FAQs

Printable version of the 2020 Cookie Program FAQs (Coming Soon!)

Questions about Selling
Booth Sales

Product Information
Prop 65 Warning
Gluten-Free Caramel Chocolate Chip
Cookie Dough
Cookie Share – Community Service Project
I Need More Cookies!
After the Sale
Girl Scouts
Cookie Revenue
Social Issues
More Information
Glossary of Terms  

Questions About Selling

What is the price of cookies? The price of all Girl Scout cookies is $5.00 per box in Orange County.

When can we start selling? Girl Scouts of Orange County (GSOC) Girl Scouts may begin selling cookies on January 26, 2020. Each Council sets its own start date for the Fall Product and Cookie Program. Girls may NOT distribute, take orders, or make direct sales until GSOC’s start date. Early selling is not in keeping with good Business Ethics, and girls may lose credit for any sales made prior to the official start date.

Can troops set quotas on how much my daughter should sell? No. Parents determine the number of cookies to order and are responsible for payment of all cookies received.

Do we pay for cookies in advance? No. Troops may not require payment from parents in advance. Payment is collected from customers at time of delivery and money should be turned in to the troop as soon as possible afterward.

Where can we sell?  Girls may sell in person in Orange County residential areas only by going door-to-door or by setting up a cookie stand on OC residential property.  Girls need permission to sell anywhere else. The only time girls may sell outside Orange County zip codes are to family members and close friends, at parent’s workplace to co-workers (not customers), and online using SmartCookies.

Can parent/daughter teams sell cookies?  Yes!  They can make direct sales door-to-door, to parents’ co-workers, book clubs, etc.

Can my daughter and I set up a cookie stand in our front yard? Yes, provided you reside in Orange County! Throughout the entire cookie program, January 26–March 8, Girl Scouts may set up “lemonade” type stands to sell on the OC property where the girl currently resides (if their city and/or homeowner’s association allows).

Can girls sell online? Girls may market their cookie sale to family and friends on online through SmartCookies at abcsmartcookies.com, providing they review the Girl Scout Digital Cookie Pledge and sign the Girl Scout Internet Safety Pledge and follow all Girl Scout safety guidelines. Check with your Troop Cookie Coordinator or Troop Leader for more details.

What is a Rolling Sale? Putting cookies in a wagon and selling direct to customers in OC residential areas. Girls require adult supervision for these efforts. A Rolling Sale is not considered a booth sale because you are only walking through residential neighborhoods. Rolling sales are not permitted in parks, beaches, or shopping centers.

What is a Walkabout? When Girl Scouts work together to map out and walk a neighborhood selling cookies door-to-door in an OC residential area. Girls require adult supervision for these efforts. A Walkabout is not a booth sale because you are only walking through residential neighborhoods. Walkabouts are not permitted in parks, beaches, or shopping centers.

What is a Caravan? Cadette, Senior, and Ambassador Girl Scouts go door-to-door with a buddy in an OC residential area while the supervising adults follow in a car with the cookies. Girls require adult supervision for these efforts.  A Caravan is not a booth sale because you are only walking through residential neighborhoods.

Can I have a rolling sale/Walkabout/Caravan in a shopping center, park or other public area?  No.  In order to maintain good relationships with property managers, stores, and to be fair, only booth sales are allowed in non-residential areas. All booth sales must be coordinated through your Service Unit Booth Sale Coordinator.

Can we do a rolling sale/Walkabout/Caravan as a Troop at one of our meetings? Yes! What a fun outing for your troop and a great way to help girls reach their goals! 

Booth Sales

What is a booth sale? A booth sale is a Cookie Stand placed in front of a business or in any public space. Only Service Unit Booth Sale Coordinators may arrange for booth sale locations and assign troops. They secure the sites by working with the property managers and stores to ensure permissions and insurance requirements are met.

Can I have a booth sale on a street corner? Yes, but only if the location is safe for girls and customer vehicles and if the Service Unit Booth Sale Coordinator has verified that the city will allow this.

