Safely Selling Girl Scout Cookies and Other Products
A few other considerations will help keep girls safe:
Parents and guardians must grant permission for girls to participate and must be informed about
the girls' whereabouts when they are engaged in product sale activities. Specific permission must
be obtained when a girl intends to use the Internet for product marketing. A parent, guardian, or
other adult must know each girl's whereabouts when she is engaged in product sales, and if and
when she is online.
- Girls should be identifiable as Girl Scouts by wearing a Membership Pin, official uniform, tunic,
sash, vest, or other Girl Scout clothing.
- Adult volunteers must monitor, supervise, and guide the sale activities of all girls at age levels.
- Girl Scout Daisies (in kindergarten and first grade) may be involved in council-sponsored product
sale activities, but they cannot collect money in any other way except through group dues or
- Girl Scout Daisies, Brownies, and Juniors must be accompanied by an adult at all times. Girl Scout
Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors who participate in door-to-door sales must be supervised by
(but do not need to be directly accompanied by) an adult. Girls of all grade levels must always use
the buddy system.
- Money due for sold products is collected when the products are delivered to the customer (or as
directed by your council). Girls will need to know whether they can accept checks and to whom
customers should write checks-find out from your council staff.
- Personal customer information should remain private. Customer credit card information should
not be collected by girls and should not be asked for on any form collected by girls.
- A girl's physical address, social media page address, 1M name, Skype name or number, email
address, or cell number should never be revealed to anyone outside her immediate circle of family
and friends. You've heard it before, but it bears repeating.
- Girls can market cookies and other products by posting on social media sites like Facebook or
Twitter or sending emails to friends, family members, and former customers, as long as they use a
group email address, the account or address of a parent/guardian or adult volunteer, a blind email
address (in which the recipients cannot see the sender's email address), or the online email tools
provided by cookie vendors. Girls 13 and older can also use their social media sites (such as
Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest) to do the same to her immediate circle of family and friends. Be
sure each girl's account uses the tightest privacy settings and doesn't reveal information about her
or her location to anyone outside her circle.
- Sales may not be transacted on the Internet (for example, through a site that has an electronic
shopping cart), except for magazine sales. Girls can, however, receive order commitments for
cookies sa les via email or the Internet. In other words, potential customers can relay (via email or
a Facebook post, for example) that, "Yes! I'd like four boxes of Thin Mints and three boxes of
Please also keep in mind:
- Volunteers and Girl Scout council staff do not sell cookies and other products; girls sell them.
- Girls can participate in no more than two council-sponsored product sale activities each year, and
only one of these may be a cookie sale.
Before beginning any cookies or other product sales with your group, refer to the cookies section of Girl Scout
Central and www.girlscoutcookies.org.
Selling at Girl Scout Cookie Booths
Cookie booths, or temporary sales set-ups in areas with lots of foot traffic, are a popular way for girls to sell
cookies as a team. Your council may have established cookie booth locations; contact the council before
planning a cookie booth of your own.
Once you've gotten council approval, check out the booth site before the day of the sale. Talk to business
owners in the area so they'll know what to expect. Find out what security measures are in place-these may
include lights for evening sales and whether a security camera watches the booth area-and where the
nearest bathrooms are located. In addition, review the Girl Scout Cookie/Council-Sponsored Product Sale
Safety Activity Checkpoints to make sure you and the girls are as prepared as possible.
On the day of the sale, these tips will help keep everyone safe:
Ensure that you have adequate space at the booth (table, products, and girls) to allow safe passage by
pedestrians, bikes, and cars.
- Plan to have at least two adults and one girl at the booth at all times. From time to time, volunteers
might want to take breaks or will have to accompany young girls to the bathroom, so make sure to
have a few extra adults on hand.
- Girls make all sales, except in cases where adults are helping Daisies handle money.
- Respect the surrounding businesses by making sure your booth isn't blocking a store entrance or exit.
- Attract customers with colorful signs. Remind girls to be polite and to have their sales pitch ready for
- Be especially careful with the money box; make sure it's under adult supervision and out of public
sight. Arrange for cash to be removed from the site periodically. When you do travel with money, have
someone accompany you to your vehicle and/or the bank.
- Report any suspicious people in the area to local security.
If someone takes money or cookies from your booth, do not attempt to physically recover the stolen items and
do not allow the girls to do so. Instead, get a good description of the offender(s), call 911, and alert local
security (if applicable). Make sure girls know what to do in case of theft. Report any incidents to your local
council according to its guidelines.
Using Online Resources to Market Cookies and Other Products
Girls are texting, calling, emailing, Tweeting, and Facebooking-and those are all effective ways that girls 13
and older can promote cookie and other product sales. The following sections detail how girls can use
electronic marketing, social media, and group websites to gather sale commitments from family, friends, and
previous customers. But first, please keep in mind that girls:
• Can market to and collect indications of interest from customers within their councils' zip codes.
