Get Ready for the Fall Product Program!

With summer winding down, troops are starting to plan for fall—when girls head back to school and kick off another exciting year with their sister Girl Scouts. A highlight of the season is the GSGLA Fall Product Program, which starts Sept. 29, 2017.

This year’s theme is “Explore Your Dreams,” which the program certainly helps girls do! Not only is the fall product program a fun and interactive way for Girl Scouts to learn the 5 Skills (goal setting, decision making, money management, business ethics, and people skills), but it’s also the perfect opportunity for troops to earn essential funds for activities and resources. That’s not all—Junior Girl Scout and Girl Advisory Bureau member Avery C. tells us what she’s gained from participating in the fall product program.

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Avery as a Brownie last fall.

Usually when someone thinks of Girl Scouts, they think of cookies. As Girl Scouts, we also do lots of fun and helpful things like beach clean-ups, community service, camping, summer activities, field trips, and other money-earning events. We earn money to support many of these activities by selling cookies in the winter, and nuts, candies, and magazines during the fall.

These are my top takeaways from the fall product program:

  1.  You get to learn about new products like Butter Toffee Peanuts and Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Almonds, as well as all the magazine subscriptions we offer. Learning about all these products helps you communicate with your customers, which helps your people skills.
  2. You can do lots of your selling online. You can email a link to your friends and family to buy the products and magazines, or donate to Gift of Caring. Girl Scouts will ship the items for a fee if they live far away.
  3. You learn how to set goals. You decide if you want to push yourself or go easy on yourself. It’s up to you! You are also able to track your sales progress online.
  4. When I went door-to-door with my mom, the first thing people would ask is, “Is it cookie time?” The fall product program is a good way to remind people cookies are coming, and to help you get ready for cookie season.
  5. During the fall product program, your troop earns 25 percent of the money you earn from nuts and candies, and 20 percent from magazines. During cookie season, your troop earns 95-cents per box. That makes a huge difference, especially when you have a big troop goal. The rest of the proceeds goes to support all the Girl Scout camps and programs in our LA region.

I hope I helped you learn about the fall product program. Get excited to participate!

P.S. Here’s a tip: For your customers who ordered magazines, email them before the fall product program starts on Sept. 29 about renewing their subscriptions.

Thank you, Avery, for sharing your lessons with us!

Browse our resources for the fall product program here. Don’t forget—troops and girls must participate in both council-sponsored product programs in order to do additional money-earning projects. (Participation is defined by 50 percent of the registered girls in the troop earning the Participation patch in both council-sponsored product programs.) You can also sign up for our fall product program newsletters here for regular updates throughout the season.

Fall Product Program in a Nutshell

The Girl Scout Fall Product Program comes to an end this weekend, after weeks of girls selling nuts, candy, and magazines. The program helps Girl Scouts build their confidence and gain critical skills—not to mention gear up for the Girl Scout Cookie Program!

We wanted to get the perspective of a girl who’s participated in the fall product program more than once—so we reached out to Senior Girl Scout Dani C. of Troop 12345, whose mom is a GSGLA staff member, to see what she’s learned. Keep in mind, Dani’s advice doesn’t just apply to fall product—much of it works for cookie season as well!

Delivery time! Dani organizes her fall product orders.

Hey Girl Scouts! My mom, Denise, and I are here to give you tips on having a successful fall product campaign. We’re both go-getters and I personally enjoy sharpening my accounting and sales skills. Selling our fall products is way easier than you think and you would be surprised how many people love our nuts and candy. (I think they’re looking for something to satisfy their sweet tooth until cookie season.)

Denise and Dani at a family event.

Alright, let’s get to it!

1: Set a goal. Make a list.
Start with relatives and family friends. They’re always happy to support and with online sales, they don’t have to live in the same state. Later in the fall product season, focus on local family, friends, teachers, members of your church or temple, work colleagues, etc. Combined, these support channels should help to surpass your goal, very easily.

2: Track sales
The online dashboard does a lot of the work for you, plus gives you tools to keep track of sales when taking orders in person. These tools help keep organization with money and gives great practice with basic accounting/bookkeeping skills. It’s a confidence builder in money management!

3. Promote Gift of Caring
We participated in the Feed Your Neighbor program and helped sort food at the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank. I share this experience when people ask about Gift of Caring (GOC). It was rewarding and hard work! To know that GSGLA supports partners such as the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank helps Girl Scouts understand what it takes to help the hungry, and how much food is needed to feed the many vulnerable people in our city—and also, helps girls explain firsthand the benefits of GOC.

Dani (pictured front left) participating in the Feed Your Neighbor Service Squad.

(Editor’s note: The Gift of Caring program benefits our multiple nonprofit partners, whose causes range from feeding the hungry to helping servicemembers and veterans.)

4: Say thank you!
Sending thank-you notes is invaluable. Whether it’s a call, text, email, or—even better—a handwritten note, always thank everyone for their support and let them know it’s very much appreciated.

5: Have fun together!
This is a given. 🙂

Follow these five tips, and you’ll have the fall product program in a nutshell!

Thank you to Dani and Denise for providing this helpful insight! To learn more about GSGLA’s fall product program, click here. If you’re already thinking ahead to Girl Scout Cookie Season, we’ve got you covered too: Click here to get started.