webinar in which you can participate won your computer. We will offer three convenient dates and times for you to join us.

Our September Leader Chat will explore the Volunteer Toolkit (VTK) and the new badges and Journeys.

  • Wednesday, September 13 from 7:00 a.m. – 7:30 a.m.
  • Thursday, September 14 from noon – 12:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, September 19 from 7:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Choose which date and time works best for you. Register for the Leader Chat and then join us for an enlightening 30 minutes that will organize your Girl Scout year like never before!

You must register to join us. Once we have confirmed your registration you will get the online webinar information sent to your email.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Customer Care or Membership Support Specialist at customercare@girlscouts-gsci.org or 888-623-1237.

Posted in Membership, Volunteers | Tagged , ,

You are more than a Girl Scout.

You’re a G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™.

We believe there’s no such thing as too much. That there’s no excuse for making excuses. Our strength doesn’t Email_Patch come from how much we can lift but from how often we can lift ourselves back up. We are everyday optimists. Adventure seekers. Problem solvers. We are girls, troop leaders, mentors, advocates, parents, and Girl Scouts. We are G.I.R.L.s (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, and Leader) . We will not stop. In fact, we’re just getting started.  Renew today!

Posted in Membership

GSCI Cookie Updates: S’mores are Back and Introduction of Standardized Pricing

It’s National S’mores Day, and we’re excited to announce that our popular Girl Scout S’mores™ will return as part of the 2018 Girl Scout Cookie season lineup. With their debut last season, Girl Scout S’mores became the most popular flavor to launch in the 100 years of Girl Scouts selling cookies. Whoa!

The Girl Scout S’mores™  cookies capture the adventurous spirit, love of the outdoors, and feeling of community that is the cornerstone of our organization and plays an important role in girls’ leadership development. A delicious way to support girls as they hone leadership, financial literacy, business, and people skills, while using their cookie earnings to address community issues, or invest in fun and educational experiences.

Additionally, beginning with the 2018 sale, the S’mores will be priced at $5 along with all other varieties of Girl Scout cookies. Since 2012 GSCI has and will continue to experience increases in our cookie cost. For the last 5 years GSCI has absorbed those cost increases and not passed them along to the consumer. Standardizing cookie prices is beneficial to the council because it offsets some of those increases. It is advantageous to the troop and the girl because it increases troop profit and, as we were told in our focus groups, makes the process of explaining the difference in price easier for the girls.

More specifically, standardized pricing will be advantageous in the following ways.

  1. Troop profit will increase by 20% or $.60 per box (an increase of $.10 per box).
  2. Standardized pricing will make it easier for girls to communicate cookie pricing.
  3. All varieties will be available to “trade out” at your local service center.
  4. It will no longer be required to transfer cookies or add girl sales by variety.
  5. Keeping track of the amount each girl owes will be simple.
  6. GSCI will offer the same outstanding programming as in the past, along with maintaining exceptional summer camp pricing.
  7. GSCI will continue to enhance the superior cookie recognition program.
  8. Our sister councils to the north, GSNI and GSCNWI, will also be selling at $5 per box for all varieties.

One hundred percent of the cookie earnings stay with our local council, benefiting girls through programmatic experiences. Girl Scout troops then decide how those funds are invested in educational experiences and Take Action projects that benefit their local communities – through girl-led activities that foster leadership skills. Girls who participate in the Girl Scout Cookie Program learn how to manage money, set goals, make decisions, and communicate with adults – skills that aren’t necessarily taught in school, but are invaluable to their future and the future of the global economy.

Posted in Uncategorized

Building a Lifetime of Skills

mtc_top_photo-1It’s easy to think of the Girl Scout Cookie Program as girls simply hawking treats, but there’s something more behind the annual ritual. Girl Scouts at each level, from 5- and 6-year-old Daisies to the high school Ambassadors, learn about customer relations, business plans, research and development, marketing and sales analysis, all in the name of cookies.

The Girl Scout Cookie Program is the largest girl-led business in the country and generates immeasurable benefits for girls, the council and our communities. Girls set cookie goals to support their chosen activities for the year, to fund community service and leadership projects, to attend summer camp, to travel to destinations near and far, and to provide events for girls in their community. 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.

All of the proceeds—every penny—from a local council’s cookie activities remains in the area where the cookies are sold. This revenue is used to benefit girls, some of it directly by remaining in the Girl Scout troop/group treasury and some of it indirectly by subsidizing the cost of providing the Girl Scout program in the local area.

