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Cookie VIP eTraining

Cookie VIP Training




All training materials and videos will be available online. Check out specific lessons on the topics of Program, Marketing, Technology and Cookies at the cookie VIP eTraining site.

Cookie Program Guides + Manuals

   Samoa Frequently Asked Program Questions
   Samoa Troop Guide (large file, may take a few minutes to download) 
   Samoa Troop Cookie Chair Training PDF
   Samoa Troop eBudde Training Manual
   Samoa Service Unit eBudde Training Manual
   Samoa Cookie Club Instructions for Troops
   Samoa Cookie Club Instructions for Girls
   Samoa Cookie Club Overview Video (large file will take a few minutes to download)
   Samoa Starting Inventory Worksheet (note: 2 separate tabs)  |  Starting Inventory Order FAQs
   Samoa Cookie Rookie
Safety Activity Checkpoints

Additional Resources

   Samoa Visit the Forms Page

Frequently Asked Program Questions

$5 a box  |  Direct sale  |  New cookies  |  Digital Cookie/Digital Order Card  | General questions  |  Social issues

$5 a box FAQs

Why is the Girl Scout cookie price increasing to $5 a box?

Primarily, the increase in the cookie price is because inflation has increased the cost of doing business for troops, service units, and the overall council. The last time we increased the price was more than 10 years ago.

We heard from you and we listened. Through recent program evaluation surveys and review by our volunteer-led Product Sales Go Team, you provided us with great feedback. This decision was not made without volunteer consideration.

A price increase is necessary to keep up with the ever-increasing costs of running a nonprofit organization. Without an increase in price, we are unable to cover existing costs or provide for program enhancements, building repairs, or other investments on behalf of our membership.

When was the last time the cookie price increased?

The last price increase for Girl Scout Cookies in the greater Los Angeles area was more than a decade ago in 2004. Since then, the cost of rent, utilities, programs, training materials, repairs, staffing support, etc. have collectively increased by approximately 28%, according to the Consumer Price Index. Even the cost of the cookie from the baker has increased 19% since 2004.

What are the troop/girl benefits of a price increase?

  • Troop proceeds are expected to increase nearly 27% to $0.95 per box.
  • The troop reward “opt-out” value will double to $0.10.
  • The rewards budget will increase 25%. 
  • Cookie proceeds incentives for participating in Early Bird membership renewal.

Were there any alternatives to raising the price?

Yes, other options were considered:

  • Council service fee – In 2011, GSUSA amended its bylaws to allow councils to charge a “council service fee” to each member up to the amount of the current membership cost. This fee would be retained by the council as a new revenue source. GSGLA, however, chose not to impose such a fee on each of our girl and adult members.
  • Decreasing costs – Decreasing our costs would decrease our programs, membership support services, and reduce the resources necessary to run a nonprofit organization. We made cuts last year which significantly impacted the organization. Additional cuts would reduce our ability to serve our current members and impede our ability to serve more girls. 

Are neighboring councils increasing their price?

Yes, some of our neighboring councils are making the move to $5/box. GSGLA has been discussing this change with all of our neighbors for the past two years and believe that having all councils change in the same year would be ideal. Each council is making this decision based on their individual circumstances. Orange County and San Diego councils will increase their price to $5 for 2015; however, San Gorgonio and Central California Coast councils have chosen to stay at the $4 price for another year because of circumstances specific to their regions.

The price differential for the neighboring councils remaining at $4 is not expected to be of great impact, as customers want to support their local Girl Scouts. In addition, GSGLA decided to implement a direct sale model this year in order to diminish the possible impact of a price difference.

Will the price increase make cookies harder to sell?

No. Our research shows that many customers don’t know what they pay per box now. They want to buy cookies and most often ask what the price is. Can you name an item that costs the same now as it did a decade ago? That’s a hard task for your customers, too. You’ll find that the vast majority of customers are surprised that the price has not changed in 11 years, and people understand that costs go up over time. 

What if customers buy fewer boxes?

Based on research from other councils, there is a trend of a moderate decrease in the number of boxes sold. In preparation, GSGLA has planned for a possible 10-15% decrease in volume. The good news is that even if the volume decreases at this rate, troop proceeds would still increase. The number of boxes sold would have to decrease by 23% in order to have a negative impact on proceeds from a 25% price increase.

