Cookie Program FAQ


How can I purchase Girl Scout Cookies?

The best way to purchase Girl Scout Cookies is from a local Girl Scout. To find one, contact your local Girl Scout office or call (888) 686-MINT. Selling Girl Scout Cookies is a program activity for girls. Every Girl Scout council develops the procedures and guidelines for its cookie activities, including the dates when you can order or purchase cookies and the price per box. A council conducts only one cookie sale per year. Most of these activities take place between January and April, but some occur in October and November.

Who can sell Girl Scout Cookies?

All registered Girl Scouts (Daisies through Ambassadors) can participate in this voluntary Girl Scout program activity.

Does a Girl Scout troop have to sell cookies if it doesn’t want to?

The Girl Scout Cookie Program is not just about cookies. This annual activity offers many opportunities for hands-on entrepreneurial program activities. We find that most girls in Girl Scouting thoroughly enjoy this activity and look forward to it each year. Girl participation is voluntary and requires written permission by a parent or guardian.

Can Individual Member Girl Scouts participate in the Girl Scout Cookie Program?

Yes. To do so, Individual Member Girl Scouts must abide by guidelines published by Girl Scouts of the USA and the local Girl Scout council. Depending on their age, Girl Scouts must be accompanied by an adult when selling Girl Scout Cookies; girls must attend the council’s cookie training; any money raised goes to the council to support the council’s program activities; and no sales can be made by individual Girl Scouts over the Internet. For more information about how Individual Member Girl Scouts in your area can participate in this activity, please contact your local Girl Scout office.

Can Girl Scouts donate cookies to military personnel serving overseas?

Girl Scouts and their customers can donate cookies to military personnel and their families by purchasing cookies through our Cookie Sharing Program.

Can Girl Scout Cookies be safely frozen for later use?

Yes, they can be frozen for up to one year for later consumption.

What if I’m not satisfied with my cookies?

Contact your local Girl Scout office if for any reason you are not satisfied with a box of Girl Scout Cookies you purchased. Volunteers or staff at the Girl Scout Center will be glad to help you.

Who are the girls on the Girl Scout Cookie boxes?

All of the girls pictured on the boxes are registered Girl Scouts. Every box shows Girl Scouts in action, having fun and growing strong.

Why do different Girl Scout councils sell cookies at different times of the year? 

Scout council develops the procedures and guidelines for its cookie activities, including the dates when you can order or purchase cookies and the price per box. A council conducts only one cookie sale per year. Most of these activities take place between January and April, but some occur as early as September.

Why do different Girl Scout councils sell cookies at different price points?

Girl Scout Cookies sell for different prices in different areas of the country. Each of the 100 plus 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 reflect both the current cost of cookies and the realities of providing Girl Scout activities in an ever-changing economic environment.

How do you ensure the safety of Girl Scouts who sell cookies?

The safety and security of our members is always our chief concern. We have strict guidelines for safety. Girl Scouts, depending on their age, must be accompanied by an adult when selling Girl Scout Cookies and always use the buddy system.

Why can’t Girl Scout Cookies be sold on the Internet?

Our existing national Girl Scout policy prohibits the sale of Girl Scout Cookies or any other Girl Scout-approved product on the Internet. The safety of our girls is always our chief concern. Even in supervised settings it is not possible to guarantee that the person purchasing Girl Scout Cookies harbors no harmful intent. Girl Scout Cookie activities are designed to be face-to-face learning experiences for girls. In an online setting, there is no guarantee that the seller is indeed a girl member of Girl Scouts. We have many ways for girls to explore and experience the benefits of science and technology and the Internet, including our Girls Go Tech initiative.

Can I purchase Girl Scout Cookies online?

For safety and security reasons, Girl Scouts of the USA ‘s National Board of Directors does not allow Girl Scout Cookies to be purchased online. Girl Scouts can use e-mail to let family and friends know they are selling cookies.

Obesity is at epidemic levels, particularly childhood obesity. Does it concern you that by selling cookies you are contributing to a very real health threat?

Starting with our youngest members, the Girl Scout organization promotes a healthy lifestyle for its girl members, which includes a well-balanced diet and plenty of exercise. Our health and fitness programs encourage girls to adopt healthy fitness and eating habits early in life and continue them into adulthood. In addition, the Girl Scout Research Institute (GSRI) recently released a research review titled “Weighing In: Helping Girls Be Healthy Today, Healthy Tomorrow.” “Weighing In” addresses various underlying causes leading to the epidemic of obesity and of being overweight among children and adolescents and the lifestyles, culture, and behavior that have contributed to this condition.

When I buy Girl Scout Cookies, where does the money go?

Each box of cookies costs $3.50, and the proceeds are broken down this way:

  • $1.84 box goes to support programs and services (girl programs, volunteer services and training, financial assistance, facility operations and maintenance, program resources)
  • 36 cents goes to girls in the form of Cookie Credits, recognitions and special incentives
  • 35 cents goes to troops for programs, activities and supplies
  • two cents goes to postage, toll-free cookie hotline, other sales expenses
  • 92 cents goes to the cookie baker to cover cookies purchased, troop materials, standard and special print forms, promotional materials
  • one cent goes to the service unit

 How does the cookie revenue benefit girls?

After paying the baker, all of the remaining revenue earned from cookie activities stays within the Girl Scouts of Kansas Heartland. Ten percent of this revenue goes directly to the troop selling cookies. Councils use their cookie revenue to supply essential services to troops, groups and individual girls, such as providing program resources and communication support, training adult volunteers and conducting special events.