Refer prospects that come from outside council jurisdiction to the council finder at
www.girlscoutcookies.org. Family members are the exception to this rule.
• Cannot have customers pay online (such as through a shopping cart function on a website the girls
create). Girl Scout magazine sales are the exception to this rule. • Must sign the Girl Scout Internet Safety Pledge (available at
http://www.girlscouts.org/help/internet safety pledge .asp) before doing any online activities, and all
online activities must be under the supervision of adults.
• Cannot expose their own or any other girl's email address, physical address, or phone number to the
public. When writing e-mail messages or online announcements, girls should sign with their first name
only, along with their group number or name and their council name.
For girls in fifth grade and above, have your group visit Let Me Know, a site addressing Internet safety for teens
and tweens. Girls can even earn an online award for completing activities on this site.
Contacting Prospects Electronically
Girls may use Facebook, Twitter, text messages, IMs, and emailsasonlinemarketingtoolstoletfamilY.friends.
and former customers know about the sale and collect indications of interest. Product-related email is not
intended to be spam (unwanted texts or emails), however, so remind girls to be sure that their messages will
be welcomed by the receiver.
When girls are marketing cookies online, remind them to always use a group email address (such as
email@example.com), an adult's personal email address, or a blind address (one that does not reveal the
address to the recipient). In addition, be sure to discuss with girls the need to treat customer e-mail addresses
from current and past years-as well as phone numbers, 1M addresses, Facebook accounts, Twitter handles,
and mail addresses-with respect; they are private and must be kept so.
Using Social Media
A girl (or group of girls) over the age of 13 may work in partnership with an adult to market cookies and other
products online, using the social media account (such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Linkedln) of the adult.
Social media is a fun, fast way to get out an urgent message, such as, lilt's Girl Scout cookie time!" Posting,
tweeting, or pinning such a message will get the attention of friends and family.
Before girls use social media as a marketing tool, keep the following in mind:
- Girls must have parental permission to use social media.
- Girls must meet age limits set by the provider, which is 13 and above in most cases, as per the United
States Child Online Privacy and Protection Act and the Child Online Protection Act.
- Any use of photos requires a photo-release form signed by parents/guardians of the girls pictured and
the signature of any adults pictured.
- Any use of online video sharing sites (such as YouTube), where the video is representing Girl Scouts or
Girl Scout products, must follow specific requirements for that site, as well as council guidelines. Girl
Scout photo release forms must also be signed by parents/guardians and any adults pictured. (In other
words, this is not an easy venture, but if you and the girls are willing, it's worth the investment.)
Setting Up a Group Website
Groups whose girls meet age criteria (13 years or older) and have parental permission may set up a group
Facebook page or website. This site must be approved by the council, yes, but it can be a fantastic way for girls
to share information, market Girl Scout products, and talk about their Take Action projects
Before you and the girls design a website, remember that the web is an open forum for anyone, including
potential predators. Documented instances of cyberstalkers make it imperative that any information that
could jeopardize the safety and security of girls and adults is not disclosed on a website . Please adhere to
these guidelines to ensure the girls' safety:
Use girls' first names only.
- Never post girls' addresses, phone numbers, or email addresses.
- Never, ever, ever post addresses of group meeting places or dates and times of meetings, events, or
trips. (An adult volunteer who wishes to communicate upcoming events with families of girls should
use email instead of posting details on a website, unless that site is password protected or is a
closed/secret Facebook group.)
- Always have a parent's or guardian's signature on a photo release form before using pictures of girls
on a website .
- Make yours a site that does not allow outsiders to post messages to the site, or make sure all postings
(such as message boards or guest books) have adult oversight and are screened prior to posting live.
- Don't violate copyright law by using designs, text from magazines or books, poetry, music, lyrics,
videos, graphics, or trademarked symbols without specific permission from the copyright or trademark
holder (and, generally, this permission is pretty tough to get!). Girl Scout trademarks (such as the
trefoil shape, Girl Scout pins, and badges and patches) can be used only in accordance with guidelines
for their use. (The Girl Scout trefoil, for example, may not be animated or used as wallpaper for a
website.) Check with your council's website for complete graphics guidelines and approvals.
|DAISIES: STAY ESPECIALLY SAFE!
Girl Scout Daisies are too young to be marketing online through their group, parent or guardian websites, or
social media sites. For this reason, Girl Scout Daisies are allowed to send out emails only when working directly
with an adult. Daisies and their adult volunteers must use only blind emails or the online marketing tools
provided by GSUSA product vendors on their websites.