Get Connected with Digital Cookie

Getting Started with the Digital Cookie Platform is Quick and Easy!
With the Digital Cookie ® platform, the Girl Scout Cookie Program you know and love is better than ever. Fun, easy-to-use tools help you superpower your sale and go beyond the booth with online and mobile channels that make it easy for cookie fans near and far to support your cookie goals and ultimately your success.

That’s more ways to participate, more ways to sell, more ways to buy and more ways to learn! And guess what? Girls who used the platform in addition to traditional cookie sales sold more cookies and reached their goals faster!

The Digital Cookie® platform is your very own personalized cookie site: you get to play interactive games, watch videos, enjoy printable activities, take fun quizzes and more  – all while taking your cookie sale goal to the next level!

Excited to jump in? Get Altogether Awesomeness in four easy steps! Learn more!

Digital Cookie Graphic

Got questions about Digital Cookie® or need support and want to chat live, click here! Still need answers to some FAQs, click here!

Girl Scouts of the USA’s Cookie Pro 2018 Contest!
Are you a barrier breakin’, challenge crushin’, lead takin’ cookie entrepreneur? Do you put that unmatchable Girl Scout courage to the test every year to create positive change in your community and the world? We want to hear from you!

This cookie season, let’s show ’em how the largest girl-led entrepreneurial program in the world prepares girls to lead, learn, succeed, and shine – not only for today but also for the future – by entering our national Girl Scouts of the USA’s Cookie Pro 2018 Contest from January 2 through April 30.

Grand Prize: Be the Star of a Girl Scout Cookie Box
Six nationwide, one per Girl Scout grade level, will be named Girl Scouts of the USA’s Top Cookie Pro 2018 and get the epic chance to:

  • Be featured on a Girl Scout Cookie box!
  • Travel to New York City for an all-expenses paid Cookie Entrepreneur Experience!

Every girl who enters Girl Scouts of the USA’s Cookie Pro 2018 Contest will receive an awesome, limited-edition Cookie Pro 2018 patch.

Learn more about the Girl Scouts of the USA’s Top Cookie Pro 2018 Contest and Cookie Pro Official Rules.

For questions, please contact customer care at  customercare@girlscouts-gsci.org or 888-623-1237.

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Posted in Cookie Activity, General, Product Sales, Program & Activities, Volunteers | Tagged , , , ,

Altogether Awesome!

The Altogether Awesomeness of Girl Scout Cookies is upon us! Participating in the Girl Scout Cookie Program is so much more than meets the eye. Girls who participate reap a harvest of business skills each cookie season. They gain a glimpse into the business AltogetherAwesome_Logoworld through the cookie program each year. Participating in the program provides a wealth of experience you may not notice at first glance.

What do girls do in the cookie sale?

They “earn and learn” – they earn funds for their Girl Scout activities while learning 5 key skills that will help them in business and life.

  • They learn to set goals and meet deadlines. That means your daughter won’t tell you last minute that her science fair project is due tomorrow.
  • They learn to work will with others. That means your daughter will do better on school projects or as a member of a sports team.
  • They learn to talk and listen to all kinds of people. That means your daughter will be able to ask a teacher for help or navigate the school cafeteria more easily.
  • They learn how to handle money and make decisions about how to use it. That means your daughter will learn about spending, saving, and giving to those in need.
  • They learn to act honestly and fairly. That means your daughter’s friends, classmates, and teachers will count on her and think of her as trustworthy.

Meet Digital Cookie!

The Digital Cookie®   platform helps girls superpower their cookie sales as they go beyond the booth with mobile and online channels. The platform is a fun, educational tool that helps your daughter run and manage her Girl Scout Cookie business online. That means more way for her to learn and more ways to buy and support her success. It also means more opportunities to power new, unique, and amazing experiences that help her learn essential life skills, soar in confidence, discover the leader within, and have a ton of fun!

Join us in January for the Cookie Rally in your area. Find out more about GSCI’s Cookie Program and get to know the cookie baker.

Please contact customer care at customercare@girlscouts-gsci.org or 888-623-1237.