Money from Girl Scout cookies helps local councils:

  • Recruit and train volunteer adults to work with girls
  • Provide the financial assistance needed to make Girl Scouting available for all girls
  • Improve and maintain camp and other activity sites
  • Keep event/camp fees for all members to a minimum
  • Sponsor special events and projects
Posted in Cookie Activity | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Operation Cookie Share

PrintGirl Scouts of Central Illinois kicked off Operation Cookie Share 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 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 Operation Cookie Share cookies through their Adopt-a-Soldier program. GSCI will deliver Operation Cookie Share cookies to the State Farm corporate office in Bloomington, and State Farm will distribute OCS cookies at home and abroad. Operation Cookie Share has reached military troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Haiti.

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The Power of the Girl Scout Cookie Program

A Girl Scout recent study found that, through the cookie program, girls learn skills they 5 skillscan 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.

Posted in Cookie Activity | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend – February 27 – March 1, 2015

NGSCWGirl Scouts of the USA has declared February 27- March 1, 2015, National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend! This special weekend is a great opportunity for Girl Scouts and Girl Scout supporters to share with the community the importance of the Girl Scout Cookie Program and what it does for the girls and their communities.

On National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend, Girl Scout councils from around the nation will be celebrating while promoting the 5 SKILLS that girls learn while participating in the Girl Scout Cookie Program. Through this effort, Girl Scouts hopes to show that when people buy a box of cookies, they’re helping girls learn important skills like goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills, and business ethics – skills essential to life and success!

Join us February 27 – March 1 by purchasing your favorite Girl Scout cookies and help us share with the world the power of the Girl Scout Cookie Program!

Find your favorite Girl Scout cookies in your area with our Cookie Booth Locator.

 

Posted in Cookie Activity | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Be a Smart Cookie

Crunch Time
Know your cookies! Get familiar with the names, flavors, and ingredients of the different types 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
Wear your Girl Scout vest/sash with badges. Better yet, see if you can borrow a cookie cookie package
costume from your local service center. It’s impossible to say no to 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 your pitch “in person.”

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 your neighbors 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. Take advantage of this sales-increasing technique by bundling boxes of three and five. Don’t forget to add some personality – try tying boxes together with a simple ribbon, or get fancy and add a tag with a powerful 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 and 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 offer additional sales tools like yard signs, car magnets, and T-shirts to help promote your cookie business.

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Cookie Selling Safety

It’s always good to know the Ten Basic Cookie Program Safety Guidelines to ensuresafety
that Girl Scouts and Girl Scout volunteers can sell cookies safely while having tons of fun!

  1. Show you’re a Girl Scout Wear your Girl Scout membership pin and/or Girl Scout uniform or related clothing to identify yourself as a Girl Scout.
  2. Buddy up Always use the buddy system. It’s not just safe, it’s also more fun!
  3. Be streetwise Become familiar with the areas and neighborhoods where you will be selling.
  4. Partner with adults Adults must accompany Girl Scout Daisies, Brownies, and Juniors when they are taking orders, selling, delivering cookies. Girls in grades 6-12 must be supervised by an adult when selling door-to-door and must never sell alone. Adults should be present at cookie booths in public places at all times.
  1. Plan ahead Always have a plan for safeguarding money. Avoid walking around with large amounts of cash and do not keep it at home or school. Give proceeds to your leader as soon as possible.
  2. Do not enter Never enter the home or vehicle of a person when you are selling or making deliveries. Avoid selling to people in vehicles and avoid walking in alleys.
  3. Sell in the daytime Sell only during daylight hours, unless accompanied by an adult.
  4. Protect privacy Girl’s names, addresses, or email addresses should never be given out to customers. Use a group contact number or addresses overseen by an adult when customers request information for re-orders. Protect customer privacy by not sharing their information except for the product sale. Girls should never take credit card numbers.
  5. 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 product and passengers from vehicles.
  6. Be net-wise Take the GSUSA Internet Safety Pledge before going online and follow guidelines related to online marketing. Girl Scouts cannot collect money online.
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Bling Your Booth and One More Bite Contests

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

The Bling Your Booth contest is being held by Girl Scouts of the USA.
Dates: January 5, 2015 – April 20, 2015
Prize: $500 for the winning troop from GSUSA

How to Participate:

  • Have a booth sale between January 5 and April 30, 2015
  • Creatively decorate your cookie booth
  • Take a photo of your troop in action at your booth
  • Upload the photo to the GSUSA Facebook page – must include troop number, name of council, and cookie goal on the online entry form and use hashtags #BlingYourBooth and #Girl ScoutsCentralIL
  • Entrants and Facebook community members may vote on their favorite submission once per hour

One More Bite
No secret stash is safe! Is your Girl Scout Cookie stash getting low? Enter Girl Scouts ofonemorebite the USA’s #onemorebite photo challenge and a year supply of Girl Scout Cookies could be yours!

