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.

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Girl Scout council’s new cookie baker spells sweet success for girls

NewBaker_SocialPost1Little Brownie Bakers has been selected as the new cookie baker for Girl Scouts of Central Illinois (GSCI). Cookie customers in the central Illinois region will now be able to buy name-brand Girl Scout Cookies® like Samoas®, Tagalongs® and Do-si-dos®. It’s good news for girls, too, because name-brand cookies help them reach high goals.

“We are excited to begin our relationship with Little Brownie Bakers,” said GSCI CEO Pam Kovacevich. “Not only do they provide well-known cookies, but their digital tools and excellent customer service will help our girls meet their personal goals and power their Girl Scout journeys to even greater heights.”

Little Brownie’s digital tools are fully integrated with Girl Scouts of the USA’s Digital Cookie online selling platform. Girls can choose to use Digital Cookie in addition to other sales channels in order to reach a larger customer base and sell cookies on the internet.
Little Brownie Bakers is a division of Kellogg and supplies the majority of councils all over the country with delicious name-brand Girl Scout Cookies:

• Samoas® – Chewy and rich, sprinkled with toasted coconut, and striped with a dark chocolaty coating
• Thin Mints® – Crisp, chocolaty and minty!
• Tagalongs® – Made with the same yummy peanut butter as Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
• Do-si-dos® – Crunchy peanut butter sandwiches, baked with baby rolled oats
• Trefoils® – Delightfully simple and satisfying shortbread
• Savannah Smiles® – Crisp, zesty lemon cookies honoring the birthplace of Girl Scouting
• Toffee-tastic™ – Gluten-free buttery cookies bursting with toffee flavor (Optional specialty cookie.)
• PLUS: A BRAND NEW COOKIE, COMING SOON!

As Girl Scouting prepares to celebrate 100 years of girls selling cookies, Girl Scouts of Central Illinois looks forward to a bright future for the council.

Posted in Uncategorized

New Lodge Construction Planned for Camp Widjiwagan

CampWidjiwagan_signGirl Scouts of Central Illinois (GSCI) will begin construction on a new lodge for Camp Widjiwagan this spring. The new facility, made possible by a lead donation of $150,000 from Levi, Ray & Shoup, will feature over 2,000 square feet of climate controlled programmatic space including a dining area and kitchen facilities. A lakefront porch will add another 560 square feet of programmatic space to the structure.

“Camp Widjiwagan has been a mainstay for central Illinois girls since it opened in 1937,” said GSCI CEO Pam Kovacevich. “It became apparent that renovating the current lodge structure was cost prohibitive and our efforts turned to finding the donor dollars to allow us to build a new facility. The LRS donation will allow us to build a new structure that will enable us to deliver year round programming as well as the traditional summer camp programs. The LRS Lodge will serve girls for many years to come.”

Camp Widjiwagan, recently named the area’s Best Summer Camp for the second year in a row, is a sixty-two acre wooded site on Lake Springfield. The camp has been serving girls, both Girl Scouts and non-scouts, for almost 80 years. Camp Widjiwagan was named in a contest – it is an Ojibwa Indian name meaning “comradeship.” “Widji,” as it is affectionately called, features a boat house, in-ground pool, platform tent units, and many other structures used by countless girls over the years. Girl Scout summer day camp will be held at Camp Widjiwagan this summer with registration opening on February 10.

“We know how important Camp Widjiwagan has been in the lives of Springfield-area girls, families and troops for many years,” LRS president and CEO Dick Levi said in a statement, “and we’re proud to help with the construction of a lodge that will amplify that impact and continue the camp’s legacy for years to come.”

GSCI anticipates that they will break ground on the project in early April with a completion estimated in early August. Additional donations are still being sought to support the facility. For information on donating to this project, contact Kate Peters, Chief Operating Officer of Fund Development, at kpeters@girlscouts-gsci.org or (217) 241-3743.

LODGE OPEN HOUSE – FEBRUARY 7

In honor of the new construction, Girl Scouts of Central Illinois will be holding an Open House at the Camp Widjiwagan Lodge (71 Wienold Lane, Springfield) on Sunday, February 7, from 1-3 p.m. This will be an opportunity for past campers and current supporters to visit the current lodge, learn more about the new construction, and enjoy refreshments. Attendees are asked to RSVP to Lisa Wall by February 5 by calling (217) 523-8159, ext. 1602, or emailing
lwall@girlscouts-gsci.org.

Posted in Camps & Property, Fund Development | Tagged

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
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Operation Cookie Share

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

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

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

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

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The Power of the Girl Scout Cookie Program

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

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

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

80% set goals and created objectives to reach them.

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

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

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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.

 

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Be a Smart Cookie

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

Wear the Uniform
Wear your Girl Scout vest/sash with badges. Better yet, see if you can borrow a cookie cookie package
costume from your local service center. It’s impossible to say no to a Girl Scout dressed as a giant cookie!

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

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

Package Your Product
Research shows that customers buy more cookies if they are bundled. Take advantage of this sales-increasing technique by bundling boxes of three and five. Don’t forget to add some personality – try tying boxes together with a simple ribbon, or get fancy and add a tag with a powerful message or thank-you.

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

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

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

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

Promote Yourself
Show your passion for your cookie business. We offer additional sales tools like yard signs, car magnets, and T-shirts to help promote your cookie business.

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Cookie Selling Safety

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

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

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

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

How to Participate:

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

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

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

How to Participate

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