The 2021 Girl Scouts River Valleys’ Cookie Sale will be held February 20 through April 2. The following resources will be updated closer to the sale.
Cookie booths are a great way for your girls to learn how to work and set goals together.
Booths are girl-operated direct sale opportunities where the general public can purchase Girl Scout cookies. They’re located in public business locations and are either secured by Girl Scouts River Valleys or by the troop.
Before Your Booth
Assessing Girl Readiness
Reflect on these questions to see if a booth is a good fit for your troop.
Are girls in my troop:
- Comfortable and ready to greet and speak to customers? This means, saying hello, explaining the different Girl Scout Cookie flavors and their prices, discussing the troop’s goals, and thanking a customer regardless of sale.
- Able to sustain and pay attention for the duration of their time slot? (We know younger girls can tire easily or perhaps become antsy if the sales are slow. Be ready with things to keep their attention, if needed.)
- Able to make and count change accurately?
If you’re not sure that a booth is the best option, look to the Troop Cookie Manager Guidebook to see what other ways girls can sell during the cookie program to help them get booth ready.
How Do We Sign Up for a Booth?
Council-Secured Booths booths are arranged by Girl Scouts River Valleys staff with our corporate and community partners. The sign-up process is in two phases for these booths: Lottery and first-come, first-served.
- The lottery is the first phase of sign-up, where you log into Smart Cookies at your convenience and select booths that your troop is interested in. One of your preferences will then be randomly selected for you when the lottery runs on January 13 at noon (CST). For step-by-step instructions view the Reserve a Council Secured Booth: Lottery section of the Smart Cookies Guide.
- The second phase is first-come, first-served with a staggered sign-up to allow more booth opportunities to more troops. For step-by-step instructions view the Reserve a Council Secured Booth: First-Come, First-Served section of the Smart Cookies Guide.
|Sign Up Period||Open Date||Close Date||Booths added in this period||Total Reservation (including lottery)|
|Enter up to 10 booth lottery selections||Jan 2 at 11 a.m. CST||Jan 13 at 11 a.m. CST||1||1|
|First-Come, First-Served Round 1||Jan 16 at 7 p.m. CST||1||2|
|First-Come, First-Served Round 2||Jan 17 at 7 p.m. CST||2||4|
|First-Come, First-Served Round 3||Jan 18 at 7 p.m. CST||2||6|
|First-Come, First-Served Round 4||Jan 20 at 7 p.m. CST||6||12|
|First-Come, First-Served Round 5||Jan 27 at 7 p.m. CST||8||20|
|First-Come, First-Served Round 6||Feb 3 at 7 p.m. CST||10||30|
Troop-Secured Booths are arranged by troops at local businesses that don’t have an existing partnership with Girl Scouts River Valleys. Having your troop contact local businesses is a great way for girls to learn business strategy and people skills. Once you’ve secured your booth, enter the details into Smart Cookies at least three days before the booth, so they can be approved by Girl Scouts River Valleys staff. The staff approval process makes sure the location is in-line with the Girl Scouts River Valleys Booth Policy and another troop isn’t at that location at the same time.
For detailed instructions on how to sign-up for these booths in Smart Cookies, view Reserve a Troop Secured Booth section of the Smart Cookies Guide.
Note: If you find that you are no longer able to attend your booth, cancel your reservation in Smart Cookies. This helps our businesses know when to expect a troop to arrive and allows for other troops to attend that timeslot.
Now That We've Secured a Booth, What's Next?
- How many adults are needed? Booths with two or more Girl Scouts need at least two adults supervising at all times. One of the adults needs to be female, and one must be a registered Girl Scouts River Valleys volunteer—this registered volunteer will be in charge of the money.
- What do the adults do? Adults keep an eye on the money, cookie inventory, and of course, the Girl Scouts. Make sure that the girls are staying focused (not on their phones, working on other projects, etc.) while also having a great time selling cookies. That being said, be sure to encourage the girls to take advantage of this skill-building opportunity and lead the sales.
What Should We Bring to the Booth?
Don’t leave the house without these items:
- COOKIES! Look at the “Sales Per Hours” in the Smart Cookies booth notes to estimate how many to bring (these should come out of the troop inventory).
- Your Cookie Booth Kit
- Your troop’s Smart Cookies’ Booked Booth Summary Report
- At least one cash bag or box with change—we recommend $20 in ones and $10 in fives
- A copy of the check acceptance policy
- A copy of the Cookie Booth Customer FAQ for reference
- A table and chairs, if needed. Many locations supply these, so be sure to check your booth notes in Smart Cookies beforehand.
- If accepting credit cards, have a smart phone ready with your login to Smart Cookies (to see how to accept credit cards, read the Booth Credit Card Payments section of the Smart Cookies Guide.
We recommend these items to bling out your cookie booth:
- A troop-made poster with your troop number and selling goals
- A sign or container to advertise donations
- Cookie Booth Accessory Kit (includes a cookie-themed costume and tablecloth) available for checkout at any of Girl Scouts River Valleys service centers
- Cookie ‘swag’ from Girl Scouts River Valleys retail shops
Day of Your Booth
Remind Your Girls
- Dress code: Wear their Girl Scout gear loudly and proudly! Girls can wear their uniforms, membership pins, and other Girl Scout clothing—anything that shouts, “Hi, I’m a Girl Scout!”
- Conduct: Remind girls to be polite, friendly, and make eye contact with potential customers.