Furthermore, GSGLA has one of the strongest cookie programs in the nation. That’s because you are phenomenal, and we know how proud and confident you are in the determination and entrepreneurial spirit of our girls. With your continued support, our girls will do just fine and troops will undoubtedly see greater proceeds.

Finally, let’s keep in mind that the cookie program is about the learning opportunities for our girls. Throughout this year’s cookie season, girls will gain a fantastic economic lesson to add to the five skills they learn through participation.

What if customers complain about the price?

Remind them that they are supporting programs that develop girls and help build the next generation of leaders. 

The cookie program is the largest and most significant financial literacy program for girls in our community. 

Remind them that the cookies are for sale only once a year—and they are delicious. 

With millions of customers, our girls encounter many different perceptions. The fact is that this is the first increase in price in more than a decade.

Why are we increasing the cost by a full $1 all at once?

These are the main reasons GSGLA is increasing the cost by $1 instead of incrementally:

  • The $1 increase prices the value of Girl Scouting correctly. There is no need to undervalue our product or brand.
  • Girls and troops have said they do not want to deal with change in quarters.
  • We do not want to draw out the process of a $1 increase by having price increases over multiple years.
  • Inching up the cost over time will feed the public’s incorrect perception that the price changes all the time.
  • Less than $1 or a $0.50 increase does not provide the revenue necessary to support troops, service units or services to our adult and girl members, and it undercuts the value of Girl Scouting in the community.

How will the price increase affect Gift of Caring?

In previous sales, some customers rounded up their $4/box purchase price to $5 and donated the extra dollar to Gift of Caring (GOC), so the $5 box could affect Gift of Caring donations—but it doesn’t have to. It’s simply a matter of asking customers to “add on” a GOC donation rather than “rounding up” to one. People really do love feeling good about giving! Girls who maximize the potential of helping our GOC partners will still see a strong return on investment in the GOC Program. GOC is still an invaluable strategy to helping increase your overall goals.

What are some good ways to market cookies? 

Girl Scout Cookies are a tasty treat and the public knows this is their primary opportunity to support girls and Girl Scouts.

  • Share the goodwill of Girl Scouting. Troops are encouraged to be prepared to tell their story. It’s a great way to draw in customers.
  • Speak to customers about how buying cookies helps Girl Scouts locally in their community.
  • Inform customers about how the cookie program helps girls build their confidence and learn skills that will serve them throughout their lives.
  • Talk about the 5 Skills! The cookie program is the largest financial literacy program in the world. The five skills girls learn are goal-setting, decision-making, money management, people skills, and business ethics. They are the bedrock of the cookie program, and they can convey a moving story when girls give good examples about how they’ve used these skills in Girl Scouts.
  • Customers are not just buying a box of cookies, they are also supporting programs that build girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. 
  • Look for more great ways to market Girl Scout Cookies coming soon

How does the cookie program support Girl Scouts?

GSGLA cookie proceeds—100%!—go to supporting Girl Scouting in the greater Los Angeles area. Cookie proceeds support troops and help provide high-quality, low-cost, and safe experiences for more than 40,000 girls and more than 20,000 adults, including programs and activities, training, materials, services, resources, communications, collateral, and facilities. See how $5 a box supports Girl Scouts.

GSGLA spends approximately $365 per Girl Scout. Funding to support Girl Scouting in greater Los Angeles is through a combination of product sales (cookie program and fall product program), program and camp fees, retail sales, and fundraising. GSGLA receives none of the annual $15 GSUSA membership fee.

Direct Sale FAQs

How is a direct sale different from the initial orders model that I am used to?

Initial orders model (8 weeks): At the start of the sale, girls go out with an order card to collect orders from their potential customers. Girls turn in their order cards, wait for their order to arrive, and then girls go back to the customer to deliver them a few weeks later. Girls finish off the sale with boothing.

Direct sale model (6 weeks): The process of collecting customers’ order pre-delivery is eliminated. Using a formula, troops place a “starting inventory” order in mid-January and cookies get delivered Jan. 30–31. Troops start selling immediately with cookies in hand on Feb. 1. For two weeks, troops will sell through personal connections and door-to-door, and then convert to boothing to finish the sale.

