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Cookie Q&A

Participating in the Girl Scout Cookie Program is just the beginning of all the things girls can do. This annual event and time-honored tradition is so much more than a sale — it’s a way for girls to develop The 5 Skills that they’ll use throughout their lives. This is just one of the reasons we encourage you to buy your cookies from a Girl Scout — the Cookie Professional! Your purchase means you get tasty cookies — and a girl learns a lifetime of skills.

Q: Who sells Girl Scout cookies?

 

A: Selling Girl Scout cookies is a voluntary activity. Every girl who participates must provide written parental/guardian consent and receives information and training about her council’s Girl Scout Cookie Program.

Q: How can I purchase Girl Scout cookies?

A: From mid-January, Girl Scouts set up cookie booths throughout the community. Check local stores and businesses on weekends or visit our cookie booth locator to find a Girl Scout troop who can inform you about our eight varieties. Remember, Girl Scout cookies are only available six to seven weeks of every year,  so stock up on your favorite! Girl Scout cookies freeze well!

Q: What do girls learn from selling cookies?

A: For many girls, the Girl Scout Cookie Program is their first experience in setting goals and working with others as a team. Girls learn to meet and greet people, keep accurate financial records and follow through on a commitment. Girls have fun while building self-confidence and learning important life skills.

Q: How does the Girl Scout Cookie Program benefit the community?

A: The community receives an enormous benefit for which they may not even be aware. By supporting its local girls’ dreams, it’s investing in its own future. These girls build self-confidence and skills that will help them achieve something special in the real world as resourceful citizens. And, because they learn through Girl Scouts to make the world a better place, these successful women will give back to their community what their community once gave to them.

Q: Who selects the cookie varieties?

A: Licensed bakers can offer up to eight varieties of Girl Scout cookies. The national Girl Scout organization reviews and approves all varieties proposed by the bakers. This year, Girl Scouts will be selling favorite treats like the Girl Scout Thin Mint cookie and Shortbreads along with other great timeless classics like Caramel deLites, Peanut Butter Patties and Peanut Butter Sandwiches. Plus, great Girl Scout “new” classic varieties like Thanks-A-Lots and Lemonades. In 2014, girls will also be selling the new Cranberry Citrus Crisp and the test pilot cookie,  gluten free chocolate chip shortbread.

Q: What are the sizes, quantities and prices of Girl Scout cookies?

A: Girl Scout cookies are sold by weight, not by size or number. The number and size of cookies may vary by variety. Girl Scouts of the USA monitors the weights of the cookies, which are set by contract. Girl Scout cookies sell for different prices in different areas of the country. Each of the more than 100 local Girl Scout councils has the right to set its own price based on its needs and knowledge of the local market. Today’s prices, $4 per box, reflect both the current cost of cookies and the realities of providing Girl Scout activities in an ever-changing economic environment. The gluten free chocolate chip shortbread cookie is $5 per box.

Q: Are all Girl Scout cookies kosher?

A: Yes. All Girl Scout cookies are kosher.

Q: What if I’m not satisfied with my cookies?

A: Customers can contact Interbake Foods at 1-800-221-1002 or contact Girl Scouts Carolinas Peaks to Piedmont at 800-672-2148 if for any reason you are not satisfied with a box of Girl Scout cookies you purchased. Volunteers or staff at the council will be glad to help you.

Q: How does the cookie revenue benefit girls?

A: All of the revenue – every penny after paying the baker – remains in the area where the cookies are sold and directly or indirectly benefits Girl Scouts in our local communities. Girl Scout cookie proceeds are used for many purposes, including:

  • maintaining campsites and providing travel financial assistance for girls
  • providing leadership development for adult volunteers 
  • providing support for special membership initiatives such as Girl Scout outreach groups in after-school programs or low income housing centers.

The allocation of Girl Scout cookie revenue to individual troops and “cookie dough” for individual girls to apply to such activities as camp or event fees is handled at the council level. At the Girl Scout troop level, the girls vote on how to spend the money they’ve earned. Examples include special trips to museums or exhibitions, overnight stays at camp and community service projects.

Q: When I buy Girl Scout cookies, where does the money go?

A: With every purchase, approximately 70 percent of the proceeds stays in the local Girl Scout council to provide a portion of the resources needed to support Girl Scouting in that area, including a portion that goes directly to the troop selling the cookies. The balance goes directly to the baker to pay for the cookies.

Q: Why do councils receive some of the proceeds?

A: Councils use proceeds to provide essential services to our members. Program resources, travel opportunities, volunteer training, camp experiences at several camp properties, insurance, communication and staff support are all provided to troops through the council structure. Financial aid is also underwritten through council funds. Proceeds make it possible to keep fees at a minimum while ensuring a high quality, safe experience for all. All of the money girls earn remains in our council and the community where the cookies are sold.

Q: Is the purchase of Girl Scout cookies tax-deductible?

A: No and Yes.

  • No, if the customer keeps the cookies. Individuals, who buy Girl Scout cookies and consume them, have purchased a product at a fair market value. For this reason, no part of the price of a box of Girl Scout cookies used in this way is tax-deductible.
  • Yes, if the customer leaves the cookies with Girl Scouts or purchases them for Operation Sweet Treat. Many Girl Scouts ask customers to pay for one or more boxes of cookies for use in their community service project, for example, collecting for a food pantry. The customers not receiving any Girl Scout cookies do not benefit directly from paying for them. Those individuals may treat the purchase price of the donated cookies as a charitable contribution. Donations for OST may be tax- deductible, but consumers should check with their tax professional.

Q: Does any part of the cookie revenue go to support other organizations other than Girl Scouts


A: No. Absolutely none of the money from any Girl Scout Cookie Program is given to any other group. All of the revenue – every penny after paying the baker – from the Girl Scout cookie proceeds supports Girl Scouts Carolinas Peaks to Piedmont, including the portion that goes directly to the troop selling cookies. The purpose of selling cookies is to help girls develop a wide range of skills and to generate revenue to support Girl Scouting locally.