The One More Bite contest is being held by Girl Scouts of the USA.
Dates: February 5, 2015 – March 5, 2015
Prize: 1-year supply (52 boxes) of Girl Scout cookies of your choice

How to Participate

  • Follow @Girlscouts on Instagram
    Upload a creative photo of/with a Girl Scout cookie to Instagram using the hashtag #OneMoreBite
  • Entrants are limited to submitting one photograph per 24-hour period
  • Entrants and Facebook community members may vote on their favorite submission once per hour
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How to Support your Girl Scout During the Cookie Program

cookie gsFamily support is the key to success. Girls have greater success in the Girl Scout Cookie 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 saleand 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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5 Skills and the Girl Scout Leadership Program

#1 Goal Setting
I know I can do it!
We’re all about trying new things and having fun, and selling Girl Scout cookies is about both. Girls work together to set team goals for the season—perhapsCarmel deLite to donate to local community projects, complete community service, or go on an adventure. Participating in the cookie program is great for girls – but what they do with their proceeds can be even greater.

#2 Decision Making
I make smarter decisions!
When girls sell cookies, they make their own decisions, such as how many boxes they want to sell.  The troop agrees on what they want to do with their cookie proceeds, which means talking it out and negotiating group decisions. They figure out how to solve problems when they arise. Their decisions matter.

#3 Money Management
I make change happen!
Girls learn to handle money responsibly and carefully count change. They count it out twice, so they know they are totally right.  And they know each box sold is one step closer to their goal.

#4 People Skills
Girls get a lifetime of confidence with every box! Girls meet many new people with selling cookies. They get really good at chatting with them about how they do more in Girl Scouting than just sell cookies. They earn money to achieve the goals set by their troop and go great things for themselves and the community.

#5 Business Ethics
Selling cookies is more than just a business!
Girls learn to make business decisions during the cookie program. They practice being customer-service friendly, being fair and honest with their customers, and meeting or exceeding goals.

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Girl Scout Cookie Program for Juliettes

cookie timeThe Girl Scout Cookie Program has grown into a leading business and economic literacy program that is run by and for girls. The Girl Scout Cookie 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.

Your most important function in preparing for the Girl Scout Cookie Program will be the time you spend with your Girl Scout. Through the cookie program, even the youngest Girl Scouts gain self-confidence and poise by learning how to greet customers and offer cookies for purchase.

A direct sale format provides your Girl Scout with more opportunities in sales and troop profit. Girls earn Cookie Dough and recognitions throughout the entire program, including during cookie booths. This means that girls will earn more Cookie Dough and recognitions and parents/guardians will save lots of time—only one transaction is required when girls have cookies in-hand! Returning to customers’ homes after an order has been placed is now a thing of the past.

The Girl Scout Cookie Program is a great responsibility – it could not happen without you. We are confident you will find the experience to be both enjoyable and rewarding. Thank you for your support and dedication to the success of the program.

Please take time to thoroughly review the 2015 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 complete the Parent Permission Form for your participation.

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How Do Cookie Proceeds Benefit Girls?

The Girl Scout Cookie Program   is vital to GSCI’s mission of building girls of courage, Cookie Booths confidence, and character.

How the Cookie Crumbles – $4.00 per box

  • $0.54 per box – troop profit and bonus
  • $0.24 per box – girl recognitions
  • $0.96 per box – cost of sale
  • $2.26 per box – girl and volunteer services

Funds raised through the Girl Scout Cookie Program help pay for many aspects of Girl Scouting:

  • Keeps camp affordable by subsidizing the registration cost
  • Supports the Girl Scout Leadership Experience, which includes girl programming, curriculum, and events
  • Provides grants to girls and troops with financial barriers, so that Girl Scouting is available to all girls
  • Provides volunteer training and materials

Girls also earn proceeds for their individual troop, which are used for troop activities and service projects within their communities.

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Not Just a Box of Cookies

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 – 5 skills 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.

A 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 during Cookie Booths. This means that girls will earn more Cookie Dough and recognitions and parents/guardians will save lots of time because cookies in hand means just one transaction. Returning to customers’ homes after an order has been placed is now a thing of the past!

