The Girl Scout Cookie Program is much more than cookies. What started as a bake sale in 1917, has grown into the largest girl-led entrepreneurial business. The Girl Scout Cookie Program helps girls learn and develop real world skills and learn to think like entrepreneurs.
Girl Scouts as young as five develop five essential skills through the Girl Scout Cookie Program—skills that will help them be successful today and throughout their lives:
Goal Setting. Girls learn to create a plan to reach their goals.
Decision Making. Girls learn to make decisions on their own and as a team.
Money Management. Girls learn to create a budget and handle money.
People Skills. Girls find their voice and up their confidence through customer interactions that build relationships.
Business Ethics. Girls learn to act responsibly and honestly, both in business and in life.
But building their business know-how isn’t just tied to the cookies themselves! Girl Scouts at any level can continue honing their entrepreneurial skills by earning the Cookie Business badges, Cookie Entrepreneur Family Pin, and the Financial Literacy badges year over year.
Before your cookie bosses open shop, be sure to check out these helpful troop leader resources that will empower you to:
Manage your troop’s funds.
Learn how girls participate in money earning.
Discover how your troop can reach its financial goals.
Plan activities to help her earn cookie pins and badges
Understand just how much your girls are capable of by grade level and how their entrepreneurial skills progress.
What started with Girl Scouts selling home-baked cookies to raise money grew into enlisting professional bakers in 1936 to handle the growing demand—and the rest is history. Explore Girl Scout Cookie History to find out how cookies have helped build generations of female entrepreneurs and leaders who make the world a better place.
After paying for the cost of cookies and materials, Girl Scout Cookie proceeds stay local and help councils provide Girl Scout programs in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), the outdoors, life skills, entrepreneurship, and more—in camps, through leadership training, and multiple other ways. A portion of the proceeds is directly managed by girls, and it’s up to them to decide how to invest their troop’s share of the earnings.
Your council will provide a breakdown of how cookie program proceeds support Girl Scout activities locally. Please share this information with girls and their families so everyone understands that product program sales make it possible for your Girl Scout council to serve girls.
Troop members share in the proceeds from a successful product program; proceeds are not distributed to individual girl members. Girls, however, may be eligible for rewards and credits that they put toward council-sponsored camps, programs, and Girl Scout swag. The council plan for rewards applies equally to all girls participating in the product program activity. Visit the cookie section [Councils: link to your council’s cookie page] of your council website for more information about individual rewards and troop proceeds locally.
The Girl Scout Blue Book of Basic Documents specifies that:
“All money and other assets, including property, that are raised, earned, or otherwise received in the name of and for the benefit of Girl Scouting must be held and authorized by a Girl Scout council or Girl Scouts of the USA. Such money and other assets must be used for the purposes of Girl Scouting.”
“Ownership of Assets,” Blue Book of Basic Documents
Making s’mores under the stars, creating a lasting impact in your community, or ordering supplies for an eye-opening STEM project—there are limitless ways to put troop proceeds toward dynamic Girl Scout experiences! There are a few things, however, that don’t qualify for “purposes of Girl Scouting,” for instance, using troop proceeds to purchase memberships in or uniforms for another organization. We encourage all councils to remind their volunteers of this policy in order to protect the all-girl environment and to avoid diversion of Girl Scout funds.