Monday, January 26, 2015

Cookies for a Cause

The Ruggieri family: Emily, Suzanne, John and Gabriel.

For thousands of Girl Scouts in western Pennsylvania, the first phase of the Cookie Program—initial order taking—is coming to a close. While they’re tallying their customers’ orders and gearing up for booth sales in February, they’re also helping the causes they believe in most.

Girl Scouting is girl-led, so troops and individually registered Girl Scouts can choose who receives the donated cookies they collect during the Cookie Program. Girls select the cause that’s important to them, and explain to their customers who benefits from the donation.

Girls learn many skills from the Cookie Program, including money management, people skills, business ethics, goal setting and decision making. Asking for donations adds to these skills and continues the girls' dedication to service through Girl Scouting. The pledge to “help others at all times” is an important part of the Girl Scout Promise, even while girls are selling Thin Mints.

Giving Big

Girl Scout troop 26683 from Greensburg is on a mission to donate thousands of boxes of Girl Scout Cookies to Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC (CHP). The Brownie troop chose CHP to honor the memory of Ethan Milliron, who is the late father of troop member Emily Ruggieri. Ethan received care at CHP while battling bone cancer. He died when Emily was only 18 months old.

The troop’s goal is to collect donations for 5,000 boxes of cookies from all 50 states to give to patients and families at the hospital.

Emily and her parents, Suzanne Milliron Ruggieri and John Ruggieri—and even little brother Gabriel— update a map every day with the location of orders from the U.S. and 21 countries around the world. North Dakota is the only U.S. state not represented in the more than 2,100 boxes donated to date.

It’s not too late to donate cookies to help Emily and her troop spread a little cheer to kids and their families at CHP. Email for information on how to donate.

The troop's kindness toward patients at CHP doesn't stop at cookies. The girls make fleece blankets to donate as well.

Service for Life

This experience will not only benefit patients at CHP, but the Girl Scouts as well, as they gain confidence and the tools to help them become the citizens who will make a difference in the world.

Research shows that the experiences girls have helping others through Girl Scouts makes them more likely to be philanthropists as adults.

According to a study by the Girl Scout Research Institute, women who were once Girl Scouts are more likely than non-alumnae to volunteer, donate money, goods or services, or to contribute to charities on a regular basis.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s a Super Troop!

Power up your Cookie Sales by setting a goal to become a Super Troop!

No, you don’t need capes (or the ability to leap tall buildings in a single bound) to become a Super Troop. Just reach a Per Girl Average (PGA) of 150 boxes of cookies or more. Check your troop’s PGA on the Sales Report tab in eBudde throughout the sale to monitor your progress. All troop cookie orders—whether through the traditional order card, Goal Getter Order Card, Digital Cookie or booth sales—count toward your PGA.

Why be a Super Troop? Super Troops earn an additional 5 cents for every box of cookies they sell, and each girl selling and one adult volunteer per troop receives Super Troop t-shirts. Plus, the more cookies a girl sells, the more Girl Scout Bucks and Recognitions she receives. And Girl Scout Bucks double when used for GSWPA-sponsored camps!

Are you up to the challenge? We know you can do it! Here are some tips for achieving Super Troop status:

Goal Getter Cards

Door-to-door sales don’t have to end in January! Make sure all the girls in your troop are using Goal Getter Order Cards (available to download at These can be used to take in-person orders after initial orders are submitted. Additional cookies are available at Cookie Cupboards through March 22 to fulfill customer orders.

Follow Up

Have girls reconnect with their customers toward the end of the sale. Customers may have eaten all their cookies and want to purchase more to last until next year. (We all know that Thin Mints are awesome frozen!)

Include an adult phone number or email address with initial deliveries in case customers want more cookies. Want to know an easy way to do this? Print out labels with parent/guardian contact information and stick them on each box.

Remember Operation: Sweet Appreciation

Some people are watching their diets and don’t purchase Girl Scout Cookies to avoid the temptation. But they can still support your troop’s goals AND show our military troops some love by purchasing boxes for Operation: Sweet Appreciation. OSA donations can be made on the traditional order card, the Goal Getter Order Card, Digital Cookie and at booth sales and all donations count toward each girl’s and/or troop’s overall sales. Learn more about Operation: Sweet Appreciation.

Promote 5 for Five!

Have a customer who’s buying four boxes? Encourage them to buy just one more to be eligible to win five CASES Of Girl Scout Cookies through our 5 for Five Contest! Just give them a 5 for Five certificate (available on, which includes instructions for entering the contest along with an exclusive code.

Bling Your Booth!

A blinged out booth will draw in customers and create a fun environment for the troop! There are so many different ways to decorate your booth. Check out our Pinterest board for some bling-y inspiration!

Take it Online

Social media is a great tool for boosting cookie sales. If a girl is 13 or older, she can post about cookies to social media channels herself, otherwise a parent will have to help. We have some great graphics that can be shared on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to help you tell your social media contacts that you can put them in touch with a Cookie Boss! Just be sure to follow the guidelines on the Girl Scouts Internet Safety pledge and Safety Activity Checkpoints.

And, with the new Digital Cookie platform, it’s easier than ever for friends and relatives that live far away to support your cookie sales. Cookies can be ordered online and shipped directly to the customer, wherever they live.

Think Outside the Box

Encourage your girls to get creative and come up with fun and new ways to market their cookie sales. Hand out recipes that use Girl Scout Cookies to customers to encourage them to buy one more box. Make flyers to give to customers that explain each girl’s cookie goals and how they will use their cookie proceeds, along with information on how they can buy more cookies. Have a mobile cookie booth (ex. selling from a cart, wagon or sled) or organize a neighborhood blitz with a “Cookie Caravan.” The possibilities are endless!

Our Pinterest page is filled fun and easy ideas for boosting your troop’s sales—and helping your girls learn marketing and creativity skills at the same time!