cookie faqs


How much are Girl Scout Cookies®?
$4 per box

Gluten free Trios are $5 per box.

Is there tax on Girl Scout Cookies?
The Girl Scout cookie sale is a program activity that also helps fund the important work of Girl Scouting. Because the sale is substantially related to the Girl Scout mission, it is free of taxes in the state of Maryland.

Are cookies tax deductible?
The answer is NO. “People who purchase Girl Scout Cookies® are not making a contribution to Girl Scouting. Rather, they are purchasing a product at a fair market value. For this reason, no part of the price of a box of cookies is tax deductible.” GSCM is not in a position to give advice related to this topic; all inquiries regarding deductible items should be done with your personal tax advisor.

We don’t see many girls going door-to-door anymore. Why?
Girl Scouts certainly do sell Girl Scout Cookies® door-to-door. They also sell Girl Scout Cookies® through the increasing popular “cookie booths” and through phone calls to previous cookie customers. Girl Scout Cookie Booth Sales can be found using the Cookie Locator Website or the Girl Scout Cookie Finder App (for Android) (for iPhone).

How does the general public find out about booth sale opportunities?
Girl Scout Cookie Booth Sales can be found using the Cookie Locator Website or the Girl Scout Cookie Finder App (for Android) (for iPhone).

Can our troop collect money when we take orders?
It is GSUSA’s policy that money is collected from customers at the time of cookie delivery.

Do all girls sell cookies? Is it required?
Individual participation in this Girl Scout program activity is voluntary, however it is council policy that troops must participate in the Girl Scout Cookie Program to be eligible to participate in other money-earning activities. Girls gain life skills such as teamwork, money management, and entrepreneurship through the Cookie Program. This activity also provides Girl Scout councils with revenue to support Girl Scouting in local communities, including a portion that goes back to the Girl Scout Troop selling the cookies.

Can individual girls (who are not members of a troop) sell Girl Scout Cookies®?
Yes. Individual registered girls can sell Girl Scout cookies. GSCM encourages individually registered girls to participate in the Cookie Sale Program activity and sell cookies with a Troop  or through a “Juliette” coordinator within their geographic area.

In no case does the income from troop money-earning activities become the property of individual girl member. The girl is only eligible for the reward items earned. If the girl is of Junior, Cadette, Senior or Ambassador Girl Scout age and her sales are combined with that of an older girl troop which decides to “opt” out of the rewards for additional monies, the girl is only eligible for the patches earned. Juliette coordinators will ensure earned funds for the girl or troop of girls is divided evenly and used for GSCM program activities only.

Must my troop participate in the Cookie Sale in order to participate in other fundraising activities?
Yes, refer to the GSCM Financial & Money Earning Policies for Troops.  Adult members are encouraged to promote and support fund-raising efforts of the council and the United Way. Troops eligible to participate in council-wide product sales are expected to do so. Prior approval is required for additional fund-raising activities.” Please review Activity Checkpoints regarding voluntary participation. Girl Scouts of Central Maryland in no way forces girls/Troops to participate in the annual Cookie Sale, however, failure to do so results in the troop’s inability to conduct other fund-raising activities.

Can my troop participate in other fundraising activities during the Cookie Sale?
NO. Since the United Way Campaign is conducted in the fall of each year Girl Scouts of Central Maryland obtains special permission to conduct our cookie sale. In accordance with United Way guidelines it is necessary for Girl Scouts of Central Maryland to support that agency and not allow our Troops to conduct other fund-raising activities until after December 1st of each Girl Scout year.

Will we receive bags for booth sales?
GSUSA will not allow councils to seek partners in the community to offset costs for fundraising events. You could have your girls decorate white 12lb bags for their customers.

Can a Service Unit/troop sign out a cookie costume for the whole time of the sale?
No, GSCM has a limited quantity that the bakery provides. Troops may contact the VRC at 410.358.9711, extension 201 or email the VRC at to reserve costumes.

Can I pick up cookies by the box from cupboards?
NO. Cookies are distributed from the Council and cupboards in cases only. Troops may transfer boxes to other troops.

What is the role of the parents, guardians and other family members in the cookie sale?
First of all, parents must give permission for their daughters to participate in the cookie sale program activity. Parents and other family members often help Girl Scouts during the cookie sale. They provide transportation, for example, or assist adult volunteers in conducting the sale. Girl Scouts of Central Maryland encourages parents to work in partnership with their daughters, supporting girls in their sales activities so they may take full advantage of the learning experiences offered. Visit our For Families page to learn how else you can help.

