Read on for a message from Girl Scouts River Valleys CEO, Marisa Williams, Cookie & Booth Go Day is tomorrow, Cookie Finder, Cookie Swap Information and Invitation Code, Cookie Chat on February 22, Smart Cookies Direct-Ship assistance for cookie customers, credit card refunds, Cookie Care Donations, Cookie Spirit Award nominations, Cookie Cupboard & planned order reminders, Forward to Families, a special message from Troop 57929, supporting troops at the start of the sale and more.
In this edition:
- A Message from Girl Scouts River Valleys CEO, Marisa Williams
- Cookie & Booth Go Day Tomorrow!
- The Girl Scouts of the USA Cookie Finder
- Cookie Swap Information and Invitation Code
- Cookie Chat on February 22
- Need More Cookies? Visit a Cookie Cupboard
- Smart Cookies Direct-Ship Assistance for Cookie Customers
- Smart Cookies Credit Card Refunds – Girl Cookie Delivery Orders
- Cookie Care Program Donations
- Cookie Spirit Award Nomination
For Service Unit Cookie Managers
A Message from Girl Scouts River Valleys CEO, Marisa Williams
Welcome to the 2023 Girl Scout Cookie season! As the new CEO of Girl Scouts River Valleys, I am proud to be kicking off another Cookie Program with all of you—our amazing, intrepid, and dedicated cookie volunteers.
Through all the challenges and opportunities of the past few years, the Cookie Program remains the steadfast engine that powers the Girl Scout movement, providing opportunities for our Girl Scouts to build skills and confidence while earning money for camp, travel, service projects, and other experiences that will shape their future.
It’s you, our cookie volunteers, who make this possible for your Girl Scouts by encouraging them to participate, helping them set goals and meet them, and getting families involved. I cannot express the amount of gratitude I have for all of you.
Thank you for making the Girl Scout Cookie Program happen!
Chief Executive Officer of Girl Scouts River Valleys
Cookie & Booth Go Day Begins Tomorrow!
Cookie and Cookie Booth Go Day is tomorrow, February 17! We love to see troops and Girl Scouts in action this weekend. Flood our Girl Scouts River Valleys Facebook page with your photos of Girl Scouts participating in cookie booths and delivering those eagerly awaited cookies to our Girl Scout Cookie fans. Thank you for all you have done to get your Girl Scouts ready for this season’s cookie adventures. We are so fortunate to have you as part of our totally fin-tastic cookie crew, supporting Girl Scouts in reaching their cookie goals.
The Girl Scouts of the USA Cookie Finder
Customers looking for Girl Scout Cookies can easily use the online Girl Scout Cookie Finder which will be available on GirlScoutsRV.org on Go Day. Customers enter their zip code to be directed to cookie booth locations near that zip code or to have cookies shipped directly to their homes.
Customers enter their zip code to be directed to cookie booths near their location or to have cookies shipped directly to their homes. For direct-ship orders from the Cookie Finder, the proceeds will benefit a randomly selected troop from the customer-entered zip code. One troop is randomly generated from the zip code.
You can view any direct-ship sales received through the Cookie Finder or by sharing your Troop Ship-Only Cookie Link in Smart Cookies.
- Select Troop Direct Ship Orders from the Orders tab.
- No action is needed for these sales in Smart Cookies until it’s time to order rewards. We’ll provide you with more details on how to distribute those sales in a future post.
Cookie Care Donation Program
With the Cookie Care Program, Girl Scouts can give back to their community and earn special rewards too. Troops can participate in one or both options:
- Girl Scouts River Valleys donated Girl Scout Cookies (Virtual Cookie Share in Smart Cookies): Cookies will be donated directly to healthcare workers, school lunch programs, and food shelves. Girl Scouts River Valleys facilitates getting the cookies to our partner organizations.
- Troop donated Girl Scout Cookies (Tracked Cookie Share in Smart Cookies): Girl Scouts select a non-profit organization, such as a local food shelf, hospital, faith organization, or shelter. It’s up to them to research the organization and make a philanthropic business decision. Troops donate Girl Scout Cookies from their remaining inventory to the organization(s) of their choice.
For both programs, Girl Scouts collect money from customers and turn it into the troop. Girl Scouts can earn special rewards too. To learn how to record donations in Smart Cookies, view the instructions in the Smart Cookies Guide for Volunteers and check out this handy dandy Managing Cookie Donations Tip Sheet to help you navigate the donation process.
Important notes for online donations:
- When customers choose to donate through a Girl Scout’s direct-ship link, the donations will go towards virtual cookie share donations.
- When customers choose to donate through an e-card or using a girl delivery sales link, the troop can choose one of two options:
- If the troop doesn’t wish to handle the inventory, you will create a virtual cookie share order for the Girl Scout. This will give the Girl Scout credit for the sale and then the amount collected will balance with the financial responsibility assigned to the individual.