Will girls still use an order card?

Girls will use a condensed girl order card to help them track sales and orders, but it will not be submitted to place an order like it was used in the past.

How is a direct sale more beneficial than an initial order sale?

Taking orders in the past with a girl order card was lucrative, but it can’t compete with the speed and efficiency of an instantaneous sale and delivery, all in one transaction. There is no need to go back to a customer for delivery, and customers will be happy that they can enjoy their cookies right away. The instant gratification also tends to increase sales. Since girls will always have a supply of cookies in-hand, they can always make the sale. A direct sale is also faster, taking less time to complete each sale.

Why are we changing to the direct sale model?

Volunteers have asked for this change. The new model will allow GSGLA to have cookies in hand around the same time as surrounding councils who have already converted to a direct sale model. The timing will help troops who are in close proximity to neighboring councils and help all Girl Scouts in providing a fairly consistent “time of sale” message. The direct sale model will also make the overall experience easier for the troops.

What are the phases of a direct sale? Do we still booth?

Starting on “Go Day!” (Feb. 1), troops can begin selling with cookies in hand for the first two weeks of the sale. Girls should not sell before this date. Door-to-door sales, cookie mobiles, personal asks, networking, email (Cookie Club), and Facebook are all viable methods to publicize your sale to customers. Cupboards will open earlier than before to support this direct sale phase.

After the initial two weeks and for the remaining four weeks, boothing is available. As in prior years, service units (SU) will secure sites for the Booth Scheduler, and troops will self-select their boothing options.

How will GSGLA support troops through this new direct sale model?

There will be extensive training, webinars, and materials on how to navigate a direct sale. GSGLA will work very closely with troops and service units so that troops are strategic and well-prepared to convert to the direct sale. 

What is a “starting inventory,” and why do I need it?

Starting inventory is the initial set of cookies a girl will need to have “in hand” to start making sales. It is important to order a sufficient inventory of cookies to stay ahead of her customers’ needs. If girls do not have cookies in hand on Feb. 1, they are going to miss the first opportunity to engage with customers.

How do I know how much to order for the troop’s starting inventory?

GSGLA will train troops using best practices from other councils who have already converted to the direct sale model. We recommend that returning troops place a starting inventory order (SIO) of at least 75% of their total anticipated 2015 sale. History and best practices have informed us that a 75% starting inventory order will provide enough cookies for two weeks of direct sale plus opening boothing weekend. To calculate this number, please use the Recommended Starting Inventory Worksheet(Returning Troops tab) which uses a formula that factors in each troop’s 2014 sales volume and the 2015 number of girls selling. Troops that are new to cookie season can calculate their SIO using the same worksheet, but under the New Troops tab which uses a formula based on regional per-girl-average. Trainings will provide more details.

This is my first time participating in the cookie program. What do I order for my starting inventory?

Using our experience and data from past sales, GSGLA will provide details on how to forecast a new troop’s expected 2015 sales volume, and then take 75% of that number to order its starting inventory. To calculate this, please use the Recommended Starting Inventory Worksheet (New Troops tab) which uses a formula based on Girl Scout level, geographic location, cookie flavor popularity, and per-girl average to help new troops compute a good, strong number. The last thing we want to see is a troop take on too much product when they are not experienced at how to sell it, or a troop that is too conservative and does not order enough product to fulfill their customers’ needs. Veteran troop leaders, cookie mentors, and staff are all here to help train you. You are not alone.

Will GSGLA still collect payments from the troops right away?

Yes. GSGLA will collect a first ACH debit on Feb. 13 and then collect a final ACH debit on March 20. We have reduced the first debit amount to $1.50/box. It is not in GSGLA’s interest to try to collect too much or too fast. We want troops to be successful, and we want to provide a manageable schedule of collection. More details to come at training.

What are the pros and cons of a direct sale?


