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Cookie VIP eTraining

Cookie VIP Training




All training materials and videos are 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 UPDATED! Frequently Asked Program Questions
   Samoa Troop Guide (large file, may take a few minutes to download) 
   Samoa Service Unit Guide (large file, may take a few minutes to download) 
   Samoa Troop Cookie Chair Training: PDF |  PowerPoint
   Samoa Service Unit Cookie Program Chair Training: PDF |  PowerPoint
Troop eBudde Training Manual
   Samoa Service Unit eBudde Training Manual
   Samoa SUCPC eBudde Training Webinar
   Samoa Product Program Guide for Independent or Non-Troop Girl Scouts
   Samoa Cookie Club Instructions for Troops
   Samoa Cookie Club Instructions for Girls
   Samoa Cookie Club Overview Video
   Samoa Product Program Guide for Independent or Non-Troop Girl Scouts
   Samoa Cookie Rookie
Safety Activity Checkpoints

Additional Resources

   Samoa Visit the Forms Page

Frequently Asked Program Questions

1.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!

2. What is the deadline to sign up to sell cookies for 2014 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 23). However, the earlier you start, the better! Here's how:

  • Make sure you are a registered Girl Scout for the 2013-14 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 (888) 474-5248 and ask for the product sales department.

3. 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.

4. 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 Jan. 24 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 (Jan. 24-Mar. 23) is the actual selling of cookies, which includes boothing and taking initial orders. Otherwise, you can publically talk about cookies throughout the year!

5. 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 (Jan. 24-Mar. 23) Refer to pages 133-140 of the Safety Activity Checkpoints to review all online safety rules.

6. 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.

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

No. Little Brownie Bakers, GSGLA’s licensed Girl Scout bakery, does not offer a gluten-free cookie at this time. The other Girl Scout cookie bakery, ABC Bakers, is testing a gluten-free cookie. This year, a small group of councils have agreed to test-market it for 2014.

8. 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.

9. Where does the $4 a box go?

100% of cookie proceeds, which makes of 76% of the $4 sale, go to the local council to support troop-led activities (such as travel, camp registration, or community service projects), as well as high quality Girl Scout council programming and volunteer and member support. The remaining 24% covers the costs of the cookies from the bakery. For a detailed breakdown, click here.

10. 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.

11. 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:

12. 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.

13. 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.


Click here to download a PDF flier of the Social Issue FAQs below.

14. 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.

15. 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. 

16. 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. (See question #9)

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.

17. What do I say if someone asks about the recent news story regarding a former Girl Scout employee's investigation and arrest on money laundering charges?

Although rare, a few of our leaders and parents have encountered people approaching girls during the cookie sale, wanting to discuss sensitive issues. Usually, a calm request to speak with an adult away from the girls takes care of the matter, so that it does not disrupt what the girls are doing.

The investigation of former employee Channing Smack began when Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles (GSGLA) officials (this includes staff and Board) discovered some business irregularities. GSGLA then hired an attorney and sequentially terminated Channing Smack’s employment. He was then arrested, charged with money laundering and is now scheduled to appear in court the end of January with a plea agreement.

   Girl Scouts has very high standards and expectations of our employees and our volunteers. We understand clearly that we all serve as role models for our girls, and we take that responsibility very seriously. This situation is a great teaching moment for our movement and a great example of why developing strong values and ethics in our youth, a cornerstone of Girl Scouting, is critical to building a stronger society. To put a fine point on the relevancy of Girl Scouting today, we teach our girls business ethics as one of the five skills when participating in the cookie program.

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.


For more FAQs about the cookie program, click here.

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.