Cookie – Troop

Helpful information for the 2020 Cookie Program

We appreciate your patience as we manage the fallout from COVID-19 on our Cookie Program and overall council activity. On behalf of every staff member and volunteer involved in the decision-making, we can assure you that YOU are front of mind in every decision we make. We are in this together and will do right by our members, regardless of the financial implications to our council.

We are suspending the Cookie Program
What does this mean? It means you must discontinue all public activity, including booths, walkabouts and lemonade stands effective immediately. We know many troops have already wrapped up their sale. We also know there are troops that strongly wish to continue selling. If this is your troop, we recommend you limit any activity to promoting online options like direct ship and Cookies4Heroes.

We have also been asked about friends and family efforts, “porch drops” and social media. We are realistic and understand some of you may continue selling cookies to friends and family or dropping off cookies on someone’s porch, but we ask you to first consider advice by local public health officials.

Regarding social media, please refrain from making broad asks for help on large audience sites. A post on your page asking friends and family to support your troop is okay. Posting to a marketplace or neighborhood site is not.

We are closing all cookie cupboards
We are so thankful to our cupboard volunteers and appreciate their willingness – and for many, the desire – to remain open. However, we are closing cupboards effectively immediately.

If you are concerned about your troop inventory…
We understand many of you are concerned about your troop inventory. Please be patient and allow us time to finalize our contingency plans. Please trust that our troops and members will be at the forefront of every decision we continue to make, and please understand it will take time for us to gather and finalize information.

We need you to update your troop in Smart Cookies
As a next step, we need you to assign cookies and finalize girl transfers in Smart Cookies immediately but no later than Wednesday, March 25. This will be incredibly helpful as we finalize our contingency plans for remaining inventory, troop sales goals and girl rewards.

We promise to keep you informed along the way and appreciate your support and grace as we organize and move forward as quickly as possible.



Untitled Document Thank you for your patience as we coordinate a smooth wind down to the Cookie Program and explore options to extend the sale and manage remaining inventory. Our priority is the safety and well-being of our girls, our volunteers and our community. That is why we suspended the Cookie Program.

We need to gather as much information as possible to understand where we are and take appropriate action to activate a community-wide response, but we understand that families are managing a lot right now. We are trying to provide as many answers as possible with this reality in mind. We’ve heard your questions over the past few days on various topics and will continue to provide guidance as we develop next steps. In the meantime, here are the top questions:

Why and how do we transfer sales to a girl in Smart Cookies?
We are asking you to assign sales that have taken place to date to girls in Smart Cookies as soon as possible, but no later than March 25, for the following reasons:

1. To keep track of girl rewards and work with the baker to manage any supply issues in advance.
2. To know troop inventory to help us make the best decisions.

Here is the Smart Cookies Transfer guide. If you are transferring financial responsibility, use the Packages column. If you are transferring sales from a cookie booth, use the Smart Booth Divider instead. (Thank you to the over 700 troops that have taken action in the last few days.)

We are working on a plan for distributing girl rewards and will provide additional updates as more information becomes available. Stay tuned!

How do we collect money from parents?
Troop cookie managers are trying to complete financial transactions with their parents while also honoring social distancing guidelines. Here are some tips:

1. Use digital transfers and money-sending apps.

2. Provide parents with your troop’s bank account information so they can deposit money directly via online transfers or apps, or via the bank’s drive-through window. If parents are depositing directly to the troop account via the drive-through window, have parents take a picture of the deposit receipt and send it to the troop cookie manager as a record of the deposit. (Note: Some banks may assess processing fees for in-person transactions.)

3. If no other option is available, collect money and deposit it into your troop account by having parents mail a check to the troop cookie manager or by coordinating a doorstep drop off that honors social distancing guidelines. The troop cookie manager may be able to make a mobile deposit using a picture of the check.

We highly recommend using online banking to track activity and set up account notices to stay on top of bank activity and receive notifications. If you notice unexpected account activity, notify your bank immediately.

Can I hold an online fundraiser or ask for donations to cover my cookie inventory?
Troops and girls may choose to ask friends and family to purchase inventory that can be donated through the troop’s own Cookie Share or delivered later when deemed safe. For donations to Cookie Share, here is a receipt for buyers who want a tax receipt for these contributions. Troops using Clover Go can now accept a credit card number over the phone and enter it directly into the Clover Go app to complete these transactions. Card present restrictions have been temporarily lifted due to the extraordinary circumstances.

Are we still supposed to return our consignment cookies March 21 – 23?
Cupboards are closed until at least March 31. Please hold on to your consignment cookies until we can safely re-open the cupboards and accept returns. If we are able to secure additional booths during an extended sale, you may have the option to participate in that as well. As you can imagine, that is still uncertain. In the meantime, place your cookies in a climate-controlled area for safe keeping.