Can parent/daughter teams run a booth sale at a shopping center? Yes! Parent/daughter teams may run a booth sale for their troop provided it is reserved by the Troop Cookie Coordinator through the Service Unit Booth Sale Coordinator. Allow for time between shifts for rest and meal breaks. Parents must complete online Adult Booth Sale training and briefing by Troop Cookie Coordinator before assisting their daughter with booth sales. Troop Cookie Coordinator and parent must determine in advance if products being sold are to be additional girl sales, where the family is responsible for all product taken, or troop booth sale units, which can be returned to the troop.  If products sold are troop booth sale units, parent must register as Girl Scout adult Troop Helpers. Please contact customercare@girlscoutsoc.org if you need help registering for this role.

Can I bring another Girl Scout with me to our parent/daughter booth sale?  Unfortunately no, anything beyond parent and Girl Scout daughters at a booth sale is a troop activity and must meet safety guidelines requiring at least two screened and trained Girl Scout Troop Helper Adults.

Do I need permission slips for booth sales? Yes! Permission slips are required for parent/girl and troop booth sales. Permission slips are required for all girls participating in any activity.

May we have a donation jar at our booth sale? No. Girls/Troops may not have donation jars at booth sales because we only have permits to sell cookies, not to solicit donations.  However, a “Cookie Share” jar that is collecting $5 from each customer and then providing a Cookie Share receipt is fine. For safety, a Cookie Share jar should not contain cash, but a symbolic item for each purchase instead.  If a customer says “keep the change” girls may accept it, but they should never solicit monetary donations.

Our Service Unit doesn’t have any booth sale locations remaining.  Can I go somewhere else? Yes, troops may book booth sales online throughout the Council jurisdiction. See your Troop Cookie Coordinator for details.

We need to cancel a booth sale due to illness.  What do we do? Troops must cancel online via SmartCookies at least 48 hours in advance or contact their Service Unit Booth Sale Coordinator right away so another Troop can reserve the spot.

Can I take cookies to sell at work or to my Bunco group? Yes! Please include your Girl Scout in the sale by having her come in and present her pitch, create a poster, write thank you notes, etc.

Does my daughter get credit for cookies sold at booth sales? Yes! Check with your Family Guide and Rewards Flyer to see what level rewards your daughter has achieved.

Product Information

Girls should refer to their order card for nutritional information about our Girl Scout cookies.

Are any Girl Scout Cookies vegan? Yes, we have 5 vegan cookies in our product line – Lemonades, Thanks-A-Lot, Thin Mints, Peanut Butter Patties, and the Girl Scout S’mores cookie.

Is there palm oil in Girl Scout Cookies? GSUSA’s licensed bakers tell us it continues to be necessary to use palm oil in our cookies to ensure shelf life, to bring you the highest quality, and to serve as an alternative to trans fats.  Our licensed baker uses palm oil exclusively from the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), an organization of growers, buyers, manufacturers, conservationists, and interested parties, who are striving to develop and follow best practices to ensure sustainability.

Are all Girl Scout Cookies kosher? Yes. All Girl Scout Cookies are kosher.

Are any preservatives used in Girl Scout Cookies? No. Girl Scout Cookies do not contain any added preservatives.

Do Girl Scout Cookies have trans fats? Girl Scouts is proud that all Girl Scout Cookies are “zero trans fat per serving.” Selected varieties can claim 100% trans-fat-free status, meaning there’s not a speck of trans fats in the whole package.

Prop 65 Warning

Why does the order card/rewards flyer have a Proposition 65 Warning for Girl Scout Cookies?
In accordance with new regulations, which took effect in August of 2018, we are required to print California’s Proposition 65 Warning this year on cookie order cards and rewards flyers and display the warning at booth sales. The new regulations impact many California retailers, restaurants, and grocery stores.

What is Proposition 65? Proposition 65 (Prop 65) is a California law that requires the governor of California to publish, at least annually, a list of chemicals known to the state to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity. Companies that do business in California must provide a “clear and reasonable” warning before knowingly and intentionally exposing anyone in California to a listed chemical above certain levels.

