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10 Things to Know About Girl Scout Cookies


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They’re almost here. The bakers are working overtime. The boxes are being packed. Soon trucks will be loaded, warehouses will be filled, cases will be picked up and glasses of milk will be poured.

Yes, Girl Scout Cookies will be arriving soon.

Even though Girl Scout Cookies themselves are an American institution, there's so much more to it than just satisfying a Thin Mints® craving. The cookies are part of a program that is ever-evolving with the times (hello, Digital Cookie!), while always staying true to its core values as the largest girl-run business in the world.

But do you really know the Girl Scout Cookie Program? We've compiled a list of Trefoil-rific facts to see what your cookie IQ really is. For instance, did you know...

1. Every box benefits a girl.

Through the decades, more than anything else, this has gone unchanged. From a small troop-led bake sale fundraiser to the nationwide phenomenon it is today, one thing has not changed – it's all about the girl. When you support the program, you're really supporting her. The cookies are just a delicious side benefit. Which is why...

2. No Girl Scout? No cookies.

This is non-negotiable. Each cookie box transaction must in some way tie back to a girl. Whether she showed up at your door, sent you an email to order online or greeted you at a storefront, every box comes with a girl on the receiving end of the financial and educational benefits of your purchase. Sure it would be easy for Girl Scouts to offer cookies year-round in stores or online, but that would remove the girl component and without that, well, they’re just ordinary cookies. It’s the girl that makes them truly extraordinary.

3. The money stays local and benefits girls.

From time to time, the question of "where does the money go" arises. And, it's an important one to consider. The best person to ask is probably the girl with the order card, but we can give you the simple answer - the proceeds stay local with a portion going to the Girl Scout. "But they don't get THAT much," you may say. Well, there are some business realities to consider in any sort of profit sharing. First, there are production costs. Councils have to pay for the cookies, the packaging, the shipping, the warehousing, etc. Then there are the program costs – order cards, rewards/incentives, training materials, and so on. But it’s important to know that everything left after handling those built-in expenses, stays with the troop or the council – and they both use those funds to further benefit these local girls’ experience in Girl Scouts.

4. Yup, there are educational benefits, too.

As #2 above pointed out, the girls don't just get a financial boon, they're learning something, too. There is a whole programmatic progression involved with the cookie program that allows the girls to act as junior CEOs through their involvement. In essence, it boils down to what's called the 5 Essential Skills. These skills are developed through participation in the program and include goal-setting, decision-making, money management, people skills and business ethics. Add to that other components, like digital marketing through the new Digital Cookie program, and you have a great 12-year training ground for future executives. Speaking of Digital Cookie…

5. “Online Cookie Sales” may not be what you think it is.

There has been a LOT of coverage over the recent announcement that Girl Scout cookies will be “available online” and it has led to some confusion. First and foremost, it’s important to remember #2 above: No Girl Scout, no cookies. There isn’t some special site to place orders and receive cookies, not without connecting with a girl. Only the girl, with parental oversight, can send you an email inviting you to her protected, personalized website. From there you can order cookies to be shipped to you (there is no option for personal delivery). Parents and girls can begin setting up their sites starting mid-February. Stay tuned to our Facebook or Digital Cookie webpage for the latest information! If you don’t know a girl and are interested in ordering online, please contact Darlene Harris, dharris@gswcf.org.

6. Gluten-free cookies are here!

Knowing how important this option is for so many people, the cookie chefs have developed the first Girl Scouts Cookie sans gluten. Dubbed Toffee-tastic, these cookies are described as “rich, buttery cookies packed with golden toffee bits bursting with flavor” and will be available at cookie booths (for troops who opted-in) and through Digital Cookie. It’s important to note that these cookies come with a slightly higher price of $5 a box due to higher production expenses.

7. Your smartphone can help your cookie cravings.

Starting Feb. 20 and running through Mar. 15, Girl Scout troops will be out in force at storefronts across the council. If you want to be strategic with your cookie acquisition plan, there’s no better way than by downloading our Cookie Finder App. It will tell you the time, date and location of nearby cookie booths based on your current location. Technology!

8. There’s a national celebration of Girl Scout Cookies.

Want to be part of a huge celebration of Girl Scout Cookies? Then be sure to head out during National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend (Feb. 27 – Mar. 1). Councils across the country are coordinating cookie celebrations to mark this special weekend as a national holiday for Girl Scout Cookie fans. So be sure to get out that weekend and visit a booth and show your support for the 98th year of this tasty tradition.

9. Buying five boxes is better than four.

Yes, that seems very obvious, but there’s more to that math equation than just, “well, duh.” For some lucky people the true equation will be 5 boxes = 60 boxes, because for every five boxes you purchase you can enter for a chance to win five cases of the cookie(s) of your choice. When you pick up your cookies, be sure to ask about the 5 for 5 promotion and good luck!

10. You can buy cookies to donate.

We know not everyone likes cookies (seriously, it’s true). Or, there may be dietary restrictions that prevent one from enjoying them. BUT that doesn’t mean you can’t still support the program and bring smiles to our servicemen and women. All Girl Scouts have a Gift of Caring option where your transaction can secure a box (or a case) of cookies to be sent to the military. These care packages are always greatly appreciated and it’s a wonderful way to support two great causes at once.