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Cookie Program Timeline

2023 Cookie Program Timeline: Dec. 10 – April 2

Online Cookie Program Opens: Dec. 10, 2022

Initial Order Taking:  Jan. 7– Feb. 5

SU Delivery:  March 1 - 4

Keep Goaling Orders:  Feb. 6 – April 2

Planned Orders Due:  March 12, 19, 26

Direct Sales:  March 5 – April 2

Training: Nov. 29 & 30- 1-2:30 and 6:30-8

December

Service Unit Product Program Managers (SUPPM) train troops.

Troops hold girl/family cookie training.

SUPPM update troops and users in Smart Cookies.

Troops participate at a service unit/troop cookie rally.

Troops train girls and parents, pass out order card.

Troops update troop information and girls’ first/last names and sizes in Smart Cookies.

 

December 10

Online Cookie Program opens for trained girls/families.

 

January 7 – February 5

Initial Cookie Order Period

 

February 6

Troop’s initial cookie order, early recognition order, and delivery pick-up time are due in Smart Cookies by 11:59 p.m.

 

February 7

 SUPPM reviews and confirms troop’s cookie orders, early recognition orders, and delivery times  in Smart Cookies by 11:59 p.m.

 

February 9

Council places Order

 

March 1 - 4

Mega and Service Unit cookie delivery

 

March 5 – April 2

Direct Sale (troop booth sales, direct sales, walkabout sales)

In Smart Cookies, using the Booth Scheduler, enter your troop’s direct/booth sale location and select any available council sponsored booth locations.

 

Planned Orders Due By

March 12, 19, 26

Planned orders are due by in Smart Cookies by Sunday 11:59 p.m.

See Smart Cookies for individual cupboard pick-up availability.

 

By March 22

Payment towards the troop’s initial cookie bill due council via ePayment (gswny.org).  Reference Troop Balance Summary Report (view balance amount).

 

April 4

Cookie Volunteer transfers additional product to girls in Smart Cookies and reconciles girl payments.

Cad/Sr/Amb troops that waive the main recognition program must update Proceeds Plan and Main Recognition Plan in Smart Cookies and troop main recognition order.

Troop’s main (final) girl recognition order is due in Smart Cookies by 11:59 p.m.

Troop Cookie Volunteer emails the end-of-sale reconciliation items to SUPPM (ePayment receipt, Delinquency, NSF, Troop Refund forms, supporting paperwork).

 

April 5

SUPPM reviews and confirms the troop’s main (final) recognition orders in Smart Cookies by 11:59 p.m.

SUPPM reviews troop payments (ePayment receipts), reconciliation forms (Delinquency, NSF, Troop Refund forms, supporting paperwork).  SUPPM  emails any necessary documentation to council Product Program Manager

 

April 6

Troop’s final cookie bill due council via ePayment (gswny.org).  Reference Troop Balance Summary Report (view balance amount).

 

May

ABC recognitions are shipped to the SUPPM.

Non-ABC recognitions will be available for pick-up at Girl Scout service centers.

SUPPM notifies troop leaders when the cookie recognition items will be available for pick up.

Cookie volunteer distribute recognition items to girls by May 31

 

By May 22

Last day for the SUPPM to report recognition damages and shortages to council Product Program Manager.

 

TROOP PRODUCT/REWARD ORDERS

Initial Product/Reward Order Due: Feb 6    

Final Rewards Due: By April 4

TROOP PAYMENTS

Initial Payment Due: By March 22    

Final Payment Due: April 6

Cookie Recognition Card & Convention Reward Flyer
Ways To Participate
Ways to participate

Girls can sell online in two ways:

DIRECT SHIP

A customer places an order and pays online, and cookies ship to them directly from ABC Bakers.

GSWNY will supplement customer shipping costs for all orders of six packages or more.

GIRL DELIVERY (From email ask)

A customer places an order online either pre-paying with a credit card, or request to pay when the Girl Scout delivers their cookies.

