As the largest girl-led entrepreneurial program in the world, the Girl Scout Cookie Program and the Girl Scout Fall Take Action Program are foundational experiences during which girls learn to think like entrepreneurs and to develop vital business skills. Plus, Girl Scout Product Program 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 Take Action Program, which includes nuts, candies and magazines, kicks off the year in October with an animal conservation take action project. The iconic Cookie Program takes place in late January through mid- March. 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
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.
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:
For more information on reasons why to participate in the product program: Why Participate? (PDF)
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)
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)
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.
GSNorCal has donation opportunities for the product programs where customers may purchase products for the sole purpose of having them donated to a local organization. Care to Share is the council-sponsored community service project which allows customers to donate products through Girl Scouts to benefit food banks, military members and veterans as well as hometown heroes. 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:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (800) 447-4475 ext. 0.
© Copyright 2009–2022 Girl Scouts of the United States of America. All rights reserved. All information and material contained in Girl Scouts’ Volunteer Essentials guide (“Material”) is provided by Girl Scouts of the United States of America (GSUSA) and is intended to be educational material solely to be used by Girl Scout volunteers and council staff. Reproduction, distribution, compiling, or creating derivative works of any portion of the Material or any use other than noncommercial uses as permitted by copyright law is prohibited, unless explicit, prior authorization by GSUSA in writing was granted. GSUSA reserves its exclusive right in its sole discretion to alter, limit, or discontinue the Material at any time without notice.