Posted in Cookie Activity, Membership, Product Sales, Program & Activities, Volunteers | Tagged , , , , , ,

Start the New Year with Community Service

It’s the New Year’s resolution to end all New Year’s resolutions, and it’s so, so Girl Scouts! GSCI Mural 4This year, do things a little differently, and resolve to give back to yourself by giving back to others. That’s right. We’re calling for a resolution of service! Because when you help others, you just can’t begin to imagine how much good it actually does for your own soul. It’s really the best kind of win-win.

And it doesn’t have to be anything big. In fact, it’s really the accumulation of all the small ways we can be of service to others every day that can make our lives significantly brighter and more meaningful, while helping us feel more connected within our communities. In 2018, what do you say we all resolve to make the world a better place, together, by committing to practice these powerful and simple acts of service to others as often as possible?

  1. Be kind, particularly to those who are not exactly your cup of tea, so to speak. It might be hard, but it will be meaningful.
  2. Be gentle with the environment. Avoid littering, recycle, and regularly sign up for community cleanups. The more we do to keep the outdoors in good shape, the more we can all enjoy it!
  3. Show compassion. Sometimes that’s the greatest gift we can offer someone.
  4. Practice good manners. “Please” and “thank you” go a long way in making others feel appreciated and respected.
  5. Be helpful as much and as often as possible. Help create a sense of community wherever you go.
  6. Listen more. Sometimes all people truly want is to be heard, and to know they matter.
  7. Volunteer once a month—or more if you can. Learn about volunteering with us—it’s important work and so much fun!
  8. Give out lots of compliments, just because. Make someone’s day with the simplest acknowledgement of a great smile, a fun outfit, or an inspiring talent.
  9. Speaking of smiling, do it more often. It makes everyone feel good—even you!
  10. Leave notes of encouragement for family, friends, and coworkers. The right words can always make a day brighter.
  11. Forgive someone who has slighted you, even if you don’t feel they deserve it. It might move them to show the same compassion to someone else.
  12. Hold the door open for someone and give them the gift of feeling special, even if just for a few seconds.
  13. Strike up a conversation with a shy person and help them come out of their shell a little. Just because they’re not one to initiate conversation doesn’t mean they don’t have a story they’d like to share.
  14. Reach out to a friend you know is going through something hard and offer to spend time with them, or just listen. People won’t always reach out for help, but they will often accept it with open arms when it’s offered.
  15. Bake some goodies for an elderly neighbor, and hand-deliver them. Sit and chat a while. Let them share stories and feel the joy of friendship.

GSUSA blog post December 20, 2017

Posted in Community Service, Membership, Volunteers | Tagged , , , ,

What Girl Scouts Means to Me!

What today’s girls say about being in Girl Scouts

Being a Girl Scout means that I get to help and educate people, learn new things about the world, and have fun while I do it.
Tory, 13

We have a lot of fun. Once we  learned some sign language and about respecting authority. We often talk about behavior in terms of Girl Scouts, such as “Is that what a Girl Scout would do?” or “That’s being a good Girl Scout.” I have a great leader!
Olivia, 10

To me Girl Scouts has been a great experience, especially working on my Gold Award. I’ve learned so much about team work, leadership, responsibility, communication … Girl Scouts has been a great outlet for me for all these years, not to mention the cookies are delicious!
Grace, 17

As a Girl Scout I have stepped out of my comfort zone and helped others. It means doing things for people other than yourself and feeling good about it. Plus, we get to do a lot of fun exciting things like camping, visiting museums and senior centers, and go horseback riding and Christmas caroling.
Emily, 13

I have met a lot of people through Girl Scouts who I would never have met before. It has opened my eyes and shown me that I can make a difference.
Katie, 14

It’s fun and we learn new things every day.
Emma, 7

Girl Scouts has been the place for me to take chances. I have more confidence in myself because of the risks I have taken and accomplishments I have made. I am really proud of what I have contributed.
Mikayla, 9

To me, Girl Scouting means helping people, making a difference, and changing the world.
Jenna, 8