GIRL DELIVERY (From social media link ask)

A customer places an order and must pay online (order approval is needed by the parent) and the Girl Scout delivers their cookies.

Quick how-to videos for girls:

Cookie Connection Newsletters

Coming soon!

Training Videos

Council Recorded Training Videos

Service Unit Product Program Manager Slide Deck (PDF)

Service Unit Product Program Manager Training (Access Password: cookies23)

2023 Troop Cookie Training (YouTube)

2023 Troop Cookie Training (PDF)

2023 Troop Cookie Training (Powerpoint Presentation)

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Cookie Wisdom Wednesday

Overwhelmed by the Cookie Program? We are here to help! These webinars break the Cookie Program down into phases to make sure you have everything you need, when you need it. These webinars are designed for new and returning troop cookie managers.

1/4/23, 1/11/23, 1/18/23, 1/25/23, 2/1/23, 2/23/23 (Thursday Meeting), 3/8/23, & 3/15/23

Register in advance for these Zoom meetings by CLICKING HERE!

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FAQs
ABC Digital Cookie

With the Digital Cookie® platform powered by the Smart Cookies, also available in mobile—Smart Cookies Mobile, the Girl Scout Cookie Program you know and love is now better than ever—giving you and your cookie customers more ways to participate. Now there’s more ways to sell, more ways to buy, and more ways to learn and have a ton of fun!

Customize the way you learn and earn, using technology in a whole new way with Digital Cookie, powered by Smart Cookies.

Smart Cookies is one of the MOST IMPORTANT tools in the Girl Scout Cookie Program. With the pandemic still a large focus and affecting the way consumers shop, it’s more important than ever to make sure your Girl Scout’s online presence is all set and ready to go.

There is a huge demand for Girl Scout cookies and our nationwide new cookie, Adventurefuls, is spotlighting our 2023 Cookie Program even more. It’s sure to be a big selling year and you’ll definitely want to make sure your Girl Scouts Smart Cookies Online account is used to its full potential. After all, it’s the easiest and safest way to sell cookies!

Smart Cookies is your online command center for your cookie business. Like last year, every girl can easily take credit card payments by using your Smart Cookies account. There’s no merchant account to set up, it’s all right there when you register in Smart Cookies!

Registering in Smart Cookies

Girls and their parent/guardian will receive an ABC Smart Cookies registration email from noreply@ABCSmartCookies.com. This email will contain details about participating in the online selling of cookies including a registration link for ABC Smart Cookies.  Girls will want to register in ABC Smart Cookies to prepare their online cookie site and be ready for the first day of the Cookie Program, Dec 10, 2022.

Helpful tip! Make NoReply@ABCSmartCookies.com a safe sender so you receive the registration and other emails sent through ABCSmartCookies.com.

Girl Delivery Order Approval

Parents are required to approve any girl-delivery orders collected through their Girl Scout’s social media link. Girl delivery orders sent via ecard DO NOT require approval. You will receive e-mail notification of the sale, however no action is required by the parent. No notification is sent for direct delivery orders. Girls will need to check those orders under the "My Orders>ManageOrders" tab.

For girl delivery orders made via the social media link only:

  • The parent will receive an email when this type of order is received, if not, a new e-mail can be triggered by going to the “Manage My Orders” screen, finding the order in the table and scrolling over to the far-right to click the three stacked boxes to give you the option to do so.
  • In the email, there is a link where the parent can see the details of the order and click on an interactive map to show where the cookies need to be delivered.
  • Once the parent views the details of the order and sees where it is going, they can choose to approve or cancel the order.
  • Parent MUST click the "approve" button or the order will be cancelled .
  • If the order has been approved, the customer will receive an email letting them know the order will be delivered and the credit card is charged at that time.
Manage My Orders

Once orders are received from your sent e-cards, you will be able to view all activity by going to My Orders > Manage My Orders:

At the top of this page, you will see four boxes (see explanations below):

  • Total Packages Ordered – shows total amount of packages that have been ordered through ecards, regardless of them being Direct Ship or Girl Delivery (for a reminder of the difference between these two types, refer to page 10)
  • Total Direct Ship Ordered – shows total amount of packages that have been ordered online and paid for automatically by the customer
  • Total Girl Delivery Ordered – shows total amount of packages that have been ordered online and will need to be physically delivered by the girl to the customer
  • Action Needed – shows the number of orders needing action, such as girl delivery orders that need to be delivered and paid for
    • The table below these boxes shows the status of different types of orders; you can update their paid status (Yes/No), as well as, if the packages have been delivered or canceled (default is “Ordered”)
    • By clicking the three stacked boxes to the right of each order, you can view/edit/cancel (only for Girl Delivery orders) the order and update the contact’s information (if needed)

Note: Once the customer has paid, you can set the paid status to “Yes” and the delivery status to “Delivered” (the customer will receive a confirmation email as well). The system will save these automatically and update the “Action Needed” box appropriately.

There is also an option to take new Direct Ship and Girl Delivery orders from this page, instead of navigating through the menu ribbon to select the options. Whichever is selected, the system will redirect to the appropriate pages:

Credit Card Processing

Tip: If customers have an issue getting credit cards to process, have them try the following:

  • Order experience: When they reached the credit card entry page, are the customers auto-filling the credit card information with stored information?
  • If yes, the orders may not process – they were either timed out, denied etc…
  • Next Steps: clear the cache on the phone and try to place another order without using their stored credit card information…. manually enter the credit card data. 
Cookie Badges and Pins
Cookie Entrepreneur Family Pin
Cookie Entrepeneur Family Pin

Make Girl Scout Cookie season a family affair!  Earning Cookie Entrepreneur Family pins makes spending time with family easy, fun, and even sweeter during cookie season. Start your collection today, and get ready to rock your Girl Scout pride all season long.

Cookie Entrepreneur Family Pins
         BUY NOW


Cookie Business Badges

Cookie Business badges demonstrate that Girl Scouts have developed specific skills while running their own business. Earning Cookie Business badges gives you the chance to hone your skills and gain a deeper understanding of the world of business. 

Select your Girl Scout level to see the Cookie Business Badges you can earn here

ePayment

Use ePayment to pay your troop Cookie Program/Fall Product Program Bill

What are the steps needed to make an ePayment?

  1. Log In (create an account if you don't have one)
  2. Enter/update your profile information
  3. Enter troop bank information for each troop you lead
  4. Choose troop and enter payment amount and submit
  5. Receive email payment confirmation

Who pays the troop Cookie Program/Fall Product Program Bill?

The Troop Leader is responsible to deposit cash, checks and money orders into the troop bank account and pay the troop bill to council.  Remember to provide ample time for all checks to clear your troop account before you pay your troop bill. Troops have two options to pay the troop bill.

  1. Electronic payment using ePayment
  2. Walk-in at a Girl Scout Service Center
Online Safety

Safety Is Our Top Priority

Before participating in any money-earning Girl Scout activity, it is super important that girls and adults review the following materials—and remember to print and sign the Internet Safety Pledge.

Girl Scout Online Safety Pledge (PDF) - English | Español
Practical Tips for Parents (PDF) - English | Español

About Digital Cookie

Digital Cookie is a groundbreaking addition to the Girl Scout Cookie Program that creates a fun, safe, interactive space for girls to sell cookies and develop the five skills of the traditional Girl Scout Cookie Program - goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and business ethics – while also learning about emarketing, online commerce, website maintenance, digital order taking and shipping. These are vital activities for modern business and modern life!

Digital Cookie complements and strengthens both traditional door-to-door sales and booth sales by adding and teaching a new layer of skills. With Digital Cookie, Girl Scouts can invite customers via email to buy Girl Scout Cookies through their online cookie business. Girls can also take in-person orders using a unique mobile app newly enhanced to allow for credit card processing and direct shipping.