When can my troop’s Cookie Share cookies be delivered to first responders?
In line with guidance that troops should not be meeting or interacting with the public, Cookie Share deliveries must be delayed until it is safe for both members and first responders. Please use this time to make cards and package your deliveries and wait for further guidance before beginning deliveries.

The council is working with GSUSA, national partners and the baker to evaluate additional ways to support troops who still have inventory after these types of activities, including taking back inventory.



Note: This information was delivered on our Virtual Friendship Circle webinar on Friday, March 20. Watch it here and download the slides.

You should already heard by now that the Girl Scout Cookie Program is currently suspended. We are working hard to address the concerns you all have about how we will wrap up the program and support our troops and members through the process.

We understand that you all have a lot on your plate right now. We are asking you to ensure that sales are assigned and financial transactions that have already occurred are recorded in Smart Cookies by March 25. We've provided additional guidance to help parents make those financial transactions while honoring social distancing guidelines.

Troops and girls may continue to take orders from friends and family for Cookies4Heroes, the troop's cookie share program, or to deliver when it's once again safe.

Please note that all cupboards are closed at least until March 31. We will post additional announcements about consignment returns in the future when those can be done safely.

We know you are all in different places.

So why is March 25 important if we extended the sale to April 26? On March 25, we will assess where we are across the council. You can expect a survey on March 26 that will ask where your troop is in the sale. We are envisioning four options:

1. Our troop is done and we don't have any troop inventory. We are ready to complete all actions in Smart Cookies and submit our recognition order.
2. Our troop would like to be done but we were planning to do booths in the last weeks and have available troop inventory that we need help with.
3. Our troop is not done and we have the inventory we need to finish our sale - but you need to give us time and options.
4. Our troop is not done and we need more cookies to reach our goals. We had planned to pick up inventory during the consignment period - but didn't have the chance before cupboards closed.

We will also ask you to confirm whether you have enough funds to cover the partial ACH on March 30.

We have also been asked about calculating troop inventory. It's important to address that. Troop inventory should be what your troop cookie manager was holding on March 14 when the sale was suspended less any inventory that has been sold from troop inventory since then. In summary, please complete all transfers to girls to date and record all payments received from parents for cookies already sold in Smart Cookies by March 25 so that we have a clear picture of troop inventory and finances and look for the survey on March 26. We will continue to communicate with you as we finalize our plans. The information you provide will be so helpful in determining where we are as a council and activating a community-wide action plan.




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WELCOME TO The COOKIE Program

Every year, both Girl Scouts and the public eagerly look forward to cookie season. Girls begin by setting goals and then taking orders from friends, family, neighbors and others for delicious Girl Scout Cookies. By participating in the Cookie Program, girls gain valuable experiences, earn rewards and earn proceeds for their troop to fund their activities and projects.

Being involved in the Cookie Program ensures girls are learning to become leaders. A girl becomes a leader by discovering, connecting and taking action to make the world a better place. For girls to become leaders, they need to:

  • Understand their values and use their knowledge and skills to explore their world (Discover)
  • Care about, inspire and team with others locally (Connect)
  • Act to make the world a better place and to make a difference in their communities (Take Action)

Funds generated from this program also offset the cost of girl programs, volunteer trainings and even camp reservations, keeping them low for all of our membership.

Did you know...

  • The Girl Scout Cookie Program is the largest girl-led business in the world.
  • Troop proceeds in our council for the 2019 Cookie Program were more than $3.2 million - that's a lot of money for girls to fund their activities and service projects!
  • Girls can send emails through ABC Smart Cookies to reach people they may not see on a regular basis.
  • Troops and girls will have the opportunity to accept bank card payments (credit and debit) for cookie orders, if their troop opts-in.

 


Troops: don’t miss the opportunity to participate in a fun rewarding program, provide girls with great opportunities and earn money for your troop. Each troop needs a volunteer cookie manager. Volunteer to be your troop's cookie manager today! It's easy, just complete the following steps:

    • Let your troop's leadership team know you are willing to volunteer
    • Be a member in good standing for the 2019-2020 membership year
    • Declare your role as the troop cookie manager through your MyGS login
    • Complete the in-person or online Cookie Basics (troop cookie manager training)
    • Have a current approved criminal background check on file (must be renewed every three years)

Please contact customerservice@sjgs.org or call 713-292-0300 if you need assistance completing any of these steps.

This site is designed to support you through the Cookie Program.  You will find all the resources you need here to help the girls in your troop be successful.