Girl Scout Cookie/Council-Sponsored
Product Sale: Safety Activity Checkpoints
The Girl Scout Cookie Program is the largest girl-led business in the United States, generating more than $700 million for girls and communities nationwide. Through the Girl Scout Cookie Program, girls develop five essential skills: goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills, and business ethics. Girl Scout council-sponsored product sales—which include products from official Girl Scout Cookie vendors and magazine and nut vendors—give girls proven opportunities to earn money and/or credits for their Girl Scout program activities, while contributing significantly to their local councils and communities through take-action projects.
Know where to sell Girl Scout Cookies and other products. See “Sell in Designated Areas” in this checkpoint, as well as materials and information supplied by your Girl Scout council and vendors.
Include girls with disabilities. Communicate with girls with disabilities and/or their caregivers to assess any needs and accommodations.
Prepare for the Girl Scout Cookie/Council-Sponsored Product Sale
- Communicate with council and parents. Inform your Girl Scout council and girls’ parents/guardians about the activity, including details about safety precautions and any specific clothing or supplies that may be necessary. Follow council procedures for activity approval, certificates of insurance and council guidelines about girls’ general health examinations. Make sure to obtain written permission from a girl’s parent or guardian before she participates in a council product sale. Make arrangements in advance for all transportation and confirm plans before departure.
- Girls plan the activity. In order for girls to gain essential leadership skills inherent in the Girl Scout program, it is important to involve girls in the goal setting, planning, and execution of product sales. For this reason, adults may assist, but cannot sell Girl Scout products. (The role of the Girl Scout Daisy adult is fully explained in online materials on www.girlscouts.org, on the Girl Scout Central: Cookies page.)
- Girls learn about product sales safety. Girls learn and practice personal protection skills as outlined in GSUSA publications including this and other Safety Activity Checkpoints, Volunteer Essentials and Risk Management at Girl Scout Councils. Examples of safe practices include: providing, a designated adult’s telephone number and/or group e-mail overseen by an adult for product reorders or complaints; girls never giving out their phone number or personal e-mail address; ensuring a first-aid kit is available at a booth sale or product sale “walk-about”; and having Immediate telephone access to an adult as part of the emergency plan for Cadettes, Seniors and Ambassadors (Daisies, Brownies and Juniors are always accompanied by an adult).
- Arrange for adult supervision. Adults provide supervision and guidance for all grade levels, and must accompany Girl Scout Daisies, Brownies and Juniors when they are selling, taking orders for, or delivering products. Adults oversee Girl Scout Cadettes Seniors, and Ambassadors, and must be aware of how, when, and where the girls are selling products. In addition, an adult must be readily accessible to girls when they are participating in product sales. This can be accomplished by an adult being present with the girls or by having the adult and girls exchange telephone numbers. Adults are present at booth activities with girls at any grade level. Adult supervision also extends to any online activity including Digital Cookie.
- Prepare for cookie and product sales with Girl Scout Daisies. Girl Scout Daisies may participate in product sales, but must do so under the direct supervision of an adult. Materials provided by GSUSA for Daisies focus on engaging girls in selling to friends (including neighbors and social groups) and family. This approach is based on:
• The attention span and physical abilities of the girls
• The need for one-on-one supervision when handling money (the adult should hold all money)
• The involvement of parents or trusted adults in goal-setting, and ensuring that goals are appropriate for the group or individuals
• The importance of providing girls with a foundation in the basics of product-related activities
- Sell in a designated area. Girl Scouts should observe council jurisdiction (by zip codes) when marketing and selling products in person or at a cookie booth. For Digital Cookie girls may market and sell to family and friends beyond their council’s jurisdiction. Prospects that come from outside council jurisdiction should be referred to the council finder at www.girlscoutcookies.org. Girl Scouts should observe council jurisdictions when selling cookies in a parent’s or guardian’s workplace, unless other arrangements are made to accommodate all Girl Scout families connected to that workplace. For cookie booth sales, all booth locations are designated an approved by the council. In addition, all council guidelines with regard to setting up, manning and taking down a booth must be followed (see below for additional information).
- Respect Girl Scout trademarks. Girl Scout Cookies and Girl Scouts are trademarked by Girl Scouts of the USA and cannot be used to endorse others’ products or services. Any questions regarding the use of Girl Scout Cookies or the name Girl Scouts must be addressed to the Girl Scout council or email@example.com. The Girl Scout name, Girl Scout Cookies and Girl Scout marks, as well as pictures of Girl Scout Cookie boxes or cookies themselves, can be used only by Girl Scout councils and by girls in conjunction with a Girl Scout product program. These rights are not transferable to customers or businesses purchasing cookies for use with gifting or promotional activities.