Digital Cookie Safety

Ensuring the health and safety of our girls is a top priority in Girl Scouting. Girls and adults must be safety conscious, and adults must be trained to ensure proper supervision, prevention of accidents and incidents and maintenance of program resources. Learn more about the safety in Digital Cookie through the following pledge and terms and conditions:

Digital Cookie Girl Pledge

Digital Cookie Volunteer Terms and Conditions

Safety requirements and regulations for Digital Cookie are in line with the classic cookie program. For example, a parent, guardian, caregiver or buddy (depending on the age of the Girl Scout) must be with the girl when she’s delivering cookies. Girls sending out product emails or announcements online should sign with their first names only and their council name. Personal emails or street addresses of girls should never be given.

Girls not participating in Digital Cookie may call and send email messages to alert friends and family to product sales and may accept customer commitments via email or telephone. Girls who are 13 years of age or older may use social networking sites to market product, but must follow council and GSUSA guidelines.

Booth Info
Overview

Cookie booths are girl-operated opportunities for customers to purchase cookies from troops. A cookie booth is set up by the Girl Scout troop to sell Girl Scout cookies directly to customers who were not solicited during door-to-door sales. Some examples of cookie booths include grocery stores, retail stores, malls, and coffee shops.

Certain locations may be inappropriate for young girls based on the standards of your local community, may negatively impact the Cookie Program experience for girls, and/ or may negatively impact our brand in your community. For additional clarity, girls should not sell in or in front of establishments that they themselves cannot legally patronize.*From Volunteer Essentials – Product Program

Troops are encouraged to reach out to businesses NOW in their community to schedule booths at their location. More importantly, once scheduled troops should enter their booth locations into Smart Cookies. This enables the booth to appear in the "Find Cookies Now" website AND allows troops to accept credit cards at their booth!

Council-Secured booths are arranged by Girl Scouts of WNY staff with our corporate and community partners. The sign-up process is in two phases for these booths: Lottery and first-come, first-served (FCFS). Instructions on how to enter the lottery are linked below. Council booth locations include: Galleria Mall, GNC, Goodwill, Ashley Furniture, Walmart, Dunkin Donuts, JoAnn Fabrics and Sam’s Club locations. Sign-up for the Council Sponsored Booth lottery runs January 15-February 4. (Additional information is available on your Troop Cookie Guide.)

All Girl Scout levels may participate in booth sites and will gain valuable experiences in the process. Cookie booth activities provide girls opportunities to develop The 5 Skills, such as people skills, as they work with customers, and money management, as they collect payments and make change.

Girls, parents and other volunteers are reminded that participation in a booth site is a privilege provided to them by merchants and business owners. Everyone who participates is representing Girl Scouts of Western New York, and everyone must display proper manners and exceptional behavior and follow all merchant rules and council guidelines at all times.

Quick How-To Troop Booth Videos:

Cookie Booth Benefits

Why have a Cookie Booth?

  • Girls and troops can sell a lot of cookies in a short period of time because they don’t have to transport boxes to individual homes.
  • Girls and troops can reach customers that may have been overlooked or were unreachable during door-to-door sales.
  • Four out of five people will purchase Girl Scout cookies if asked, but nearly 35% of customers are never asked!
  • Girls who are unable to sell door-to-door can participate in cookie booth sales. How do we have a successful Cookie Booth?
  • Select a location with a lot of “foot traffic.” Nights and weekends are generally the best times.
  • Take an adequate supply of the best sellers — at least two or three cases each of Thin Mints, Caramel deLites, Peanut Butter Patties, and Lemonades plus 1 to 2 cases each of the other varieties.
  • Make an attractive table display to invite customer interest. Balloons and cookie costumes are great. • Prepare a troop goal poster and display it at your booth. Customers love to help girls reach their goals! Update the poster as boxes are sold.
  • Make safety a priority at all booths; girls should stay away from street traffic and be dressed appropriately. 
Council Organized Booth Sales

Council-Secured booths are arranged by Girl Scouts of WNY staff with our corporate and community partners. Now that the council booth lottery has run, council secured booths are now considered First Come First Serve or FCFS. The Smart Cookies Booth Scheduler is now open for First Come, First Serve.