The day girls will have cookies in hand for the Cookie Program will be February 13, 2015. Cookie booths will start February 13, 2015.

Cookie Varieties- $4.00 per box

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

Introducing Our New Cookie Trios – Gluten-Free Cookie – Limited Supply

Trios is a cookie with chocolate chips nestled in a gluten free peanut butter oatmeal cookie. The new Trios are $5.00 per box.

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10 Reasons to “DIVE IN” to GSCI Fall Products with this Year

  1. The Fall Product Program is a great way for troops to earn money early in the Girl
    Scout year. This is especially true for new troops who need start-up supplies. There are
    numerous ways that your troop can earn money through Fall Products:
  • The troop earns $1 for every nut or candy item sold.
  • The troop earns $2 for every address book that a girl fills out completely.Fall Product postcard2014-print-1
  • The troop earns $2.50 for each magazine subscription or photo keepsake sold.
  • Girls can earn “Nutty Bucks” to spend at the nearest Trefoil Boutique on Girl Scout items or programs OR girls can earn fun prizes as they sell more and more items.
  1. Family and friends can now order online and HAVE THE PRODUCTS SHIPPED TO THEM! This year, girls are offered tons of online sale options. If a troop or family wants to, they can participate in the Fall Product Program completely online this year. Not only do girls get to create a custom webpage to sell products to friends and family, but they can also track their goals, send e-mail reminders, and post sale links to an adult’s social media account. Based on last year’s sales, girls who created a custom page were more likely to have higher sales. Family and friends can even shop an expanded online store with access to 600 magazine subscriptions, 25 nut and candy options, and 5 gift tin items.
  2. Girls will learn and develop five essential life skills: Goal Setting, Decision Making, Money Management, People Skills, and Business Ethics.
  1. Troops in which each girl participating sells $250 worth of products ($1,250 minimum total) will earn a free night at Camp SOAR, our new camp property!
  1. There is a new option for family and friends to purchase customizable photo keepsakes. People who purchase the keepsake will be able to customize their own photo books, calendars, greeting cards, and more! There are even exclusive Girl Scout themes that can be used on the keepsakes. Each photo book will also come with a digital copy to keep on your phone or tablet.
  1. Fall Products make wonderful holiday gifts for teachers, neighbors, friends, and co-workers.
  1. There are 16 gluten-free nut and candy items available through the digital Fall Product store. Troop customers can shop online to browse a wide variety of items, 16 of which are gluten-free. There are dairy-free and kosher items available as well. Each item is clearly marked for the dietary need it caters to.
  1. The Adopt-a-Soldier Program. Girls are able to sell nuts and magazine subscriptions that will go directly to a soldier serving our country overseas. State farm’s Adopt-a-Soldier program will add these vouchers and nuts to the care packages that go out to military troops in war zones. Girls who sell five or more items for the Adopt-a-Soldier program will earn a special “share” patch.
  2. Online games and activities for girls. Girls can visit http://www.whatcanagirldo.org to play games relating to the 5 essential life skills taught through the Fall Product program. Girls can learn about customer appreciation, target markets, people skills, decision making, money management and budgeting, teamwork, manners, goal setting, and being environmentally friendly. Girls can also take an adventure down the river with our mascot, Otto the Otter.
  3. Finally, how stinking cute is the otter mascot this year? A fun fact from nature.org: river otters are actually land-bound most of the time! Their tails help them to balance and they can run up to 18 miles per hour.

To learn more about the Fall Product Program, visit the GSCI product activity website or contact your council service center. Troops can “dive in” and sell from October 3 through October 24, 2014.

Kristen Redmon
Membership Specialist
Girl Scouts of Central Illinois

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Help Your Girl Shine!

Here are five ways you can give your girl with her confidence and relationship skills a boost as she heads back to school:

  1. Let her know it’s ok to put her hand up. Encourage her to speak up when she needs something, and when she has something to say.
  2. Model good communication skills. Good communication skills and the ability to find common ground with others will help her both inside and outside the classroom.
  3. Show her that doing good can be fun. There’s value in helping others. You’ll both get a sense of satisfaction, and she’ll feel pride in your accomplishments.
  4. Encourage her to step outside her comfort zone. It’s never too early to share examples of girls and women who aim high or have entered careers where women are few and far between.
  5. Back her up. When she puts her hand up, asserts herself, or takes the lead, let her know you’re proud of her and will support her.

Need some help with all this? What she does outside of school can set her up for a happy, fun, and productive school year…and beyond.