You have likely seen Proposition 65 statements at various restaurants and establishments that carry food. Proposition 65 includes a very wide range of safety factors when determining what chemicals are included on the Proposition 65 list. Given the difficulty of determining what is a carcinogen and the extremely wide range of safety factors used by California, there is often a great deal of controversy regarding chemicals added to the Proposition 65 list. The purpose of Proposition 65 is to alert consumers to potential risk and enable them to make an informed decision regarding the products they consume.

What is the Proposition 65 Warning? WARNING: Consuming this product can expose you to chemicals, including acrylamide, which is known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm. For more information, go to p65warnings.ca.gov/food.

Why would a baker put a chemical in cookies that is on the Prop 65 list? With few exceptions, the chemicals in food that appear on the Prop 65 list are not intentionally added to food. Typically, any such chemicals are picked up from the soil in which ingredients are grown or formed during cooking or other processes. It is common to see Prop 65 warnings at restaurants, grocery stores, department stores, and online.

How should my Girl Scout respond if a customer asks her about the Proposition 65 Warning? We are confident that customers will still want to enjoy Girl Scout Cookies – a time-honored treat. If you do have customers ask about the Prop 65 warning, please advise them that:

  • The warning is in accordance with new California law.
  • With few exceptions, the chemicals in food on the Proposition 65 list are not intentionally added. Rather, they are formed during cooking or other processes.
  • Customers who want to learn more may go to p65warnings.ca.gov.

We have created the resource “How to prepare you Cookie Pro for questions about Prop 65” to support you and your Girl Scout during this year’s program.

Am I required to display the Proposition 65 Warning at my Girl Scouts’ cookie booth? Yes! To be in compliance with the law, we are providing Girl Scouts with Proposition 65 table cards, which must be displayed at your booth. Copies of the notice were sent to your Service Unit Materials Coordinator. Your Troop Cookie Coordinator can provide you with a notice for your table.

Where can I go to learn more about Proposition 65? The website for Prop 65 is p65warnings.ca.gov. Girl Scouts has also provided a Proposition 65 FAQ with additional details. If you have additional questions that these materials do not answer, contact us at customercare@girlscoutsoc.org.

Gluten-Free Caramel Chocolate Chip

About the Cookie: A salted caramel makeover—everything you love about chocolate chip cookies plus swirls of caramel and a hint of sea salt!

Is the cookie gluten-free? Yes, our Caramel Chocolate Chip cookies are Gluten-Free Certified.

Is the gluten-free cookie baked in a gluten-free facility? Yes!

Why did troops need to order gluten-free cookies in September? The Council had to place our order with the bakery by October 1.

My Troop did not order gluten-free cookies.  What do we do if asked for the gluten-free cookie?  Explain to the customer, “Our troop does not have any gluten-free cookies in stock, but you can order them from me through our Council’s Digital Cookie option and have them shipped directly to you.” Then log into SmartCookies and send your customer the special order link or use your SmartCookies mobile app to take the order!

What do we do if we run out of gluten-free cookies?  Explain to the customer, “Our troop sold out of the gluten-free cookies, but you can order them from through our Council’s Digital Cookie option and have them shipped directly to you.”  Then log into SmartCookies and send your customer the special order link or use your SmartCookies app to take the order.

Can we get more gluten-free cookies if we sell out? Probably not. The gluten-free cookies are limited in supply and will not be available in cookie cupboards.  Use SmartCookies to allow your customers to purchase gluten-free cookies online.

Can girls earn a patch for selling the gluten-free cookies?  No. Girls or troops may purchase their own patch in our Shop, if desired.

Cookie Dough

What is Cookie Dough? Cookie Dough is a girl reward item earned for selling Girl Scout cookies.  Cookie Dough is good for a year, expiring on April 30 and can be used only with the Girl Scouts of Orange County.

Please read our Cookie Dough FAQs for more information.

How can Cookie Dough be used?  Cookie Dough may be used to pay for:

  • Items purchased from our Council Shop
  • Girl Scout resident, weekend, or day camp (Council or Service Unit sponsored)
  • GSOC or Service Unit events
  • Approved Troop/Group Travel (see Troop Travel packet for specific details)
  • Girl Scout Travel
  • Gold Award expenses
  • Girl Scout Lifetime Membership submitted to Council office by September 1st (Girl Scout Ambassadors who are graduating high school only)

Cookie Share – Community Service Project

What is Cookie Share? Cookie Share is a Girl Scout community service project that gives girls the opportunity to sell virtual “Cookie Share” cookies that are distributed to our nation’s military and local food banks.