On the Day of the Girl Scout Cookie/Council-Sponsored Product Sale
- Use the buddy system. Girls are divided into teams of two, with each girl choosing a buddy. Girls are responsible for staying with their buddy at all times and,
• Warning their buddy of danger,
• Giving their buddy immediate assistance if safe to do so,
• Seeking help when the situation warrants it.
If someone in the group is injured, one person cares for the injured person while two others seek help. Note that if an individual Girl Scout Cadette, Senior, or Ambassador is selling or delivering products, or making a sales presentation to a group, she must be accompanied by an adult if she is not accompanied by a buddy.
- Practice safety in selling and delivering products.
• Girls must wear a membership pin, uniform or Girl Scout clothing (e.g., Girl Scout T-shirt) to clearly identify themselves as Girl Scouts.
• Girls and accompanying adults should be familiar with the areas and neighborhoods where product sales take place.
• Girls should participate in door-to-door sales only during daylight hours.
• When Girl Scouts operate a booth in a store, mall or other public place, adults must be present at all times, regardless of the age of the Girl Scouts. When planning sales booths, follow council guidelines for additional information about setting up a booth and safety and security suggestions and assistance.
• Use safe pedestrian practices, especially when crossing at busy intersections.
• Do not enter the home or vehicle of a stranger, and avoid selling to people in vehicles (except at designated drive-thru cookie booths) or going into alleys.
• Do not carry large amounts of money and ensure provisions have been made for safeguarding the money in advance of the sale.
- Practice safe booth sales. When setting up booth sales, ensure that:
• You have adequate space at the booth for table, products and girls and to allow for safe passage by pedestrians, bikes and cars.
• Girls are a safe distance from cars. If possible, set up a safety barrier between cars and the booth—perhaps a few volunteers could park their cars in spaces near the booth location.
• The booth is not blocking a store entrance or exit.
• While girls can receive cash from buyers and make change, they should hand the money to the adult for safekeeping. It is important that cash is kept safe and out of sight. This can be accomplished by:
o Keeping the cash box against a wall or behind a barrier of cookie boxes
o Having an adult volunteer keep the money by, for example, securing it in a front-facing pouch tied around her waist
- Digital Cookie. Digital Cookie is friends and family driven, and allows girls to create their own Digital Cookie web site where their friends and family can purchase cookies. In order for a girl to participate in the Digital Cookie Program she must read and agree to abide by the Girl Scout Digital Cookie Pledge and her parents/guardians must read and agree to abide by the Digital Cookie Terms and Conditions for Parents/Guardians of Girl Scouts. Both of these documents outline the steps needed to ensure a girl has a safe experience when participating in the Digital Cookie Program. For more specific information on how to be safe when participating in the Digital Cookie Program, please see the Computer/Online Use: Safety Activity Checkpoints.
- Practice safe online marketing. Girls not participating in Digital Cookie may call and send e-mail messages to alert friends and family to product sales, and accept customer commitments via email or telephone. Girls who are 13 years old or older may use social networking sites to market product, but must follow council and GSUSA guidelines. Girls sending out product e-mails or announcements online should sign with their first names only, their troop/group number or name and their council name. Personal e-mails or street addresses of girls should never be used for contacting or responding to customers Instead, use one of the following:
• A blind return address account, hosted on a secure site such as provided by our product sales partners, where the girls’ name or personal e-mail address is not revealed to the customer
• A group account monitored by an adult
• An adult e-mail account supervised by an adult
Girl Scout Cookie/Council-Sponsored Product Sale Links
• Girl Scout Cookies official site: www.girlscoutcookies.org
Girl Scout Cookie/Council-Sponsored Product Sale Jargon
GSUSA official product sale vendors: Companies licensed by Girl Scouts of the USA to produce official Girl Scout products for girls to sell. The companies are selected by councils and contracted for one, two, and/or three years.
• Little Brownie Bakers
and ABC Bakers
produce Girl Scout cookies. Their Web sites have general information as well as activities and management tools.
• Ashdon Farms
and Trophy Nut
are approved GSUSA nut vendors and provide online information, activities, and management tools.
• QSP /GAO
and M2 Media Group
offer magazine subscription programs approved by GSUSA. Each provides online tools and activities for download and use. Magazine selection and sales may take place online. Check with your council for more details.
Nutritional and packaging information: Read nutritional and health information on product description sheets provided by the vendors annually or check their Web sites. Girls should be able to discuss serving size, nutritional values, and fat and allergy information. Read additional nutrition information at www.girlscoutcookies.org
. Recycling information is provided on product containers.