I get to help out my community and help other people when they need it. I love Girl Scouts because it lets me try new things, visit different places, and give back to my town. Our troop adopted a sister troop in Germany. We share things that we have done as a Girl Scout troop in America with that troop in then and they teach us stuff that they have learned — that is pretty cool.
Charlotte, 10

I realize that Girl Scouts is much more than what society sees us to be: young girls selling cookies, singing campfire songs, and wearing vests. Girl Scouts is about making new friends, creating amazing memories, and helping the community. It’s about different girls working together to try and better the environment around them, as well as better themselves along the way.
Shelia, Girl Scout Leader

Girl Scouts means that I can build confidence and character while having fun selling cookies and doing fun projects. I loved being in Girl Scouts for all these years and encourage all girls to try being a Girl Scout!
Arianna, 17

Girl Scouts has been a huge part of my life and my development. I am involved in a lot of activities, but when it came to writing college essays, my Girl Scout experiences is where I pulled all the leadership accomplishments from. When I sat down and thought about it, that is where I was able to lead and make real changes in my community.
Elizabeth, 16

Being a Girl Scout allows me to be with my friends and enjoy time that we all spend together growing up. It also teaches me to demonstrate leadership skills and help younger Girl Scouts achieve their goals. It has helped me become the young woman I am today.
Melissa, 14

Girl Scouts means everything to me because it isn’t always about you. It is about teamwork. For example, before the first day of school, our troop used teamwork by getting dirt from the pile or shoveling and putting the flowers in their hole in the ground. Also, my leaders will make sure there is nothing ever too easy or hard. It will always be just right for you.
Bella, 12

Posted in Community Service, Cookie Activity, General, Membership, Product Sales, Program & Activities, Summer Camp Activities, Trefoil Boutiques, Volunteers | Tagged , , , , ,

Are you up for the challenge of changing lives this summer?

Camp Tap Former Disney CEO, Michael Eisner, summed it up when he described his days as a summer camp counselor as some of the most valuable leadership training he has ever had.

From the outside looking in, many people see the camp counselor role as an extension of ones camper years or an opportunity to take the “summer off.” Little do they know that being a camp counselor is the hardest job one will ever have until becoming a parent themselves. Hot days, non-stop schedules, campers pushing limits and high expectation of following camp policies and protocols are just the start, however, all of this is nothing compared to the rewards one internalizes after the summer has faded.

We are looking for responsible, enthusiastic, creative team players who are comfortable in a rustic outdoor setting and seek out challenging adventures to be part of our summer camp staff. There will be some long, hot days, but what other job lets you be a part of forever changing the life of a girl? We provide training, certifications, leadership opportunities, and room and board at most camps. You’ll gain leadership experience, lifelong friends, problem-solving skills, confidence, and be a part of a great team of leaders guiding young women to success. Think you’re up to the challenge of changing lives? Learn more about summer camp jobs! 

There are so many benefits to working at a camp, so we’ve gathered 13 reasons why you should work at a camp for a summer:

1. You get to be a role model.
For however long you have the opportunity to interact with the campers, you quickly become one of the coolest (and most influential) people in their lives. Camp counselors especially have the opportunity to impact campers because of the amount of time spent with their kids. True bonds can form when you least expect them to: at the high dive at the pool, at the top of the zip line, tubing on the lake, or in the cabin late at night when homesickness sets in.

2. You get to unplug.
Among the woods and lakes, you might not find much Wi-Fi, but you’ll find plenty of nature just begging you to unplug and enjoy. Surrounding yourself with the
beauty of the great outdoors only helps with this. 

3. Crafts to the max.
Never tie-dyed a shirt before? No problem. Camp is a great time to learn (or perfect) tie-dying skills, tie thousands of tiny knots until your wrists are loaded with friendship bracelets, and make too many dream catchers. 

4. Boost your resume.
Through the experiences you have working for a camp, you will be able to proudly put on your resume that you not only survived a summer working for a camp but thrived in the environment as well. Former camp counselors are great communicators, life-long learners, leaders, team players, and creative thinkers, just to name a few.