Click here to see a tutorial on how to reserve a FCFS booths. 

We have over 400+ council organized booths in the Smart Cookies system for troops to book!

Troop Organized Cookie Booths

Troops may organize their own cookie booths at local businesses and locations

Why set up your own booths?

Holding a troop organized booth sale will help your troop reach their goals and interact with local businesses in your community. This is a great way to show your community that Girl Scouts is an active presence in their neighborhood.

Click here to see a tutorial on how to enter a Troop Secured Booth into Smart Cookies. 

Booth Guidelines:

  • Cookie booth participation is a troop activity.
  • Girl Scouts should be easily identifiable as Girl Scouts (e.g. by wearing a Girl Scout uniform, membership pin, etc.).
  • Keep inventory and money secure at all times.
  • Never leave the booth unattended.
  • Girls can never be left alone at a booth for any amount of time or for any reason.
  • Use the buddy system when using restrooms.
  • Only Girl Scouts and booth specific adults should be at the booth. Additional family members, friends and pets (unless it is a service animal) should not be at the booth with the girls. Non-Girl Scout attendees are not covered under our insurance and pose a safety risk to all participants at the booth.
Virtual Booths

Virtual booths—hosted on social media—give girls a way to achieve their sales goals and help others in their community from home. In fact, girls may find this allows them to discover new ways to take the lead in their cookie business and stay connected through virtual means.

 Here’s how it works:

  1. Invite girls to brainstorm how they can help others with Girl Scout Cookies.
  2. Create a social media event or schedule a livestream. Invite girls (with proper supervision) to go live on Facebook or Instagram to reach large numbers of potential customers. You can also set up a Facebook Event (see directions below). Remember: Girls should review and apply the Digital Marketing Tips for Cookie Entrepreneurs and Families at girlscoutcookies.org/ digitalmarketingtips.
  3. Make it personal and make it fun. Check out our website for some great Marketing Materials!
  4. Consider the logistics and include the details. How will cookies be delivered? Check with your troop for cashless payment options.
  5. Invite friends and family. Encourage girls to mention their goals, what they are going to do with their troop funds, and how they are helping their community.
  6. Promote on social media and in your community. As you know, go-getter Girl Scouts can and will bring out the good in any situation! Now more than ever, girls are spending time in virtual settings and engaging in social media, so an online experience comes naturally to them. Using Girl Scouts’ online safety guidelines, encourage them to go big with social sharing to drive customers near and far to their Virtual Cookie Booth (their Smart Cookies site). They will love making a virtual pitch or creating videos to direct customers to their site. Be sure to use #VirtualCookieBooth in all your posts AND encourage customers to share a photo with their Girl Scout Cookie packages using the same hashtag. You can even leave a note with their delivery!
  7. Celebrate and share your success!
Drive-Thru Booths

Drive-thru booths are great for limited contact transactions and to assist troops with Virtual Cookie Booth pickups. Girls can have these pre-orders sorted prior to the drive-thru booth.

Drive-thru booths must be entered as a “troop-secured location” and approved in Smart Cookies to appear in the Booth Locator and have access to the Smart Cookies credit card system. Make sure you list it as a “Drive Thru Booth” in the booth name.

