Did you know that the Girl Scout Cookie Program is the largest girl -led business in the country, with sales of more than $700 million per year for girls and their communities nationwide?
That's right. The Girl Scout Cookie sale is the leading entrepreneurial program for girls: no university has produced as many female business owners as the Girl Scout Cookie Program has.
If you have a moment, watch the latest Girl Scout What Can a Cookie Do? video for an inspiring look into just how powerful those treats - and the girls who sell them - can be.Council-sponsored product sales are really the best way for girls to earn money to pursue their goals: the sa les are beloved by the community and come with program, sales, and marketing materials and support that help girls run a great business. And they're an integral part of the GSLE. With every season of cookies, another generation of girls learns five important ski lls:
And most of all, girls gain a tremendous amount of confidence . It's not easy to ask people to buy something you have to speak up, look them in the eye, and believe in what you're doing- all skills that help a girl succeed now and throughout the rest of her life.
A Sweet Tradition
It has been more than 90 years since Girl Scouts began selling home-baked cookies to raise money. The idea was so popular that, in 1936, Girl Scouts enlisted bakers to handle the growing demand.
Two commercial bakers are currently licensed by Girl Scouts of the USA to produce Girl Scout Cookies- Little Brownie Bakers and ABC/lnterbake Foods- and each council selects the baker of its choice. Each baker gets to name its own cookies (which is why some cookies have two names) and gets to decide which flavors it will offer in a given year, besides the three mandatory flavors (Thin Mints, Do-Si-Dos® /Peanut Butter Sandwich, and Trefoils/Shortbread) . For additional information on cookie varieties, including nutritional details, visit www.girlscoutcookies.org.
Each year, Manitou Council provides learning opportunities on the procedures to follow during each sale. Manitou Council also establishes guidelines and procedures for conducting the sale and determines how the proceeds and recognition system will be managed.
Manitou Council will provide a breakdown of “how the cookie crumbles” in Manitou Council. Please share this information with girls and their parents/guardians so everyone’s clear on how revenue raised through product sales makes it possible for Manitou Council to serve girls. Proceeds resulting from product sales support program activities—in fact, council-sponsored product sales are a primary way in which Manitou Council raises funds to support Girl Scouting. The percentage of money to be allocated to participating groups (like yours) is determined by Manitou Council and explained to girls and adults as part of the product sale activity orientation.
The income from product sales does not become the property of individual girl members. Girls, however, may be eligible for incentives and credits that they put toward Girl Scout activities, such as camp, travel, Take Action projects, and Girl Scout membership fee for the next year.
Girls may earn official Girl Scout grade-appropriate rewards and recognitions related to product sale activities, and each council may choose to provide items such as participation patches, incentives, and council credit for event fees, camp fees, grants for travel and Take Action projects, as well as materials and supplies for program activities. The council plan for recognition applies equally to all girls participating in the product sale activity. Whenever possible, councils try to involve girls in the selection of awards and administration of money given to girls from product sales.
One critical task for each group, is to keep excellent records and establish a clear accounting system for all money earned and spent. As the group’s volunteer, you’re in charge of making sure money is spent wisely, excellent records are kept (keeping copies of all receipts in a binder or folder), and all income is tracked, too. For older girls, your job is to oversee their work, as they learn to keep impeccable records.