The Girl Scout Cookie Program is a long-standing tradition for Girl Scouts and an icon of American culture, and is the largest financial literacy program for girls in the country. Girl Scouts first started baking cookies in their own homes and in 1917 Girl Scouts held the first cookie sale. By the 1920s, sugar cookies were still being baked at home and sold door-to-door for 25 cents a dozen! By 1936, GSUSA licensed the first commercial baker to produce Girl Scout Cookies to be sold nationwide by Girl Scouts across the country! Last year in the Greater Washington Region, over 4.5 million boxes of Girl Scout Cookies were sold. Proceeds from the sale are used to support local troop activities like travel and community service projects; and to maintain Girl Scout camps, develop programs and provide financial assistance.
The skills a girl develops in the Girl Scout Cookie Program empower her to do amazing things. Girls develop important skills like goal-setting, decision-making, money management, people skills and business ethics.
Girls can achieve anything they put their minds to! Girls decide on a team goal to reach with the money they raise from selling cookies. Troops often participate in “Gift of Caring,” which is a service project that allows Girl Scouts to give back to their community through their cookie sale. Girls choose an organization they want to help and then give customers the opportunity to purchase cookies as a donation.
When Christian H. was a Daisy, her troop decided to raise money to send a llama to Peru so that the women there could use the wool to make warm clothing for their families. They raised so much money that they were able to send three llamas! Girls also choose to donate cookies to senior centers, homeless shelters and troops overseas.
Decision Making and Money Management
Girls know that managing money is an important step in reaching her goals. Girls who understand the relationship between earning and buying will make better decisions with their own money. DeJah L. says that “selling cookies gave [her] the opportunity to not only gain social skills, but also learn about commerce, supply, demand, and marketing techniques.”
Girls learn how to interact and speak with different types of people while selling cookies. These experiences help her develop healthy relationship and conflict resolution skills that she can use throughout her life. Businesses want employees who work well with others, and the Cookie Program teaches girls how to work together with their troop and leaders to have a successful cookie season. Manning H’s favorite part about selling cookies is “meeting new people as [they] set up [their] cookie stand in front of establishments in the community.”
Honesty, responsibility and integrity are skills that girls learn while selling cookies. Girls’ business ethics reinforce the many positive values she is continuing to develop as a Girl Scout.
“When our troop started selling cookies, our troop leader asked what we wanted to do with the money from the sales. I said, “Let’s go shopping!” Now, I have learned it is better to give than to receive.” – My’a J.