- Reduce distractions: Distracted Girl Scouts can take away from the exciting opportunity at-hand, selling Girl Scout Cookies! Remind girls to keep the phones at home and eat before their booth, but to bring a water bottle if needed.
Bring Your Supplies
Review the Booth Supplies Checklist and pack up the car! Count and note all the cookies you bring—this will save you time later if girls forget to tally all those sales.
Managing the Booth
Throughout the season, there are secret shoppers or “booth sleuths” that will stop by booths as their schedule allows. These Booth Sleuths will ask girls about their goals for this cookie season, inquire about the cookie varieties, and observe the booth setup and girl behavior. If the booth passes these marks, the girls will receive a “It’s a Hit with Kit” button to celebrate their hard work!
Cookie Booth of the Week
Each week, five winners will be selected for the Cookie Booth of the Week contest! Booths will be judged based on appearance, creativity, goal sharing, and good cookie booth etiquette. Each girl in the troop will receive a patch and the troop will be awarded $25 in Cookie Credits.
After Your Booth
Enter Sales Into Smart Cookies
Since the cookies at the booth came out of the troop inventory and money was given directly to the troop, girls are not financially responsible for the cookies they sold at booths. This means there is a special way to allocate cookies for the booth. To learn how see the Smart Booth Divider instructions in the Smart Cookies Guide.
Congratulations on completing your booth! Celebrate with your troop on learning how to do something new and getting one step closer to reaching their goal.
What are the general rules for running a cookie booth?
- Remember to abide by the Girl Scout Promise and Law, and be a sister to every Girl Scout.
- If there are more than two Girl Scouts, have two or more adults supervising (one who is a registered Girl Scout adult member that can handle the money on-site).
- One adult will need to be female according to Girl Scouts of the USA’s policies.
- Arrive a few minutes early and leave on time. There may be other troops that are scheduled at that location before or after you.
- Check for any special instructions for your cookie booth in Smart Cookies. Some of our partner locations have specific guidelines about signage.
- See also: Cookie Booth Policy
Can troops use a donation jar at cookie booths?
Donations at cookie booths must go towards one of the donation programs. If a donation jar is placed at a cookie booth the money must be used to ‘purchase’ cookies for one of the donation programs. They can choose either Operation Cookie Care Package or Cookies for the Community or both!
What do I do if my troop wants to secure their own location?
- Get approval from the location manager.
- Enter it into Smart Cookies and Girl Scouts River Valleys will review it.
- You’ll be notified within three business days if your booth request is approved beginning January 16.
- Check the list of council-secured locations and locations that have asked not to be contacted to make sure the location you’re considering isn’t listed.
What do I do if there is a troop already there?
First, check your booth start time. If the other troop hasn’t started packing up five minutes before your scheduled start time, notify that troop that you have arrived. Some troops will stay, because they think the next troop didn’t show up. Some booth locations have a steady stream of customers and everyone is excited to make those sales.
It is important to remember that booth sign-ups are scheduled back-to-back, so there will be some set-up and packing-up time built into your reservation.
Why is Booth Go Day after the normal Go Day?
Cookie Booth Go Day is typically the week after the normal Cookie Go Day in order to give girls the opportunity to go door to door before booths start. It allows girls to focus their first weekend on reaching out to customers personally and the rest of the season to participate in all the other selling methods.
Summary of Resources
- Cookie Booth Policy – Read the Girl Scouts River Valleys Cookie Booth Policy before planning your cookie booth sale.
- GirlScoutsRV.box.com/Booth-Instructions – Each council-arranged booth location has a special set of instructions. Find them here the first week in February.
- GirlScoutsRV.Box.com/Historical-Booth-Data – View historical booth data from past years. These sales are self-reported and are not a guarantee of sales.
- Current Sales Data – Check sales at your booth location for an estimate of how many cookies to bring. These sales are self-reported and are not a guarantee of sales.
- GirlScoutsRV.org/Cookie-Donations – Learn more about Cookies for the Community and Operation Cookie Care Package.
- Cookie Booth Locations-Do Not Contact List – Includes all potential council-secured cookie booth locations. Please review this list prior to securing your own troop cookie booths to ensure that you don’t call a location that is already council arranged. Finalized council-secured cookie booth locations are listed in Smart Cookies.
- ABCSmartCookies.com – Use Smart Cookies online to sign up for a council-arranged booth, request a troop-arranged booth, report booth sales with the booth divider, and so much more. Sellers and volunteers are able to use their online account starting November/December.
- Smart Cookies Guide – Use these step-by-step tutorials to guide you through signing up for a council-arranged booth, requesting a troop-arranged booth, reporting booth sales with the booth divider, and so much more.
Cookie Booth Kit
- 5 for $25 Poster – Decorate your booth and display the price of cookies at the same time with this colorful poster.
- Can’t Eat ‘Em, Treat ‘Em Poster – Encourage customers to donate a boxes of Girl Scout cookies by posting this colorful poster at your booth.
- Cookie Booth Customer FAQs – Use this handout to answer customer questions accurately.
- Cookie Booth Guide – Are your girls ready to sell at cookie booths? Here is your go-to for tips, how to get started, what to bring, and more!
- Payment Acceptance Policy – Post this at your cookie booth to show what type of payments your booth accepts.
- Powered by Girl Scout Cookies Handout – Learn about how Girl Scout cookies fuel amazing adventures for girls.
- Support Our Heroes Poster – Use this poster to encourage customers to support our heroes by donating a box of cookies.
- Tally Sheet – Use this sheet to keep track of the cookies sold at each cookie booth and to help report your sales in Smart Cookies.