Friday, February 27, 2015

Happy National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend!


Yes! It’s here. National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend—the perfect time to celebrate all the amazing things girls do with their cookie earnings every year, for their communities and beyond. On top of teaching five super-important life skills—including goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills, and business ethics—the Girl Scout Cookie Program gives girls the opportunity to build their confidence, make friends, become rock-star social entrepreneurs, and have a ton of fun along the way.

This weekend, celebrate cookie bosses everywhere by visiting your local Girl Scout Cookie booth and showing your support. But don’t stop at the cookies! During your visit, ask girls about their cookie sale. What are their goals this year? What are they planning to do with their cookie earnings, and what is their favorite thing about the program? They are doing so much awesome stuff, and they’ll love to share their stories.


Join the fun. Get in the cookie spirit!


#GimmieFive and Let's Move!

In February 2010, First Lady Michelle Obama launched Let’s Move!, an initiative that encouraged kids all over the country to get out, get active, and create a healthier future for themselves and their families. To celebrate the fifth anniversary of Let’s Move! this month, the White House has kicked things up a notch with the #GimmieFive challenge.

To join in the fun, just share five ways you’re leading a healthier life and challenge your friends and family to do the same by posting photos or videos with #GimmeFive on Twitter, Instagram, Vine, Facebook, or Tumblr. Looking for inspiration? Here are five ways you might get active—outdoors!—as a Girl Scout.
  • Do a “detective hike” and investigate leaves or tracks along the trail as part of the Brownie Hiker badge.
  • Play a nighttime game of flashlight tag while earning the Junior Camper badge.
  • Take part in a wacky relay race as part of the Cadette Field Day badge.
  • Explore a farm or orchard along the Senior Sow What? Journey.
  • Go snorkeling, surfing, or tubing as part of the Ambassador Water badge.
Of course there are plenty of opportunities for our littlest Girl Scouts, too! Daisies might create their own “pedal power” by riding bikes on the Between Earth and Sky Journey, or play Red Light, Green Light outdoors while earning their Lupe petal.

Questions about the #GimmieFive challenge? Learn more at LetsMove.gov.
Thursday, February 26, 2015

Girl Scouts Honors Condoleezza Rice During Black History Month

 (Photo credit: Oprah.com)

Did you know that every female secretary of state in U.S. history is a former Girl Scout? This is just further proof of the power of the Girl Scout mission—to build girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place—as so many Girl Scout alumnae go on to achieve great things in the world, in the workplace, and in their personal lives. Today, we honor Condoleezza Rice, a fearless leader who started her leadership journey in Girl Scouting.

Condoleezza Rice was the second African American secretary of state and the first female African-American secretary of state, setting an amazing example for young girls of color who saw so few people like them in the world of government and politics. Like many women of color, Rice was met with doubt and discrimination despite her impressive resume and the wealth of knowledge she brought to the table, but she refused to be reduced by the obstacles she faced. She persevered, and ultimately landed the position of national security advisor to President George W. Bush during his first term, the first woman to serve in that position.


Today, we’re proud to honor Condoleezza Rice. Because of leaders like her, girls can dream bigger than they ever imagined and envision themselves as movers, shakers, and policy makers. 
Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Countdown to National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend!

Starting Friday, February 27, Celebrate the Positive Impact Girls Make on Their Communities Through the Girl Scout Cookie Program

National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend, which has become a national holiday for Girl Scout Cookie fans, kicks off this Friday, February 27, and runs through March 1, 2015. Girls across the country will sell cookies at booths, door to door, and through Digital Cookie, the first national digital platform that enables girls to learn 21st-century skills while selling cookies through their own personalized cookie websites or face-to-face using a mobile transaction app. The 2015 Cookie Weekend will mark the 98th year of Girl Scouts selling cookies and learning the basic skills and acumen they need to be leaders in business and sales, manage their personal and family finances, and gain self-sufficiency and confidence handling money.

One hundred percent of the net revenue raised through Girl Scout Cookie sales stays with local councils, and girls decide how their troop cookie money is spent. This year’s National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend will celebrate girls across the country who use their cookie revenue to fund projects that impact their communities in amazing ways. It will also celebrate the essential “5 Skills” each #cookieboss learns through the cookie program: goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills, and business ethics.

In addition to classics like Thin Mints and Samoas/Caramel deLites, cookie lovers can seek out three new cookie varieties this cookie season. The two new gluten-free offerings include Toffee-tastic, buttery cookies with toffee bits, and Trios, made with real peanut butter, chocolate chips, and whole grain oats. The third new cookie, Rah-Rah Raisins, is an oatmeal raisin cookie with whole grain oats, plump, juicy raisins, and Greek yogurt–flavored chunks. Not all varieties are available in every market, so contact your local council to inquire about the cookies they will carry this season.

Consumers who celebrate National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend are encouraged to ask girls how they give back to their communities with cookie earnings, and what they learn by selling cookies. Those who want to share via social media the fun they’re having on Cookie Weekend are asked to use the hashtag #cookieboss and tag @girlscouts.