  1. Better alignment of sale dates with our neighboring councils (cookies in hand in late January)
  2. Shorter sale by two weeks – more time for other activities
  3. Simpler sale for girls, volunteers, and parents
  4. Save the delivery step – no repeat visits
  5. Selling momentum is continuous.
  6. Customer transaction volume is higher when you can deliver on the spot.
  7. Rewards will be ready for delivery in late-April, before troops stop for the year.
  8. Girl Scouts across councils selling at the same time provides a consistent message.


  1. Typically more cupboard volume to manage (may impact wait times, management)
  2. Earlier start to cookies – SU training in November; troop training in December
  3. Troops need to be prepared for cookie deliveries in January.
  4. Individual customer commitments are relatively unknown and starting inventory is based on historical trends.

How does starting inventory delivery differ from the initial order delivery?

Very little. Troops still order in whole cases. However, starting inventory delivery for 2015 will be two days, Jan. 30 and 31. GSGLA will do everything possible to make sure delivery goes smoothly and quickly. 

Will we still have cupboard features like pending orders, even exchange, to-the-box pick-ups, and consignments? 

Our goal is to preserve all of these customer-friendly qualities. It is GSGLA’s commitment to make the cupboard experience work for everyone.

  • Pending orders will be more important than ever.  With the increased volume, we truly need everyone to place their pending orders 48 hours in advance to give us time to be prepared. There are a few troops who withdraw thousands of cases and this drains the cupboards for all.  We are developing a separate process to service these troops.
  • Even exchanges will return, but the window of opportunity may be shortened.
  • To-the-box pick-up is a service we hope to preserve. Again, the timing will definitely be modified from the past, so be sure to check for availability when you place a pending order.
  • Consignment sales will come back to provide that level of tailored customer service. Our goal is always to deliver flexibility if it makes the cookie season easier for the troops.

To maintain efficiency at the cupboard, we will need to schedule the dates of these features carefully. Pay close attention to these dates, as the schedule will differ from last year, 2014.

New Cookies FAQs

Will we have a gluten-free cookie for 2015?

Yes, Little Brownie Bakers (LBB) has developed a gluten-free cookie, Toffee-tastic, that meets their standards for quality and taste. It is an original recipe that has not been offered by any other baker. It is a crispy, buttery cookies packed with golden toffee bits.

Will the gluten-free cookie be on the girl order card?

No. This cookie will be a pilot for Little Brownie Bakers (LBB) for 2015. GSGLA will determine how much of the cookie to order in September 2014. That volume cannot be changed or increased. The cookie will be baked in a separate gluten-free-certified facility and is a one-time purchase. We will work with our troop leaders to determine an appropriate volume, knowing that every troop cannot place a custom order. A fair system of allocation or prorating will be necessary. 

What is the price of the gluten-free cookie?

The retail price of the gluten-free, Toffee-tastic cookie will be $6; this is $1 more than all the other cookies we will offer in 2015. Because of the cost associated with producing gluten-free products, most gluten-free products are more expensive than regular products. Customers seeking a gluten-free alternative know and expect to pay more for a gluten-free item. The cost of the gluten-free cookie from the baker is more than double the cost of all the other Little Brownie Bakers (LBB) varieties. This is because of the expensive nature of the ingredients, the separate baking process, and the additional distribution costs.

Can I get the gluten-free cookie from the cupboard?

No. GSGLA is ordering a set amount in September 2014 which will be fairly allocated to troops. The council cannot order more from LBB, nor can troops order more from GSGLA.

Will the gluten-free cookie count toward rewards?

Yes. The troop allocation will be entered into eBudde and will count toward troop proceeds and girl rewards just like any other cookie. eBudde will process the troop proceeds correctly and allow for girl allocations toward rewards.

Will all councils have a gluten-free cookie available?

Both Girl Scout cookie bakers will offer a gluten-free cookie to councils for 2015. The baker that GSGLA does NOT use (ABC Bakers) will offer a "Trio" cookie as their next gluten-free pilot. It is a combination of chocolate chip, peanut butter, and oatmeal. 

What is the other new cookie that Little Brownie Bakers will offer in 2015?

In addition to the gluten-free, Toffee-tastic cookie, Little Brownie Bakers (LBB) has added a Rah Rah Raisin cookie to its line-up. It is a soft and chewy oatmeal raisin cookie with Greek yogurt-flavored chunks.  It has the wholesome goodness of oatmeal grains and the trend of Greek yogurt.  It’s really good!

