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Volunteer Essentials

Think of Volunteer Essentials as your encyclopedia to Girl Scout volunteering! The new Volunteer Essentials is fully digital, and printable for your convenience and is updated throughout the year. 

Volunteer Essentials is currently transitioning from our old platform to a newer web-based format that will provide you with more concise and up-to-date resources targeted to your needs. While we are transitioning from the old platform to the new, you'll find new topics being introduced as they are completed. Our first one is all about the Product Program. We'll announce new sections in the Volunteer View as they are available. You're welcome to check back for these updates. We will continue to update our previous platform until the new web-based format is complete. You'll find that link at the bottom of this page. 

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Product Program

As the largest girl-led entrepreneurial program in the world, the Girl Scout Cookie Program and the Girl Scout fall product program are foundational experiences during which girls learn to think like entrepreneurs and to develop vital business skills. Plus, Girl Scout Cookie proceeds power fun and enriching experiences for Girl Scout troops year-round!  

Participation in the Girl Scout Product Programs provides exceptional opportunities for girls to develop life skills, such as leadership, teamwork and commitment, along with business skills in marketing, project management and budgeting, and is the best way to fund group activities. Our program materials offer fun and age-appropriate activities for all girls to learn these life and business skills.

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 Program 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 video for an inspiring look into just how powerful those treats—and the girls who sell them—can be.

Girl Scouts have been selling cookies to earn money as early as 1917, only five years after Juliette Gordon Low founded the Girl Scout movement in the United States. Since then, it has become a part of American culture as well as the premier financial literacy program for girls.

Product programs are appropriate for all girls K-12. The online fall product program, which includes nuts, candies and magazines, and kicks off the year in October with an animal conservation take action project. The iconic cookie program takes place in February late January through mid- March and will include a brand new lemon cookie this year! Information about both of our product programs can be found under Cookies+ on our GSNorCal website and from your local volunteer Service Unit Product Manager during the appropriate season. 

A Sweet Tradition

A Sweet Tradition

It has been decades 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—and the rest is history. Explore Girl Scout Cookie History  to find out how cookies have bolstered generations of girls who make the world a better place.

Why Participate?

Teaching Essential Skills for a Lifetime of Leadership

Through the Girl Scout Cookie Program, girls as young as five develop these five essential 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.  

 

For more information on reasons why to participate in the product program: Why Participate? (PDF)

Where Cookie Proceeds Go?

Whether it's a trip she'll never forget, a service project that will change her community forever, or the opportunity to build a lifetime of memories at camp, Girl Scout Cookies help make it happen. All proceeds collected from cookies sold in GSNorCal stay local!

For information about how proceeds support Girl Scouts of Northern California: Where Cookie Proceeds Go? (PDF)

Participating in the Product Program

When you are set up for success, you are better able to set your girls up for success! That’s why every year, GSNorCal provides kickoffs, guidelines, and procedures for conducting the product programs and determines how the proceeds and product rewards system will be managed.

Read more about Participating in the Product Program (PDF)

Selling Guidelines

The most imporant thing to remember is this is a girl business, families role is to support their girl, not sell the product. 

Selling Guidelines (PDF)

Online Marketing
Reporting Requirements

One critical task for each troop 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 (such as, 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. 

Product Donation Programs

GSNorCal has donation programs for the product programs where customers may purchase products for the sole purpose of having them donated to an organization. Care to Share is the council-sponsored community service project which allows customers to donate products through Girl Scouts to benefit military troops and community food banks. This is a great talking point for girls to share with their customers and a great way to help teach girls that both product programs can make a big impact in their community. 

Here are some things to remember about product donations:

  • All product donation programs must be approved by GSNorCal.
  • Donated products must stay within the council jurisdiction unless GSNorCal has the approval from other council jurisdictions. 
  • Donated products cannot be resold and must be used in a responsible and ethical way. 
  • Donated products are used in a way that does not undermine the work of GSNorCal or jeopardizes the integrity of the Girl Scout Brand. 
Handling Product Complaints

It has always been the practice of Girl Scout councils and the vendors to guarentee customer satisfaction with their products. If a customer for some reason is not satisfied with the quality of their products, they can contact the vendor via the number printed on the product packaging. 

Troops/group should notify GSNorCal if they are aware of any customer dissatisfaction by contaction info@gsnorcal.org or by calling (800) 447-4475 ext. 0.

Rewards and Money Management
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