  • Girls should never approach a car without an adult present
  • There must be two and four adults and between two and eight girls
    • Roles for girls- Creating and marketing signage to encourage customers, relaying information between stations
    • Roles for adults- money handling & transactions, supervising and assisting girls with cookie transfer to car
  • Some locations may not be suitable for Brownies or Daisies, it will be up to the Troop to decide the age level they will allow participate.
  • All cookies sold should be split evenly among all participating Girl Scouts
  • Encourage cashless transactions if possible
  • Use posters to advertise price and goals
  • Consider printing and laminating the Cookie booth signs on the GSWNY website that will show cookie information without customers having to handle packages.

You may advertise your booth sale on your personal social media accounts. Posting on public sales sites such as Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, Amazon and eBay are prohibited.

Smart Cookies has the option to post directly to your personal Facebook page from the Smart Cookies site. Find the social media icons under the Troop Reservations tab in Smart Cookies. Scan the QR code or click here to see how to share booths on Social Media. 

Booth Lottery

Council Sponsored Booth Lottery entry open to troops: Jan 4 - Feb 3

The cookie booth lottery is a system within Smart Cookies that allows troops to enter a random process for council-sponsored cookie booths. The cookie booth lottery gives troops an equal opportunity and randomly generates results to ensure a fair process.

Lottery results will be generated randomly by the system, and your troop will be notified of any booths you have been assigned through an email from Smart Cookies 10 am on 2/5.

Follow these simple steps to enter your troop in the booth lottery:

  • Log in to Smart Cookies.
  • Click on Booth.
  • Click on Schedule Booths.
  • Click on the booth lottery location, then select date and time slot.
  • Choose up to 5 booth locations and time slots. We highly recommend choosing 5 to increase your chances of securing one.
First Come, First Served (FCFS)

After the booths have been randomly assigned by the Smart Cookies lottery, any remaining booths will be available on a first come, first served basis. (FCFS) During this time, the troop that is the first to choose a booth will secure that booth.

FCFS opens: Feb 5th (one per troop), Feb 6th (unlimited per troop)

FAQs

What does first come, first served mean in Smart Cookies?

After the booths have been randomly assigned by the Smart Cookies lottery, any remaining booths will be available on a first come, first served basis. (FCFS) During this time, the troop that is the first to choose a booth will secure that booth.

FCFS opens: Feb 6th (one per troop), Feb 7th (unlimited per troop)

How many booths will be available in the first come, first served opportunity?

That is impossible to predict. It will depend on how many troops choose the booth locations during the lottery. We add booth opportunities throughout cookie season, so we encourage you to check back after the initial booths go live.

Why are some Walmarts listed in Smart Cookies while other Walmarts are not?

Starting in 2020, corporate Walmart and GSUSA required that cookie booths at local Walmarts be scheduled through regional Girl Scout councils rather than having troops reach out to their local Walmart. A staff member from Girl Scouts of WNY contacted all Walmarts and Sam’s Clubs. Some stores opted into the new way of scheduling, and some stores did not. Each store manager has the discretion to determine whether or not their store will use this new method of scheduling cookie booths. Keep checking back for Walmart locations, as some take longer than others to approve our booths at their store.

Can I contact businesses that are not listed in Smart Cookies and ask to set up a cookie booth for my troop?

Yes. You may contact any appropriate business not listed in Smart Cookies. Please note that some national retailers do not allow booths, including

  • Target
  • Kohl’s
  • Wegmans

Idea: Approach a nearby business that might allow a cookie booth so you can potentially reach customers of that business as well as customers at a nearby Target, Kohl’s or Wegmans.

How do I know if a local business would be an appropriate location for a cookie booth?

Make sure that cookie booth locations are appropriate for Girl Scouts by following this guideline: If a five-year-old Girl Scout Daisy can be a paying customer at the business you are considering, then it is fine to approach that business to ask if you can set up a cookie booth.

When do booth sales begin/end?

We have modified the start date for booth sales, as we have been able to schedule troop initial delivery to end earlier than planned on Saturday. Troops can begin booth sales on 3/5 at 11:00 am.

The booth sales period ends on 4/3.

Program Forms & Guides