How many cookies will GSGLA offer for 2015? 

For the past two years, GSGLA has been a “Super Six” council offering the traditional, best-selling varieties (Thin Mints, Samoas, Trefoils, Tagalongs, Do-si-dos), plus the 100th anniversary cookie, Savannah Smiles (lemon).  

In 2015, we will offer eight varieties, which include the same six, PLUS the new Rah Rah Raisin and gluten-free pilot (eight total). Please remember that only a limited number of gluten-free cookies will be ordered, and the gluten-free cookie will not be listed on the order card.

How do I try the new raisin cookie?

One box will be offered to every troop for the girls to sample. These cookies will be delivered to your service unit cookie program chair sometime in November.

Digital Cookie/Digital Order Card (GSGLA will not participate in 2015)

In 2015, GSUSA will launch a national pilot program for a Digital Order Card (DOC) which will allow customers to place cookie orders online and choose if they want their cookies shipped (for an extra fee) or delivered by a girl. Little Brownie Baker councils had the choice to opt in or opt out of this program; GSGLA chose to opt OUT for 2015. However, this program may be mentioned in the media, so we want to prepare members for questions from the public. 

What is the Digital Order Card (DOC)?

The Digital Order Card is an optional, national pilot program that GSUSA is testing in 2015. It is only available to Little Brownie Bakers (LBB) councils, not councils who get their cookies from ABC Bakers, the other licensed Girl Scout cookie baker. The Digital Order Card program allows girls to send emails to customers and links them to a girl’s individual sales website. Through that website, customers can place orders for cookies and choose an option to have them delivered by the girl, or shipped (for an extra fee). Customers can also get connected to a girl’s sales page to place an online order via 

Why isn’t GSGLA participating in 2015? Will we ever opt in to an online sales program?

GSGLA has made the strategic decision to opt out of Digital Order Card (DOC) for 2015 for the following reasons:

  1. The system is new (designed summer 2014) and the 2015 launch is considered a “Phase I” test of the system. GSGLA feels the risk is too high to jump into a system in its early stage of development. Like all pilots, there is an inherent risk to taking on projects too early in their development.  
  2. GSGLA is going through a price increase and a transition from an initial order to direct sale model in 2015. We decided not to add on another layer of change by incorporating the DOC pilot at this time.
  3. There are still many unanswered questions about the Digital Order Card system related to shipping costs and process, additional processing fees, finance system details, logistics, etc.
  4. We have the option to opt in for 2016 once the system has been more fully developed.  

Will girls still have the Cookie Club?

Yes! Girls can still use Cookie Club to reach out to customers through email, and customers can make order “promises.” However, unlike Digital Order Card, customers cannot transact money/pay for their cookies over the internet. With Cookie Club, customers still need to connect with a girl to pay for and receive their cookies.Will ABC Bakers’ councils have their own online order system in 2015?Yes. It is called CocoDirect and is largely focused around a mobile app.  However, their system will not be integrated with at this time. 

General Program Questions

Why should girls participate in the Girl Scout Cookie Program?

Selling cookies teaches goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills, and business ethics—aspects essential to leadership, to success, and to life. Plus, it provides a dynamic way for girls and troops to raise funds for the exciting programs, projects, and trips that they dream up!

What is the deadline to sign up to sell cookies for 2015 and how can my girl or troop get started with the cookie program?

Girls and troops can sign up at any time to sell cookies, now until the last week of boothing (March 8). However, the earlier you start, the better! Here's how:

  • Make sure you are a registered Girl Scout for the 2014-15 membership year (log into eBiz to check your status)
  • Families: tell your troop leader or service unit manager that your girl(s) wants to sell cookies; Troop leaders: tell your service unit (SU) cookie program chair or SU manager your troop wants to participate
  • If you are a late starter, we can help get you up to speed. Reach out to your local product sales manager or call (213) 213-0123.

Where do I send people who are looking for cookies?

  • The public can go to to find the closest Girl Scout Cookie booth. They can also download the “Girl Scout Cookie Finder” Mobile App on iTunes and the GooglePlay store
  • Call a local GS service center. Every receptionist is equipped to help people locate their nearest cookie booth.