A recent survey of 3,500 parents, caregivers, and volunteers conducted by Girl Scouts of the USA found that Girl Scouts helps girls build exactly these kinds of skills.

ICWTInfoGraphicHappinessConfidence

Nine out of ten parents surveyed said that participating in Girl Scouts has:

  • Been a positive activity for their daughter
  • Made their daughter happier and more confident
  • Helped her make friends
  • Let her try new things in a fun, exciting environment
  • Provided a safe, beneficial all-girl environment

All those new experiences and adventures can help with the nuts and bolts at school too. She’ll know she’s having fun and new adventures every time she’s at Girl Scouts, but you’ll know she’s gaining:

  • Important financial literacy skills as she participates in the largest girl-run business in the world—the Girl Scout Cookie Program
  • Skills that will help her in science classes as she builds robots, conducts fun experiments with her friends, or explores the natural world around her
  • Healthy relationship skills that will help her throughout her life, particularly in middle school and high school
  • Leadership skills that will make it easier for her to speak up in class

Need more? Find out how Girl Scout program for girls at every age level dovetails with national and state core curriculum standards. Register your daughter for Girl Scouts today!

Can’t wait to get started? Check out a list of fun activities you can do with your daughter today!

 

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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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Happy Birthday Juliette Gordon Low!

Today we celebrate a special day for Girl Scouts across the nation. Not only is today one of the most imaginative and fun days of the year, but today is also Founder’s Day – the 157th birthday of Juliette Gordon Low, who created and started the Girl Scouts movement in 1912.  Juliette Gordon Low was a courageous woman who eschewed the sentiment of her time and taught girls that they could truly change the world through acts of kindness. Before women could vote, own property, or even work outside of their own homes, Juliette was teaching girls how to transform themselves into confident, independent, successful, and hardworking individuals in order to bring their dreams to life. Here are a few fun facts about our founder:

 After meeting with Sir Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of the Boy Scouts, Juliette Gordon Low was inspired to create the Girl Scouts. She devoted the rest of her life to ensure the formation of Girl Scout troops in America, using her own fortune to fund the Girl Scouts in its early years.

 Born in Savannah, Georgia, Juliette Gordon Low had the nickname “Daisy” and her birthplace was later registered as a National Landmark in 1965.

 Low’s first “Girl Guide” troops were started in Scotland and London. The name was later changed to Girl Scouts after moving the program to the United States.

 She was the second born of six children.

 She married William Mackay Low and they had homes in both London and the United States.

 In 2012, Barack Obama posthumously awarded Juliette Gordon Low with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which is the highest civilian award in the United States.

 As a child, she experienced several ear injuries, resulting in nearly complete hearing loss which affected the rest of her life.

 She had a keen interest in athletics, the arts, and nature – attributes she included in the Girl Scout movement.

 Her niece was the first registered Girl Scout in Savannah, Georgia when the Girl Scout movement started in the United States in 1912

 Juliette Gordon Low passed away on January 27, 1917 at her home in Savannah, Georgia after a long and private battle with breast cancer.

So on this special day, we say happy birthday to an incredible woman and visionary who created the Girl Scout movement for us. We can honor her memory by continuing to work towards our dreams and complete acts of good citizenship.

Posted in Advocacy, Community Service, General, Membership, Uncategorized, Volunteers

Be Her Spark

Every girl has a light that can shine brightly – all she needs is a spark to get her started. There are more than 1,000 girls waiting to join Girl Scouts – won’t you be thatop cat 1 spark for a girl who truly needs it by welcoming a new Girl Scout into your troop?

The Opportunity Catalog is an online listing of troop openings for girls and volunteer opportunities for adults. When new members join, the catalog is updated in real time. If you stop or get stuck anywhere along the way, the system automatically sends you an email with helpful information.

Open up your troop to new girls for the 2017-2018 Membership Year!  Update your troop meeting information and your desired troop size. Login to your MyGS, select the Troops tab, and click on the View/Edit Troop Information link at the bottom of the page.

We encourage you to add your troop, so new girls or those seeking a troop can find available options in their community. You may also complete our Opportunity Catalog form and we will update your troop information. Please complete the form for EACH troop you oversee, so we know how you’d like to be represented in the catalog.

Note: Even if you choose not to join the Opportunity Catalog, we still need your most recent troop information for insurance purposes.

Thanks in advance for your willingness to provide the most up to date information!

If you have any questions, please contact customercare@girlscouts-gsci.org or 888-623-1237.

Posted in Uncategorized