5. You truly make a difference.
There are so many benefits to working at a camp, including making a difference.

6. Life-long friendships.
Within just a few days of arriving at camp for the beginning of the summer training sessions, you will meet some awesome people. Just think, your co-workers are some of the best, simply by them being there: they gave up their summer (just like you) to learn, grow, and impact others’ lives as well. Life-long friendships are bound to develop as you live and work.

8. Interview material.
After spending a summer at camp, you will surely find out some strengths and weaknesses for you to talk about in an interview, not to mention the crazy stories you can share

9. Peer networking.
Not all of your co-workers will be elementary education majors. In fact, you will meet a plethora of majors who have done the same thing you have: sought out a beyond-the-typical summer job. An awesome time to expand your peer networking to individuals from all over and from all walks of life.

10. Fresh air.
Believe it or not, the great outdoors can give you a sense of relaxation and recharge. Finding time to enjoy a more leisurely life by embracing the early sunrise and sitting up late under a sky full of stars can do more for you than you might have ever imagined. A little dirt never hurt anyone, right? 😉

11. You get paid to be crazy.
Now, our definitions of crazy may be different, but as a staff member for a camp, you get to participate in Wacky Wednesday, dress up crazy for skits, be the leader in the daily dance party, and genuinely show your campers how to have a good time.

12. You hone your leadership skills.
There are plenty of opportunities to improve your leadership skills by working for a camp because, at one point or another, you will be asked to lead. Whether you are leading other staff members or a handful of campers, you will be looked up to for direction and wisdom.

13. You will learn so much about yourself.
As awesome as camp life is, it also is challenging. You may not know how to deal with a situation with a camper, your co-counselor for the week might not be the most compatible with your sense of humor, and some days might seem like they drag on forever—is it lights out yet?! However, it is moments like these where your true colors shine. You will learn so much about yourself and, at the end of the summer, will be able to look back and be proud of all that you made it through.

Apply today!

Posted in Camps & Property, Community Service, General, Membership, Program & Activities, Summer Camp Activities, Volunteers | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

What is G.I.R.L. Agenda?

Inspire. Prepare. Mobilize.

Our time is now.

This is our moment to come together, lift our voices, and take action on issues that Girl Agendamatter to girls. Today is the day we unite to build an even brighter future for all of us.

Be a catalyst for change in your community—and the world. Champion your views, influence leadership, and advance the G.I.R.L. Agenda to make the world a better place.

Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) launched the G.I.R.L. Agenda Powered by Girl Scouts, a nonpartisan initiative to inspire, prepare, and mobilize girls and those who care about them to lead positive change through civic action. The multi-year effort celebrates the Girl Scout legacy of civic engagement, and for the first time ever, GSUSA is sharing free, expert-curated civic engagement resources beyond its 2.6 million members. The resources are derived from Girl Scout programming that has driven generations of girls over the past century to become leaders.

Introduced at G.I.R.L. 2017, a gathering of girls and women from around the world, the G.I.R.L. Agenda makes it simple to access civic engagement resources that are tailored to prepare every G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ to stand up for what they believe in. The tools provide a roadmap for how people can take action in ways such as challenging unfair policies, mobilizing communities to support important causes, and meeting with public officials and community leaders to educate them about key issues. By making age-appropriate resources based on GSUSA’s proven programming accessible to all, and by providing actionable steps people can take through Girl Scouts’ advocacy network to help people influence policy issues that affect girls, the G.I.R.L. Agenda will give hundreds of thousands of girls and adults tangible ways to take civic action on topics of their choosing.

There has been increased attention around civic engagement in the United States since the 2016 presidential election: according to a study by the Pew Research Center, more than half of Americans are paying more attention to politics since the election, including nearly six in ten women (58 percent). However, research also shows that the public education system is not creating an adequate civic education foundation for all youth, and a Girl Scout Research Institute poll found that just 38 percent of girls say their teachers have encouraged them to pursue politics and community leadership.

Since its founding in 1912, Girl Scouts has emphasized the importance of being civically engaged, by teaching and encouraging girls to create positive change in their communities through advocacy and action. Girl Scouts learn to stand up for what they believe in, identify issues they care about, and take the lead like a G.I.R.L. to make the world a better place. The G.I.R.L. Agenda is for all those who support girls in standing up for issues and causes that are important to them.