- If the troop will use troop inventory, you will need to ensure you’ve transferred enough cookies to the Girl Scout to cover the actual sales plus the tracked cookie share packages. For example, if Sophia was given 25 packages for her customer orders, then received 5 packages for donations, you would transfer an additional 5 packages to her to balance her account. The troop keeps the packages to donate at the end of the sale and tracks these 5 packages in tracked cookie share.
Cookie Swap Information and Invitation Code
Connect with other cookie volunteers to exchange cookies with the Girl Scouts River Valleys Cookie Swap. You can use the website link and invitation code below to log in to the swap site. Users can create and browse two types of posts in the cookie swap: troops with extra cookies, and troops in need of Girl Scout Cookies. Check out the Cookie Swap Instructions article for details on how to use the site. You may share this information, but only with other registered volunteers.
Cookie Swap Link: https://cookie-swap-gsrv.sharetribe.com/
Invitation Code: Cookies23
Cookie Chats Began on February 22
Join Girl Scouts River Valleys for our latest Cookie Chat in Zoom on February 22 starting at 6:30 pm (CST). We’ll discuss Smart Cookies topics from the important first steps in the system to learning resources, and even how to manage cookie donations.
When you register, you’ll receive the Zoom meeting link and you can download the event to your personal calendar.
Need More Cookies? Visit a Cookie Cupboard
The Council On-Demand Cookie Cupboards open for the season tomorrow, February 17, at 12:00 pm (CST). The eight locations include Blaine, Bloomington, Burnsville, Mankato, Rochester, Roseville, St. Louis Park, and Woodbury. Visit Cookie Central to view the most current cupboard information, including any cookie inventory alerts.
What to Expect When Visiting a Council On-Demand Cookie Cupboard
- Staff will greet you, record your vehicle information, and take your order on a tablet.
- Your cookie order is sent to the warehouse to be loaded on carts. Staff will return to your vehicle to load the cookies for you.
- Please remain in your vehicle, unless you need to leave your vehicle to confirm your cookie case counts. You’ll receive a paper copy of the receipt.
- Your patience is appreciated! For many staff, this is their first day on the job and they are learning the ropes. Rest assured that cupboard staff is working as quickly and efficiently as possible to get you back on the road.
- These cupboards are busiest when they open. If you are in a hurry, try to arrive at off-peak times, such as after 2 pm on weekdays and after 10 am on weekends.
- Check out the Council Cupboard Drive-Up Instructions on Cookie Central so you know where to go.
- Our Cookie Cupboard Reference Sheet features a view of the locations and schedule.
Cupboard Schedule for Go Day Weekend
|Feb 17||12:00 pm – 6:00 pm (CST)|
|Feb 18-19||8:30 am – 2:30 pm (CST)|
For troops that use a Council Express, Regional, or Regional Express Cupboard, planned orders opened yesterday and will close at 8 am on Monday. Check out the Planned Order FAQs on our Cookie Cupboard FAQs page to get the down-low on using these cupboards.
Note: At Council Express Cupboards, you will not receive a receipt; rather, your order will be approved within 24-48 hours. At Regional/Regional Express Cupboards, your Cupboard Manager will provide you with a receipt.
No matter which cupboard you utilize, the troop contacts in Smart Cookies will receive an email when cookies are transferred to the troop from a cupboard. Your Troop Balance Summary and Troop Order Summary Reports will be helpful to view cupboard and sales activity. If any errors occur with your cupboard transaction, complete the online Cookie Cupboard Error Report From and a member of our staff will follow up with you. Check out our Cookie Cupboard FAQs for answers to all your cupboard questions.
Smart Cookies Direct-Ship Assistance for Cookie Customers
Direct-ship cookie orders continue to be popular this season. Families may connect with you when their customers have questions about their direct-ship cookie order.
What Happens After a Customer Completes a Direct-Ship Order
- The customer receives an email to confirm their order, which includes an order number
- If you don’t see the email be sure to check your junk mail folder.
- Girl Scout Cookies are picked and packed at the warehouse, then transitioned for delivery to FedEx.
- The customer receives an email when the order ships from FedEx, complete with tracking information.
- Girl Scout Cookies arrive within 10-14 days.
- Families can direct customers to the Smart Cookies Direct Ship Customer Service Team at ABCSmartCookieDirect@hearthsidefoods.com The customer will need their order number and helpful information such as the number of packages and varieties of cookies involved when reporting an issue on a direct-ship order.
- Note: Direct-ship orders cannot be canceled or changed to girl cookie delivery orders.
Many customers who placed an order for Direct Ship that included the Raspberry Rally cookie received a message yesterday (February 15) from ABC Bakers that their entire order was canceled. Since the ABC Direct Ship e-commerce site cannot process partial shipments and associated returns, ABC is in the process of canceling and refunding the orders. ABC Bakers will be contacting these customers again by email with additional details. The demand for this cookie was much stronger than the limited supply the baker produced. We realize how frustrating this is and in keeping the Girl Scouts at the center, we encourage customers to place a new order and support their local Girl Scouts in reaching their goals.
