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2021 Cookie Program


The Girl Scout Cookie Program isn't actually about cookies. 
Would you believe it if we told you that? Yes, girls selling cookies is a great way for them to fund troop activities.

The Cookie Program is also a fantastic way for your Girl Scout to learn five skills that will transfer over into other areas of her life. Sure, learning money management will likely help her when she's in high school, college or beginning her professional life. But you might also notice she is more responsible with her allowance now.

Plus, every girl who participates in the Cookie Program is helping make her Girl Scout experience possible. Does she love to camp? Proceeds from the case of Shortbread cookies she sells the next-door neighbor may help feed her favorite horse at Camp Misty Meadows! Participation in the Cookie Program also helps keep activity costs low for everyone.

The Cookie Program isn’t just about cookies – it’s about giving girls a valuable life experience that will help shape them into the type of young woman who grows up to be a smart, responsible citizen of the world. And we can all agree that we want to raise those types of girls.

This page will provide you a quick overview of everything you need to know about the 2021 Cookie Program.

Cookies + COVID-19

All members participating in the 2021 Cookie Program and interacting with customers MUST wear a mask that covers the nose, mouth and chin at all times. If using face shields, these must be worn with a mask that covers nose, mouth and chin and cannot be used to replace masks. 

In-Person Ordering

For door-to-door sales taking place in-person:

  • Girl must always wear face coverings and follow CDC guidelines for her area.
  • When a customer answers the door, the girl must maintain a social distance of at least six feet.
  • Girls should never allow the customer to handle her order card, pen or phone.
  • Girls can use the Smart Cookie app to complete the customer information and enter the order. This allows the customers to pay by credit card.
  • If the girl has cookies in hand, she can take payment, then leave the package in a pre-determined location for the customer to retrieve after she has stepped back. Cash payments can be left in an envelope or paid by credit card using the Smart Cookies app.
  • Girls can use door hangers with a QR code linked to their personal Smart Cookies URL. Girls then arrange a drop-off date/time/location to deliver via porch drop-off.


Cookie Booths

General information:

  • Booths must be held outside.
  • Members must wear a mask that covers the nose, mouth and chin at all times.
  • Booth can have no more than five members present. (Two adults and maximum of three girls.)
  • Members must always maintain a social distance of six feet or more.
  • Table(s) should be used to ensure social distancing from customers. Members must always remain behind the table.
  • Hand sanitizer, provided by the troop, should be available at each table.
  • Booths must be located a minimum of 15 feet away from the entrance of the business where the booth is being held.
  • Cashless payments are encouraged. Adults should handle the cash. Latex or nitrile gloves are encouraged when handling cash. Use hand sanitizer often if not wearing gloves.

Additional recommendations:

  • Assign jobs for the entire booth (i.e. one person handles money, one handles packing order).
  • Consider using a six-foot table lengthwise rather than horizontally to help maintain social distance with cookie customers.
  • Clean tables several times throughout the booth.
  • Use hand sanitizer between every customer interaction.
  • Use posters to alert customers to maintain social distancing and wear face coverings while at the booth.
  • Use posters to advertise price and goals to encourage social distancing.
  • Print cookie varieties and nutritional information on posters so customers do not handle packages of cookies. Place fact sheets in a plastic sleeve to be wiped down between interactions.
  • Use bins or trays for safe money transactions such as plastic shoe boxes or cookie sheets so that it can easily be cleaned between transactions.
Important Dates

December: Troop cookie managers can begin taking Cookie Basics training online.

January 14: Deadline for troop cookie managers to submit their starting inventory order. (They will receive an email prior to this date notifying them orders are now being accepted.)

January 23: Troops may begin picking up cookies from designated cookie drops. Girls begin taking orders via tools like Smart Cookies or an optional paper order card to help with planning.

February 6: The 2021 Cookie Program begins! All cookies will be delivered to all troops and will be available for purchase to the general public at this time.

February 12: Cookie booth sales begin.