How do girls sell Cookie Share donations? Selling Cookie Share is easy. Girls ask every customer if they’d like to participate in the Cookie Share program. Girls collect $5.00 for each order and provide the customer with a Cookie Share receipt. Customers do not choose the product or organization and troops do not receive these virtual items. Girls record this sale on their order cards and/or notify their troop. The Council delivers the products to the organizations.

Can our troop sell Cookie Share at our Booth Sale? Yes! It’s easy to sell Cookie Share everywhere. You can sell Cookie Share donations at booth sales, rolling sales, during order taking, and as part of door-to-door direct sales. Money for Cookie Share is collected at the time of order/purchase. Customers receive a Care to Share receipt instead of product.

Are Cookie Share purchases tax deductible? Yes! The customer does not receive the Girl Scout product and does not benefit directly from paying for them, so the purchase price is a charitable contribution.

Can our troop choose another organization for Cookie Share? Yes, but you will need to complete the Troop’s Own Cookie Share Form.

Where do I get Cookie Share receipts? Cookie Share receipts are available on the Resources & Forms page of www.GSCookiesEtc.org for you to download and print.

What do girls need to do to get a Cookie Share patch? Girls who sell 15+ packages of virtual Cookie Share donations will earn the Cookie Share patch.

I Need More Cookies! 

Where can I get more cookies to sell? Girls/parents should contact their Troop Cookie Coordinator. Troops usually have some inventory on hand.  Troops needing additional cookies can order them from a Cookie Cupboard. See your Troop Plan Book and www.GSCookiesEtc.org for more details.

We’ve sold all of our cookies, but we have another booth sale scheduled.  What do we do?  Place an order with a Cookie Cupboard.

Can troops get mixed cases of cookies at the cupboard?  No. If you need less than a case of a single variety try getting it from another troop on the Cookie Swap Site.

Can troops return cookies to the cupboard?  Only damaged cookies may be returned and exchanged for the same or another variety.

After the Sale

Can we sell cookies after March 8th?  Yes. Money and paperwork are due to the Troop Cookie Coordinator on March 6 and cupboards close, but troops/girls with cookies remaining may continue to sell through the end of the month until they have emptied their inventory.

Can we have a Booth Sale in a shopping center after March 8th?  Maybe.  It depends upon several factors, including when our business permits expire for your city.  Contact your Booth Sales Coordinator or the Council if you are interested in booth sales after the program ends.

The sale is over, but I just found out that my daughter was only a few packages away from the next recognition.  Can I buy some more packages so she can earn it?  Usually no.  Once the sale ends, troop paperwork is finalized quickly.  Contact your Troop Cookie Coordinator, Service Unit Cookie Manager, or the Council to see if cookies are available for purchase.

Cookie Revenue

How does cookie revenue benefit girls? All the revenue earned from cookie activities—every penny after paying the baker and reward vendors—stays within Orange County. This includes the portion that goes directly to the troop selling cookies.  Troops receive $0.71-1.00 per package sold to reward the team effort. Troops decide how their proceeds will be spent. Girls receive patches and prizes to reward their individual efforts.

Are Girl Scout Cookie purchases tax-deductible?

  • No, if you keep the cookies.
  • Yes, if you leave the cookies with Girl Scouts as a Cookie Share donation. Be sure to give customers a Cookie Share receipt.

Girl Scouts

How can I enroll my daughter/volunteer? You can inquire online at girlscoutsoc.org/join or call 800-979-9444. Other languages: Spanish: (949) 461-8894 | Vietnamese: (949) 461-8895

Any other membership questions can be directed to customercare@girlscoutsoc.org or call 949-461-8869

Social Issues

Occasionally, you may receive a question from the public related to Girl Scouts policies, current events, or common misconceptions about Girl Scouts.  Below are just a few of the frequently asked questions in these areas.  If you or your girl receive a question you are not comfortable answering, please direct the individual to girlscouts.org/faqs or ask them to reach out to the Girl Scouts of Orange County Communications Director 949-461-8800.