Smart Cookies Credit Card Refunds – Girl Cookie Delivery Orders
You can view all troop financial transactions in your Finances tab in Smart Cookies under Financial Transactions. There are tabs for both Troop Transactions and Girl Transactions. Troop cookie managers can refund a credit card payment for any orders that the family mistakenly approved for Girl Cookie Delivery that they are unable to deliver. Follow these steps to process a credit card refund for a customer:
- Ask the Girl Scout/family for the order number
- Order numbers can be found in the Manage My Orders screen of the individual account.
- Mimic the Girl Scout in Smart Cookies by clicking on the person icon in the upper left-hand corner of the screen, then select Mimic a User, and choose the individual to mimic.
- Select Manage My Orders from the Orders tab, then locate the order.
- Click on the three dots on the right side of the screen and select Refund Order.
- Confirm your wish to refund the order from the pop-up screen.
- The customer will receive an email notification to alert them of their refund.
- The order status will change to show the order has been refunded and the financial transaction will show $0.
Cookie Spirit Award Nomination
It’s no secret Girl Scouts River Valleys cookie volunteers are amazing. Now it’s time to share those stories with us! We want to celebrate the cookie volunteers who exemplify the Girl Scout spirit during the cookie season with our Cookie Spirit Awards. Nominations are open now. Complete our nomination form to tell us about a fellow cookie volunteer who has been friendly, helpful, considerate, caring, and shines with that unique Girl Scout Cookie spirit.
Cookie Spirit Award Nomination Form
Starting the week of February 27, we’ll announce two weekly winners throughout the Cookie Program. Each winner will receive a $25 Target gift card. Winners will be contacted by Girl Scouts River Valleys and recognized in The Cookie Press blog. Submissions will carry over each week.
Forward to Families
Here’s the latest information to copy and paste, then forward to the families in your troop:
- We know there’s a lot of excitement around Cookie Go Day, but please make sure that you do not deliver cookies until this Friday to be honest and fair to all Girl Scouts.
- It’s not too late to participate! You can still opt-in to any of the options in the Cookie Program, including the online-only option where you can share your girl’s cookie sales link for direct-ship orders and you won’t have to touch a single package of cookies or collect any money! Check out our Family Cookie Guide for the details.
- Ready to take your Girl Scout’s online marketing to the next level? Create a short, video sales pitch and share it with your friends & family.
- The Cookie Entrepreneur Family Pin celebrates the teamwork between you and your Girl Scout to make the Cookie Program happen. Find out more about the pins, the requirements, and where to buy them on Cookie Central.
- Adding your QR code from Smart Cookies and placing it on door hangers and business cards can be a fun project to complete now! Follow the steps in the Smart Cookies Guide for Families to learn more about how to generate your QR code and use it for contactless cookie orders and payments.
- If you couldn’t attend Girl Scouts River Valley’s Cookie Rally from Home, you can still join in the fun! Check out the video and try out the activities to start your sale
A Special Message from Troop 57929
Girl Scout Troop 57929, Sammy, Rose, and Katie, are working towards their Bronze Award they have an important message to share as you start the Cookie Program:
We would like to propose an idea to help reduce plastic bags when selling Girl Scout Cookies. The reason why we are doing this is because plastic takes over 1000 years to decompose. Also, it affects human health and living organisms.
We want to suggest that other troops offer alternatives to plastic bag use at booths during cookie season. Suggestions include:
- Only offer bags when more than four boxes are ordered
- Suggest adding cookies to one of their shopping bags from the store
- Use re-used paper bags collected from troop families
- If there is a large order, put the cookies into one of the empty cases at the booth
This is a small step Girl Scouts can take to try to bring awareness to the issue of plastic and its impact on the environment and our health. Please watch this video to learn more about the issue and our recommendations.
Supporting Troops at the Start of the Sale
The first weekend of the Girl Scout Cookie sale is an exciting time! Here are some tips for supporting your troops:
- Remind troops of the importance for families to wait until Cookie Go Day to deliver cookies and begin Cookie Booth sales.
- Make sure troops are familiar with cookie cupboard options. Remember that Council Express, Regional, and Regional Express Cupboards require a planned order through Smart Cookies.
- Remind troops that no exchanges will be allowed at any cupboard location. Troops may only exchange damaged cookies for non-damaged cookies of the same variety at cookie cupboards.
- At Council Express Cupboards, damaged cookies cannot be exchanged.
- Once the families have received their initial cookie order, remind troops to make sure Girl Scouts have turned in payment for 50 percent of their current inventory before releasing more inventory. Troops must provide families with a receipt any time cookie inventory or money is exchanged.