How soon can I start telling my family and friends about Girl Scout Cookie Season?

You are welcome and encouraged to remind people about the Girl Scout Cookie Season as soon as you are ready - you do not have to wait until Feb. 1 to promote cookies! This includes sending emails or posting social media messages reminding people that cookie season is coming, or letting people know how they can connect with your girl to place an order once the season starts. By policy, the only activity that MUST HAPPEN WITHIN our council’s program dates (Feb. 1-Mar. 8) is the actual selling of cookies, which includes boothing and taking initial orders. Otherwise, you can publically talk about cookies throughout the year!

What are the rules with online selling or online promotion of Girl Scout Cookies?

At this time, Girl Scouts are prohibited from selling Girl Scout Cookies online (meaning cannot transact/exchange money online for cookies via email, website, or any other online vehicle). However, GSGLA encourages girls and adults to use age-appropriate online tools to help market the cookie program at any time, such as email, social media, blogs, or personal websites to tell customers when cookie season is coming, how they can find cookies, and how to connect with a troop or girl to place an order once the season starts. (NOTE: USING EBAY OR ANY OTHER MARKETPLACE WHERE PAYMENT CAN BE TRANSACTED IS NOT ALLOWED). Remember, you can ONLY TAKE orders during GSGLA’s cookie season (Feb. 1- Mar. 8) Refer to pages 133-140 of the Safety Activity Checkpoints to review all online safety rules.

Why are some of our cookies different from those sold at other councils OR why don’t we have a certain cookie in our line-up?

There are two bakeries that make Girl Scout Cookies in the country. If a customer asks for a cookie that is not in our line-up, it is likely that the bakery connected with GSGLA does not make that particular cookie. GSGLA sells the “super six” (top customer favorite cookies): Thin Mints, Samoas, Trefoils, Tagalongs, Do-si-dos, and Savannah Smiles.

I heard there is a gluten-free cookie this year. Is GSGLA selling it?

Yes! Our baker has developed a gluten-free cookie called Toffee-tastic. Learn more about it here.

What are the rules with councils selling cookies outside of their geographic territory?

Girls who have a DIRECT, tangible customer in another council's region may still contact them and sell cookies to them. For example, if the girl lives in Temecula (San Gorgonio council), but her grandmother lives in San Diego (San Diego council), the girl is allowed to sell to her grandmother and grandmother's immediate friends. However, the girl cannot set up a booth, go door-to-door, or market her sale publically in another council's territory.

Boothing in a different council's geographic region of any format is strictly prohibited, from simple lemonade stands on private property, to setting up at a grocery store without permission, to loading a cargo van and driving to a market parking lot. None of this is permitted.

If you come across a troop boothing in a region which is not their own, do not become confrontational. Instead, discreetly take down the following information, and a photo if possible, and report them immediately to your troop or service unit cookie chair.

  • Date, time, and location
  • Region the troop/girl is from
  • Troop number
  • Number of girls
  • Names of adults

For further help on this issue, contact your troop or service unit cookie chair.

Where does the $5 a box go?

Eighty-one percent (81%) of the $5 sale goes to local Girl Scout troops for activities (such as travel, camp registration, or community service projects), and to the local Girl Scout council to support high quality programming and volunteer and member support. The remaining 19% covers the costs of the cookies from the bakery. For a detailed breakdown, click here.

Can someone donate money instead of buying cookies?

Absolutely! Customers can donate money in any amount to go towards the Gift of Caring (GOC) program. This program sends cookies to soldiers overseas and local non-profit partners like the LA Food Bank and Goodwill Southern CA. Troops still get credit for the “virtual sale” and the public can support Girl Scouts, even if they don’t want cookies. Donations collected during the cookie program must be contributed toward the GOC program. Troops cannot solicit/accept donations from the public specifically for the troop during cookie season.

Who can I contact if I need help or have questions during the cookie program?

If you are unable to find the information you need on the GSGLA website, the best person to go to for assistance is your troop cookie chair or service unit cookie program chair. You can also ask questions and get answers on GSGLA’s Cookie and Nut Friends Facebook page:

Why don’t Girl Scouts sell cookies all-year long?