When is the latest that a troop can participate in the Cookie Sale?
Troops/girls are eligible to participate upon completion of cookie training anytime during the sale. All Troops and girls must be properly trained to participate. Contact GSCM or your assigned Service Unit Cookie Manager for more information.

What happens if a troop still owes from a prior sale? Can they sell?
Yes, the troop may still participate in the current sale; however, if the troop leader or Troop Cookie Manager is responsible for the debt that individual may not handle money for the troop . Another Troop Cookie Manager must be appointed. Girls are never penalized for adult actions. Therefore, if the debt is due because of a parent, that child can still sell but it is recommended that the child only participate in booth sales.

How do I find out the boundaries for my Service Unit and the surrounding areas?
Contact your Membership Specialist. For the purpose of Cookie Sale ONLY GSCM identifies booth sale locations by zip code area. It is strongly recommended that each Service Unit recruit a Booth Sale Coordinator to avoid issues in the Service Unit. Troops may only sell at locations within their own Service Unit unless permission is obtained from the other Service Unit to sell. If you feel there is a discrepancy, alert your Membership Specialist for clarification.

How do I obtain assistance via email?
GSCM has a general cookie mailbox:

How much money goes to the local troops?
Troops in Central Maryland retain an average of 0.58 per box sold. Our troops can earn anywhere from $0.50 to $0.80 per box sold depending on various options earned or chosen. Funds are held in the troop treasury; Troops and girls set goals and determine how to spend the money. Therefore, girls benefit from the Cookie Sale Program activity not only by participating in council-sponsored activities, but by earning money for troop projects.

How does the cookie sale program activity benefit the community?
In addition to the direct benefits realized by girls selling the cookies, such as increased self-confidence and skill development, the growth and satisfaction of its girls and women derive the benefits to the greater community. Buying cookies is the community’s way of showing support for its children and their abilities as future leaders of the community. Many girls and Troops collect and donate cookies to numerous charitable organizations during the Cookies From the Heart Program activity. This benefits many local non-profit community heroes and military organizations.

What do girls learn from selling cookies?
For many girls, the cookie sale is their first experience in setting goals and working with others in a team. Girls learn to meet and greet people, keep accurate financial records, and follow through on a promise to deliver the cookies people ordered. Girls have fun while building self-confidence and learning important life skills.

How do girls feel about participating in the cookie sale?
Most girls look forward to the annual Cookie Sale Program activity. They know that proceeds from the sale will help support their activities during the rest of the year. Each girl is challenged to do the best she can do to achieve a sense of accomplishment that comes with knowing she contributed to her troop and her council. Girls, however, are not required to sell.

Why are there rewards for girls who sell cookies?
Rewards play a role in recognizing efforts and in encouraging girls individually and in Troops. Younger girls enjoy receiving items for their sales efforts. Older girls have the option to take rewards or “opt out” of rewards for additional money per box. See your Troop leader for GSCM’s current Cookie Sale Reward Program.

Does each girl receive a virtual Cookie Share Patch?
Only girls participating in the Cookie Share Program by soliciting a minimum of 5 donated boxes of cookies to a gifting program will earn the patch.

Are the Cookie Sale Activity Pins free?
Each year GSUSA provides an activity sheet for the cookie sale program activity. The activity pins are purchased through the GSCM Store, and cost $1.10 each. Check with the GSCM Store for availability of prior year pins.

If a girl leaves the troop before the cookie profit is spent, does she get the money?
No, in no case does the income from product sales become the property of the individual girl members.

How can I verify registration of Troops, girls, Troop Cookie Managers and troop leaders?
Contact your Membership Specialist or assigned Community Registrar for a complete roster of registered members. If you need assistance contacting the assigned Membership Specialist for your area contact GSCM at 410.358.9711 or toll free 800.492.2521.

What if a Troop Cookie Manager (TCM) refuses to take training but wants the materials?
All Troop Cookie Managers are required to attend training. Training may be conducted by the council or the Service Unit Cookie Volunteers. A job description must be signed at training to receive sales materials. These position descriptions are forwarded to GSCM for record keeping.

What if a troop does not enter a Troop to Troop cookie transfer?
With our online ordering and reporting system, Service Unit Cookie Managers can add or edit transfers. Troops are encouraged to enter the transaction within 24 hours of its occurrence. Mail a copy to Council according to routing instructions on the bottom of the form.