Also part of the initiative, Girl Scouts announces its new Good Neighbor badge for Daisies (girls in grades K–1). It joins the organization’s existing Citizen badges—Celebrating Community, Inside Government, Finding Common Ground, Behind the Ballot, and Public Policy—which engage girls in age-appropriate activities involving community service, public policy, government, voting, and more. These badges are designed to foster girls’ interest in civic engagement and show them that their voices canbe heard. And by exploring the themes in an all-girl environment, girls build the confidence they need to become the civic-minded leaders our world needs.

“Many people, including girls, want to become active in public policy and learn how to advocate for positive change, but they don’t know where to start,” said GSUSA CEO Sylvia Acevedo. “Through the G.I.R.L. Agenda and our proven civic-engagement programming, Girl Scouts serves as a nonpartisan resource for girls—and those who care about them―to learn concrete steps they can take to stand up for what they believe in. For more than a century, Girl Scouts has supported girls by offering tools that prepare them to lead, lift their voices, champion their views, and be advocates for the issues and ideas important to them. We’re excited to share resources on www.GIRLagenda.org, so people can learn how to take action for the cause of good in their communities. Because when we take small, yet meaningful steps together—across generations—we ignite a larger, lasting impact on our world.”

To amplify the reach and impact of the civic engagement resources, GSUSA has assembled media partners, nonprofits, corporations, and individuals to publicly support the G.I.R.L. Agenda. Among those championing the initiative are Accenture, Amazon, Dell, Girls Who Code, Girls Write Now, Global Citizen, Google’s Made with Code, Motorola Solutions Foundation, She Should Run, S’well, TD Bank, and Too Small to Fail.

Throughout the coming months, GSUSA will share stories from G.I.R.L. Agenda supporters who are advocating for girls and the issues they care about. This will include the experiences of past and present National Young Women of Distinction, the top Gold Award Girl Scouts recognized nationally for transforming an idea and vision for change into an actionable plan with sustainable and far-reaching impact. If the public wishes to share such stories on social media, they should include #GIRLagenda.

To advance the G.I.R.L. Agenda and for tips on leading positive change through civic action, visit www.GIRLagenda.org.

 – Girl Scouts of the USA 

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

Summer Camp Registration Opens December 6!

This summer, give your girl the opportunity to camp #LikeAGirlScout! At Girl 500x655 Summer camp 2018Scout summer camp, she’ll face her fears and try new things, explore the great outdoors, build up her problem solving skills, and make a lifetime of memories with great friends. And guess what? Any girl can attend summer camp, so bring a friend and embark on this incredible adventure.

Camp registration opens December 6!

Surprise! All girls who register for camp from December 6 through December 22 may pick up a small gift for the holidays at the Trefoil Boutique at your nearest service center.

The gift must be picked up during regular boutique hours. Unfortunately, we are unable to mail the gift. Offer ends December 22, and all gifts must be picked up by noon. To redeem gift, show e-mail receipt at time of redemption. One gift per girl.

Need help or got questions? Call Customer Care at 888-623-1237 or email customercare@girlscouts-gsci.org.

Posted in Camps & Property, Summer Camp Activities | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Giving Back Everyday

Today, November 28 is a Day of Giving. A resolution that Girl Scouts are attuned to every 500x655-Giv Tues2017NEWday of the year in making the world a better place.

From singlehandedly picking up trash on Earth Day. To laying a wreath at a Memorial Day service.

To making birthday bags for a food pantry. Making Thanksgiving bags for families at their school. Packing shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child and adding to their troop’s seven years of community service.

To helping host a weekly pet food pantry while working on their Bronze Award. To going for the Gold.

To simply giving a hand at their own camp.

Girl Scouts know the value of giving back and take great pride in their role.

So this #GivingTuesday, please consider a gift to Girl Scouts of Central Illinois. Because when you give to Girl Scouts, Girl Scouts give back.

#GivingTuesday #GSCIGivesBack #ILGive #DecatuILGivingTuesday #GivingTuesdayBloNo

Posted in Community Service, Fund Development | Tagged , , , ,

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
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.

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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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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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