The Girl Scout Cookie Program is the premier entrepreneurship opportunity for girls, but it is just one part of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. Girl Scouts participate in many activities throughout the year and work on many projects. The cookie program is just one of those activities. Also, because only girls may sell Girl Scout Cookies, their market availability is limited to the eight-week period when they are engaged in the program in their local council. Cookie season dates vary per council.

What do I say if someone asks if Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles allows Girl Scouts to conduct booth sales in front of adult-oriented businesses?

Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles (GSGLA) does not allow girls to sell cookies outside of any adult-oriented business, including but not limited to a bar, strip club, casino, liquor store, gun show, or marijuana dispensary. We recognize these are legitimate businesses, but feel they are inappropriate places for girls and the Girl Scout brand.

The Girl Scout Cookie Program is a council-run business. All the money stays in local councils, and the councils make all decisions on how the business is run with girl safety a top priority. Both GSGLA and Girl Scouts of the USA offer booth safety guidelines, but we rely on troop leaders and parents to make booth sale location decisions.


Download a PDF flier of the 2015 Social Issue FAQs (coming soon)

Are there GMOs in Girl Scout Cookies?

Yes, at the current time, there are genetically modified agricultural crops (GMOs) in Girl Scout Cookies. Our bakers determine whether to use GMOs in Girl Scout Cookies based on a range of market-related factors and depending on the specific cookie recipe. 

Girl Scouts listens to its customers, and we work with our trusted bakers, who are industry leaders, to develop recipes for these sweet treats using ingredients that will produce the best-tasting and highest-quality cookies while simultaneously addressing industry trends, scientific trends, and of course, consumer preference. As an organization, we continue to defer to required federal guidelines as they relate to our products.

Why is palm oil used in Girl Scout Cookies?

Palm oil is an ingredient found in the majority of baked snacks sold in the United States. GSUSA's licensed bakers tell us it continues to be necessary to use palm oil in our cookies to ensure shelf life, to offer customers the highest quality, and to serve as an alternative to trans fats. One of the primary goals of our Girl Scout cookie bakers is to create the best-tasting cookies possible using the healthiest ingredients available. Click here for more information. 

What do I say if someone asks about a cookie boycott or Girl Scouts' position on social issues, such as Planned Parenthood?

With the increased media focus on Girl Scouts during the cookie season, a number of groups with their own agendas see this as a chance to draw attention to their causes--at the expense of the girls.

And although rare, a few of our leaders and parents may encounter people approaching girls/troops during the cookie sale, wanting to discuss sensitive issues. Usually, a calm request to speak with the Girl Scout adult away from the girls takes care of the matter and helps to not disrupt the girls.

In particular, false claims of a partnership with Planned Parenthood and accusations regarding controversial topics related to Planned Parenthood are two of the issues being raised. It's been nearly a decade since the rumors first surfaced. There was no partnership then and there is none now.

However, GSGLA recently received a few concerns regarding what's being called “cookiecott,” orchestrated by John Pisciotta, director of Pro-Life Waco. This initiative aims to spread misinformation to the public at large stating that GSUSA has a partnership with Planned Parenthood. Although this campaign is not currently getting much traction in Los Angeles, it is being felt by some of our sister councils.

Here are the facts:

  • Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) and GSGLA do not have a relationship with Planned Parenthood. 
  • Girl Scouts does not provide financial support of any kind to Planned Parenthood. 
  • Girl Scouts does not advocate on behalf of any cause or mission outside of the Girl Scout mission, which is to build girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. Girl Scouts does not take a position on abortion or birth control, nor do we endorse or provide funding to organizations that advocate on behalf of these issues. We believe these are matters that are best discussed/handled within the family.
  • 100% of cookie proceeds go to the local council. 

If you do not feel comfortable commenting on sensitive issues, please refer the inquirer to Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles' External Relations Department:, so that staff can assist.

Safety Activity Checkpoints

Safety Activity Checkpoints go hand in hand with Volunteer Essentials. The checkpoints help you ensure the safety of your girls as you do activities throughout your Girl Scout adventure, like the product programs. Download the Safety Activity Checkpoints for all activities, here.