March 28: The 2021 Cookie Program ends.

How a Direct Sale Works

In 2020, GSSJC moved to a direct sale model for the Cookie Program. What does this mean? In short, that means girls start the Cookie Program with cookies in-hand rather than taking orders and waiting 3-4 week to receive those orders and deliver them to customers.

How a direct sale works
In a direct sale, troops review their previous year’s orders during the initial order, determine how many cookies they want to order and place the order with the council. This will now be called the starting inventory We recommend troops order at least 75% of what their initial order was in the 2020 Cookie Program. This will help avoid repeated runs to cookie cupboards that may need to be restocked more frequently. Learn more about this process in this webinar.

Once the order is placed, troops will pick up their orders beginning January 28 in the same way they always have. The council will schedule a series of cookie drops where troops pick up their cookies, then distribute them to girls.

Then on February 6 – the official start of the 2021 Cookie Program – girls can begin selling cookies. The good news about moving to a direct sale model? Councils who use this model consistently see their sales increase significantly, meaning girls are earning more proceeds for troop activities!

Cookie booths will begin on February 12. The 2021 Cookie Program will end on March 28.

Why we moved to a direct sale
The easiest answer? We heard you and knew we needed to make the Cookie Program easier for you, your troop and your family. Starting the program with cookies already in hand means instant gratification for cookie customers. It also means less tracking, less paperwork and less stress for girls and troops. Simplifying this process will make the program run more smoothly for everyone.

By moving to a direct sale, we’ve also been able to shorten the Cookie Program by nearly a month. This means less of a gap between TCM training and the start of the program, that girls will receive their recognitions in a more timely manner at the end of the Cookie Program and that girls and their families are only spending seven weeks selling cookies rather than 12.

Safety Training Video

This safety training is applicable to the overall Cookie Program. Please see our COVID-19 protocols for details on how Girl Scouts can stay safe while selling cookies during the pandemic.

For Troops: How to Sell Cookies
In-Person Sales (Feb. 6 - March 28)

Girls are encouraged to utilize Smart Cookies to collect orders virtually from customers or use video calling platforms to sell cookies. In-person sales are allowed, but members MUST follow all GSSJC COVID-19 Protocols:

  • Girl must always wear face coverings and follow CDC guidelines for her area.
  • When a customer answers the door, the girl must maintain a social distance of at least six feet.
  • Girls should never allow the customer to handle her order card, pen or phone.
  • Girls can use the Smart Cookies app to complete the customer information and enter the order. This allows the customers to pay by credit card.
  • If the girl has cookies in hand, she can take payment, then leave the package in a pre-determined location for the customer to retrieve after she has stepped back. Cash payments can be left in an envelope or paid by credit card using the Smart Cookies app.
  • Girls can use door hangers with a QR code linked to their personal Smart Cookies URL. Girls then arrange a drop-off date/time/location to deliver via porch drop-off.
Cookie Booths

Cookie booths will still be held in 2021. This year a variety of options will be offered to troops wishing to sell via this model.

Traditional Cookie Booths (Feb. 12 - March 28)
Troops can sign up for traditional cookie booths held outside local businesses, such as grocery stores.

  • All participants MUST follow all GSSJC’s COVID-19 Protocols.
  • Booth reservations are made through Smart Cookies in two hour time slots.
  • Booth locations are approved by council in advance.
  • A maximum of two adults and two to three girls (if Daisies, only two girls)

Virtual Cookie Booths (Feb. 1 - March 28)

When troops are added to Smart Cookies, a virtual booth link is automatically created. The autogenerated link will allow customers to purchase from your troop through the national cookie link. Troops may also create a link to their virtual booths and share links with friends and neighbors.

  • Feb. 1, the auto-generated virtual booth link will be linked to the national cookie finder app. Please note that this link only allows direct-ship purchases or CookieShare donations.
  • On Feb. 12, troops can share their troop created virtual booth link and set up drive-thru or curbside pickup.
  • Both end on March 28.