This season, Girl Scouts have experienced an unexpected spike in Girl Scout Cookie demand and are working to ensure every order is delivered in a timely manner. At this time, some councils are experiencing delays receiving their cookies, and those councils are exploring options, like extending the dates of their cookie sales, to both help consumers get their cookies and enable girls to reach their sales goals. ​


To learn more about the new cookie varieties and find Girl Scouts selling cookies near you, visit www.girlscoutcookies.org or use the newly enhanced official Girl Scout Cookie Finder app, free for your iOS or Android phone or mobile device. 
Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Decoding Digital Cookie: Facts vs. Fiction

As reported far and wide, Digital Cookie is a groundbreaking new addition to the Girl Scout Cookie Program that creates a fun, safe, interactive space for girls to sell cookies. Digital Cookie is the first national digital platform in the history of the iconic Girl Scout Cookie Program.

But many questions remain about Digital Cookie. Check out the below Q&A for answers to some of the most common Digital Cookie questions.

What exactly is Digital Cookie?

Digital Cookie is a digital layer to the traditional Girl Scout Cookie Sale, which puts girls in the driver’s seat of their own digital sales experience. Digital Cookie allows Girl Scouts nationally to sell cookies digitally for the first time in the program’s history, giving girls valuable twenty-first-century entrepreneurial skills.

How does it work—Do I just go online, order cookies and then they arrive?

No. Like the traditional sale, Digital Cookie is a girl-driven and girl-led business, designed with each girl's safety in mind, and therefore she must initiate contact with people she knows to sell cookies.

With Digital Cookie, you will be able to buy Girl Scout Cookies through two separate digital sales platforms, depending on where you live. Some girls will market their own online cookie business by inviting you via email to visit their personalized cookie websites. There, you can order cookies from the comfort of your living room.

Other girls will take in-person orders using a unique mobile app newly enhanced to allow for credit card processing and direct shipping, in addition to directing you to a website where cookies can be purchased.

What’s the point of all this and why should I buy Girl Scout Cookies digitally?

First and foremost, you are supporting girls. You are helping girls learn essential skills that they will utilize for the rest of their lives.

Digital Cookie adds a fun, digital layer that expands and strengthens the ways girls learn the essential 5 Skills of goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills, and business ethics. Digital Cookie will expand girls' knowledge of and hands-on experience with online marketing, app use, website customization, and e-commerce.

Why are you taking away traditional door-to-door sales?

We are not taking away traditional sales. Booth sales and door-to-door sales are here to stay!

Digital Cookie expands and enhances girls' experience by giving them a fun new way to learn 21st century skills while providing another channel through which to sell cookies. So this cookie season, depending on your location, a Girl Scout could approach you through a door-to-door sale or booth sale with a digital device, or send an email invitation to visit her Digital Cookie website or stop by her local cookie booth.

Why is shipping so expensive?!

Shipping rates are optimal for folks who buy the maximum amount of cookies available for a set rate. Ordering one box online is possible, but the best value is to order a minimum of 6.

All shipping costs associated with Digital Cookie are in line with industry standards set by many reputable delivery services. The cost associated is comparable to what a customer would pay when buying Girl Scout Cookies at a booth sale and shipping the cookies themselves.

We don’t make any money from shipping and handling charges through Digital Cookie or booth sales. GSUSA has worked closely with our councils to ensure all cookie revenue—every penny after paying the bakers—stays with the local Girl Scouts and their council, and is reinvested into programming and activities that benefit girls.

In fact, Digital Cookie has been set up so that shipping and handling fees, often absorbed by corporations, do not burden Girl Scouts or their local councils and are paid directly to the vendor.

What are the shipping charges?

Nationally, customers will pay tiered flat-rate shipping and handling costs for orders between 6 and 12 packages. Customers who would prefer to avoid shipping charges and still support local Girl Scouts can always visit www.girlscoutcookies.org and use the council finder to learn more about potential local booth sales.

How safe is Digital Cookie?

Digital Cookie emphasizes the safety of both girls and customers. Girls and their parents/caregivers take an Internet safety pledge before using the web-based platform, and parents/caregivers must approve all updates and changes girls make when customizing their Digital Cookie site. Girls using the mobile platform will adhere to the same safety standards as those participating in traditional Girl Scout Cookie sales.

As a customer, your personal information will not be shared outside of the Girl Scout organization.

Both Digital Cookie systems are fully Payment Card Industry compliant and consumers can feel absolutely confident that their financial information is not stored. Both the online and mobile platforms of Digital Cookie transmit financial data to the respective credit card processors and "scrub" credit card and other identifiable information from the systems.

Digital Cookie is not available where I live. What’s up with that?

The majority of Girl Scout councils nationwide are participating in Digital Cookie during the 2014–2015 cookie season. While it did not make sense for some councils to opt-in this year, many additional councils are expected to be on board by the end of 2015, using an updated "version 2.0."

What’s next for Digital Cookie?

The launch of Digital Cookie represents an initial phase that will progress over time. Future versions of Digital Cookie will see improved user experiences for girls and customers alike and a more robust customer interface.