What is Girl Scouts response to Scouting (Boy Scouts) opening its core program to girls? We believe strongly in the importance of the safe, all-girl, girl-led, and girl-friendly environment that Girl Scouts provides.  Moreover, we are confident that our girl-centered program provides the best opportunity for all girls to thrive and become tomorrow’s leaders. Girl Scouts is the only organization with over 106 years of experience, backed by proven research, to help girls succeed and thrive.

Please review our Marketplace Competition Toolkit for more support on this topic. You may also refer individuals with questions related to this matter to the Girl Scouts of Orange County Communications Director at 949-461-8800.

Is Girl Scouts affiliated with Planned Parenthood?  No. Girl Scouts does not have any collaboration or relationship with Planned Parenthood, nor do we provide any financial support to this organization.  We believe that health and sexuality are private matters for girls and their families.  The Girl Scout organization, including local councils and Girl Scouts of Orange County, does not take a position on abortion or birth control, nor do we endorse or provide funding to organizations that advocate on these issues.

More Information  

I have more questions.  Who can I contact?  Girls and parents can contact their Troop Cookie Coordinator or Leaders for more information.  Troops will find more answers in their Troop Plan Book and can contact their Service Unit Cookie Manager. Also visit our website: www.GirlScoutsOC.org and www.GSCookiesEtc.org/cookies

Have more questions about Girl Scout Cookies? Visit Girl Scouts of the USA’s Frequently Asked Questions page or email CustomerCare@GirlScoutsOC.org. For more information about our Girl Scout Cookie Program, selling tools and nutritional information, please visit here.

Glossary of Terms  

ABC – Our cookie vendor

ABCSmartCookies.com—ABC’s website with valuable programming information and online marketing for girls

Booth Sale Coordinator (BSC)—coordinates and supervises all arrangements for booth sites within a service unit.

Cookie Cupboard or Jar—a place where additional product is made available for troops.  All cupboards and Jars are run by volunteers. A Cookie Jar is open 1—3 weeks.  Cupboards are open 3—6 weeks.

Cookie Dough—a card worth a certain dollar amount that can be used for any Girl Scouts of Orange County Resident or Day Camp, GSOC or Service Unit event, approved Troop/Group travel, or for items purchased at the Girl Scout Shop in Irvine and gold award and Lifetime Memberships.

Cookie Share—a Girl Scout community service project that allows girls the opportunity to participate by selling virtual “Cookie Share” cookies that are distributed to the military and local food banks.  See GSCookiesETC.org for more information.

Damaged Product Report—form used to report damaged product.

Delinquency Report—form used to report someone who is delinquent in paying for product.

Family Guide—informational guide and responsibility form given to parents/guardians of all Girl Scouts participating in the cookie program.

Parent Responsibility Form— (found in the Family Guide) a form parents/guardians must complete giving their Girl Scout permission to participate in the cookie program.

Salesforce—Girl Scouts of Orange County’s membership database.

Receipt Booklet—NCR booklet of receipts used each time cookies are picked up or a payment is made by the girls in your troop. Completed receipts are to be signed by the Troop Cookie Coordinator and countersigned by the girl’s parent/guardian. Troops keep original copy (white) and yellow goes to parent.

Responsible Adult—a volunteer appointed and briefed by the leaders.  Must be a, registered adult Girl Scout who has completed the Volunteer Application and Background Screening Process.

Safety Activity Checkpoints—Guide for planning and implementation of specific activities.  They represent the basic minimums to follow; they are not all-inclusive.  They are the extensions of the basic safety guidelines and program standards and are also starting points for investigating resources with more in-depth information.

SU – abbreviation for Service Unit

SUCM—abreviation for Service Unit Cookie Manager, a volunteer who manages the cookies program for a service unit.

TCC—abbreviation for Troop Cookie Coordinator, the volunteer who manages the Cookie program for a troop/group.

Troop Plan Book—Instruction booklet for the cookie program.

Volunteer Application with Background Screening—all volunteers complete this process working with girls and handling money.