What does the Troop Cookie Manager sign at the cookie depot (this is the location where Troop Cookie Managers pick up the troop’s initial cookie order) to indicate they received the cookies?
Troop Cookie Managers sign the Service Unit Cookie Managers inventory control sheet or quick-pick sheet. In turn the Service Unit Cookie Manager signs theTroop Cookie Manager Cookie Passport, T-1. The Troop Cookie Manager Cookie Passport T-1 is required to be presented each time a Troop Cookie Manager picks up cookies from the Service Unit or a Cupboard.

Since the Service Unit Cookie Manager is financially responsible for cookies until Troop Cookie Manager s pick up the cookies, is there a disaster allowance for fire or flood?
No, Girl Scouts of Central Maryland is also financially responsible for all cookies received. Most locations will require that you obtain a Certificate of Insurance to release them from any responsibility in the event of a disaster. Check with your own insurance company to see if they indeed will cover such incidents. IF something should occur, contact the Fund Development Team at immediately for assistance and direction.

If the Troop Cookie Manager does not deposit all of the money does the troop ever see the troop profit?
GSCM’s policy is that troops pay the council first. Troop Cookie Managers are required to deposit all monies into the troop’s bank account. Should the Troop Cookie Manager fail to pay GSCM or the troop in full, GSCM will seek reimbursement from the responsible party up to and including legal action as necessary. GSCM reserves the right to charge interest and a penalty fee on outstanding balances. It is strongly recommended that in any outstanding debt situation that the delinquent Account Procedures and form T-6 are completed and submitted to the Council in a timely manner. Also, each debt is reviewed by the Director of Product Sales and Chief Financial Officer and is handled on a case by case basis. No claims will be accepted after March 15th for parent debts. The Troop Cookie Managerwill be held financially responsible for any unsold cookies or unreported parent debt.

Can I email my inventory control sheet (M9) to GSCM to verify my community initial orders have been delivered?
Yes, email the form to or fax the form to 410.358.9412.

Is it necessary to have permission from parents for girls to participate in booth sales since we obtain a G-1, Parent Permission Slip?
Yes, you must obtain parental permission for all activities outside the troop meeting setting. The G-1 is permission for the girl to participate in the Cookie Sale Program activity but does not cover events or locations outside the regular meeting place.

Is it mandatory to use the M-3 or T-11 Parent/Guardian Receipt?
It is highly recommended. Should a dispute develop between the troop and the parent for an outstanding debt it is necessary that the Troop Cookie Manager/Troop Leader provide record of payment. The T2 signatures with an M-3 or T-11 receipt allow adequate documentation to support payments received from parents. In the event a Troop Cookie Manager/Troop Leader does not use this form and a parent insists they have paid, the Troop Cookie Manager/Troop Leader will be held financially responsible. Help us protect you by insisting that this form be used at all times when monies change hands.

How does the Cookie Sale relate to the Girl Scout program?
The cookie sale is part of the Girl Scout program. It helps girls develop self-confidence and teaches them important skills such as goal setting, money management, and teamwork. The sale is a Girl Scout program activity that’s integral to the Girl Scout program, which helps girls form all segments of society realize their full potential and become resourceful citizens. In Girl Scouts of Central Maryland, proceeds from the Cookie Sale are used to provide Girl Scouting to 25,000 girls and to provide training and support services to 10,000 adult volunteers. In addition, the Cookie Sale program activity helps to fund membership outreach, which helps GSCM make Girl Scouting available to every girl.

Who decides how the Girl Scout Cookie Sale money is spent and how the sale is run?
Each council is responsible for funding the Girl Scout program in its jurisdiction. Councils get support from many community sources, including individual donors and federated funders such as United Way. The Cookie Sale Program Activity produces program-related revenue that is also an important source of income for each council. Within the council, a volunteer committee recommends the cookie sale procedures and retail price. The volunteer board of directors accepts or modifies these recommendations. The board then delegates to the executive director of the council the responsibility for managing a successful cookie sale, which she does with the assistance of council volunteers and staff.

Why does some of the income from the Girl Scout cookie sale program activity go to the council?
Girl Scout councils use cookie sale program activity proceeds to provide property upkeep, essential services to Troop s and individual girls. All of the program resources, adult development materials, and communication support that a troop receives come through the council structure. The council underwrites program scholarships, wider opportunities, and special events throughout the year. This keeps fees for girls and volunteers to a minimum and ensures high-quality, safe experiences for all.

How much money goes to the national organization?
All the money girls earn by selling Girl Scout Cookies® remains in the local council where the cookies were sold. The national Girl Scout organization receives a royalty from the bakers of Girl Scout Cookies® for the use of the Girl Scout name and service mark.


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