Girl Scouts selling cookies

Girl Scout Cookies: More than a fundraiser

In 1917, The Mistletoe Troop based in Muskogee, Okla., baked and sold cookies as a service project for Girl Scouts. 

More than 100 years later, cookie season is synonymous with Girl Scouts across the nation. While cookie sales are still used as a way to finance Girl Scouts and troop activities, for the girls who participate, selling cookies is so much more than a fundraiser.

Selling Girl Scout Cookies is a great way for girls to earn money for camp and other experiences, and to raise money for scouting. It also gives girls the opportunity to learn goal setting, financial prowess and salesmanship. All of these skills will be put into practice throughout life, and each girl has the opportunity to work on these skills to further themselves as an individual.

As girls work with their fellow troop members and their leaders, the best things start to develop. The Girl Scout Cookie Program teaches girls five essential skills for success: goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and business ethics.

Goal Setting

As girls begin the Girl Scout Cookie Program every year, it is important to set goals for each Girl Scout. How many packages of cookies can each girl sell that season? Girls learn to make goals that are attainable for themselves, yet still push them out of their comfort zone. 

Not only do girls learn how to set their own goals, but how to develop a plan so they can reach their goals. Then, the cookie season kicks off, and they begin work on achieving their personal goals.

Decision Making

Throughout the cookie sale process, there are many decisions to be made. Decision making is an incredibly important skill to teach girls while they are young in order to build their confidence. 

Girls have to make decisions about how they will set their sales plan, deciding when and where to sell their cookies. When the profits from the sales come in, they must decide how those will be spent — girls have choices between what rewards they will earn, and can help decide how their troop will use extra funds.

Money Management

Girls learn how to budget, handle transactions and manage these skills throughout the cookie sale season. 

This ability will follow them into their adult life, and the money management they learn while selling Girl Scout Cookies will be beneficial when applied to everyday living.

People Skills

In the cookie program, girls must learn how to interact with other people in order to complete a sale.

Learning how to listen and speak to people are critical in working together on a team. Girls will not only need these skills to sell Girl Scout Cookies, but throughout their lives as kids, teens, young adults and adults. 

Business Ethics

Every job one undertakes is bound by ethics, and it is a critical skill girls must learn in order to succeed in life and in future careers. 

There are principles to performing every task, including selling Girl Scout Cookies. These skills are learned and improved by girls as they perfect their cookie selling.

Supporting Valuable Life Skills

Girl Scouts teaches girls to be confident in what they learn, and courageous to step forward, plus the character to bring a group to a consensus. Beginning at the age of 7, and still going strong with Girl Scouts now as an adult mentor, I know that Girl Scouts gave me the basis for many things I have done in life, and it continues to do the same for girls across the nation and the world.

When you buy a box of Girl Scout Cookies, you’re buying more than some really delicious snacks — you’re helping girls earn money for summer camp, learn valuable life skills and have the adventure of a lifetime.

Linda Whittington

Linda Whittington is currently serving as the interim CEO for Girl Scouts Western Oklahoma. She is a lifelong Girl Scout, starting from Brownies in Oklahoma City, through earning the equivalent of her Gold Award, and has served Girl Scouts Western Oklahoma in many capacities for several decades. She is owner and manager of Corner Energy LLC.