Drive-Thru or Curbside Troop Cookie Booths (Feb. 12 - March 28)

This year, troops can host their own drive-thru or curbside cookie booths. All participants must follow GSSJC’s COVID-19 Protocols. Additionally, these guidelines apply:

  • Locations are selected by the troop volunteer or CCM and are not approved by GSSJC.
  • Must be held during daylight hours or in a well-lit parking lot. No booths should be held after 8 p.m.
  • Retail locations, whether current booth partners or not, are not allowed - no exceptions. Please do not ask H-E-B, Walmart, Kroger or any other retail locations.
  • Property owner must give approval. Consider locations such as churches, schools, libraries and other public or commercial properties that are not retail.
  • Locations must be safe and reflect Girl Scout values.
  • Girls must never approach a vehicle without an adult present. The adult serves as a buffer between the vehicle and the girl. 

Additional guidelines for drive-thru booths:

  • Site selected by troop must have adequate space for table setup and traffic flow. It cannot interfere with public traffic flow.
  • Pre-paid cookies are assembled and labeled prior to customer arrival.
  • Adult and girl should approach the car from the passenger side window to help maintain social distance.
  • Customer should open trunk or back door so that girl/adult can place prepackaged cookies in the vehicle.
  • Girl credits for sales are handled the same as a traditional cookie booth.

Lemonade Stand Booths (Feb. 12 - March 28)

Girls may host these booths in their neighborhoods. All participants must follow GSSJC’s COVID-19 Protocols. Additionally, these guidelines apply:

  • May not take place on public property or right of way.
  • Cookie seller is responsible for following any applicable HOA rules.
  • Should take place on private or residential property unless given permission by the local authority for a location within the neighborhood (such as a patio at an apartment complex).
  • A maximum of two adults and one to four girls and no more than two households may participate (including the host household).

Grubhub Booths (Feb. 12 - March 28)

Girl Scout Juniors through Ambassadors have the option to sell cookies via Girl Scouts first-ever partnership with GrubHub, a national delivery service. All participants MUST follow all GSSJC’s COVID-19 Protocols.

  • Troops can sign-up for Grubhub booths via Smart Cookies in the same way they reserve in-person booth slots.
  • Grubhub booths are associated with select retail cupboards.
  • Girls will learn and use the Grubhub ordering system and prepare the order for drivers to pick-up from the cupboard and deliver to the customer.
  • Troops will set up their booth outside the cupboard and can take other walk-up customers or invite their customers to pick-up as a drive-thru booth.
Frequently Asked Questions

When can I start selling cookies?
February 6. However, from DATES, Girl Scouts can use tools like Smart Cookies or an optional order card to begin taking orders to plan their deliveries.

Will there be an order card?
Yes, but it is an optional tool available to girls, should they wish to use it. They can also use Smart Cookies to collect orders via their online storefront that can be delivered in-person or shipped directly to the cookie customer.

Where does the money go?
The money troops raise can be used to offset the cost of activities, outings, program supplies and so much more! The revenue earned by the troops can be used to fund troop camping weekends, program initiatives, attend badge workshops and more. There’s so much that can be done with the funds raised through the Cookie Program.

Why should my girl sell?
Being a part of the 2021 Cookie Program not only helps raise funds for your troop, but it also exposes your Girl Scout to critical career and life management skills—goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and business ethics. Girls learn these valuable skills (and more!) by participating in the program.

How do I join the Cookie Program?
Talk to your Girl Scout’s troop leader about her troop’s participation. Most troops host an informational meeting for families prior to the start of the program. Want to step up and help your Girl Scout’s troop meet their Cookie Program goals? Visit gssjc.org/cookies for more information on how you can get involved. We’d love to have you!

When is it too late to join the Cookie Program?
Never! Girls and their troops can begin anytime should they wish to join after the official start of the program. The Cookie Program is a great way for troops to earn funds for their activities, and there is always a demand for Girl Scout Cookies – customers love them!