What portion of the cookie revenue is shared with the troop selling cookies?

That decision is made by each Girl Scout council, so the portion varies from one council to another. Troops in our council receive 10 percent of their sales. The troop holds the money earned in its treasury, and its girl members vote on how to use that money. Girls also earn Cookie Credits, which can be used to purchase items in the Council Shop or for camp and program fees, and other incentives.

Is the purchase of Girl Scout Cookies tax deductible?

No and Yes. No, if the customer keeps the cookies. Individuals who buy Girl Scout Cookies and take the cookies home or 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. The purchase price of Girl Scout Cookies IS tax deductible if the customer leaves the cookies with Girl Scouts. Many Girl Scouts ask customers to pay for one or more boxes of cookies for a community-service project (for example, the Cookie Share program where cookies are donated to other agencies, like the Kansas Food Bank). The customers who do not receive 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.

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

No. None of the money from any Girl Scout council-sponsored cookie sale is given to any other group. All of the revenue – every penny after paying for the cookies – from all cookie sale activities supports the local Girl Scout where the cookies are sold, including a 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. All of the proceeds from the sale of Girl Scout Cookies goes to support girls in Girl Scouting. No money is given to any organization other than Girl Scouts.

Who bakes Girl Scout Cookies?

Two commercial bakers are licensed by the Girl Scouts of the USA to produce Girl Scout Cookies: ABC Bakers /Interbake Foods and Little Brownie Bakers. Girl Scouts of Kansas Heartland uses ABC Bakers/Interbake Foods.

Who selects the cookie varieties?

Licensed bakers can offer up to eight varieties of Girl Scout Cookies; only three types are mandatory: Thin Mints, Peanut Butter Sandwich/Do-si-dos and Shortbread/Trefoils. The national Girl Scout organization reviews and approves all varieties proposed by the bakers. Any of the five optional cookies can be changed every year. Each bakery names its own cookies, so Girl Scout Cookies that are quite similar may have different names. Suggestions for new cookies are welcome, but the national Girl Scout organization can make no promise to use them.

What are the sizes, quantities and prices of Girl Scout Cookies?

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. Every Girl Scout council has the right to set its own price based on its needs and knowledge of the local market. Today the Girl Scouts of Kansas Heartland currently sells cookies for $3.50 per box, which reflects both the current cost of cookies and the realities of providing Girl Scout activities in an ever-changing economic environment.

Are all Girl Scout Cookies kosher?

Yes. All Girl Scout Cookies are kosher.

What are the best-selling Girl Scout Cookies?

Nationally, the biggest sellers are:

25 percent Thin Mints
19 percent Caramel deLites/Samoas
13 percent Peanut Butter Patties/Tagalongs
11 percent Peanut Butter Sandwiches/Do-si-dos
9 percent Shortbreads/Trefoils
The other varieties combined account for the remaining 23 percent.

Where can I find recipes using Girl Scout Cookies?

Check out the Web site of our licensed baker: www.abcsmartcookies.com.

How do I find out the ingredients, nutritional value, and/or allergen information for one or more of the Girl Scout Cookie varieties?

That information is posted on ABC Bakers’ Web site.

Are any preservatives used in Girl Scout Cookies?

Girl Scout Cookies do not contain preservatives. They are all made with pure vegetable shortening, are kosher and freeze well to extend their shelf life.

Why do you still use partially hydrogenated oils (trans fats)?

We are constantly working with our bakers to improve our product. As food science and technology evolves, so does the process of producing any food item including, Girl Scout cookies. All varieties of Girl Scout cookies are zero trans fat per serving according to FDA guidelines which state, “Any food item with less than .5 grams trans fat per serving are classified as “zero trans fat per serving.”We recognize that Americans love their Girl Scout cookies and are grateful to all those who help millions of girls learn valuable business and economic literacy skills by making cookie purchases. In addition, Girl Scouts also teaches girls about healthy living and the importance of eating any snack in moderation, including our own cookies.

Why do you still use tropical oils such as palm oil?

Our cookie bakers tell us it is still necessary to use tropical oils for the production of compound coating. Many top bakers have tried to stop using it, but without it, their products do not meet production standards. There are currently eight varieties of Girl Scout Cookies produced by each baker that is licensed to produce Girl Scout Cookies. Each baker produces Girl Scout Cookie varieties without palm oil. For more information, check out the Web sites of our licensed baker:www.abcsmartcookies.com.

Does the chocolate used in Girl Scout Cookies come from a free-trade zone or is it from cocoa beans picked by children?

While tracing farming practices is very difficult and the problems identified with it very complex, our licensed bakers continue to assure us that they are working with their main suppliers of chocolate and with the Chocolate Manufacturer’s Association (CMA), of which both licensed bakers are members, on the issues of slavery and abusive child labor as it relates to the production and purchase of chocolate. The chocolate suppliers and the CMA strongly condemn the use of slavery and abusive labor practices. Their goal is to support the governments and advocacy groups that will make a difference in the lives of the cocoa farmers as well as to give assurances to consumers that the cocoa has been farmed under appropriate working conditions.

Should diabetics buy or consume Girl Scout Cookies?

Each of our two licensed bakers lists dietary exchanges on the order form so diabetics can make informed choices. For more information, check out the Web sites of our licensed baker: www.abcsmartcookies.com.

How do you answer the concerns of those on low-carb diets?

The ingredients and nutritional elements of all cookies are listed on the order forms and the side of the cookie box so those concerned about carbohydrates can make informed choices. For more information, check out the Web site of our licensed baker: www.girlscoutcookiesabc.com