Congratulations, Cookie Bosses – A Letter from Our CEO

Dear Girl Scout Friends and Family,

One of the hallmarks of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience is our cookie program. Through the Girl Scout Cookie Program, the largest business entrepreneurship program for girls in the country, our girls learn the 5 Skills and gain confidence and initiative. The cookie program lays the foundation for a lifetime of success for our girls, and motivates them—more than anything—to keep trying.

The indefatigable persistence of our girls pays off. A labor of love for everyone involved, cookie season is not easy—and we recognize this. To honor our top-selling Girl Scouts, we provide a variety of special rewards. So far, I’ve had the pleasure of joining our go-getter Girl Scouts on two occasions: our celebrations for the Elite 1000 (girls who sold 1,000+ boxes) and Club 500 (girls who sold 500+ boxes).

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Club 500 at Hurricane Harbor.

Our Club 500 members enjoyed an exclusive Girl Scouts-only day at Six Flags Hurricane Harbor on May 20. Nearly 2,000 girls, accompanied by their adult chaperones, swam, splashed, and explored the park, which was closed to the general public on this sweltering day. Believe me, there were plenty of envious people when I told them what fun we had in the water.

At the Happiest Place on Earth, 340 Elite 1000 members, along with their parents, enjoyed a magical Disney day on May 6. Our Girl Scouts and volunteers experienced the Disney Y.E.S. (Youth Education Series) program, starting with a special breakfast and getting a behind-the-scenes look at Disneyland and California Adventure. Our girls and their parents then had full rein to enjoy both parks.

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Elite 1000 at Disneyland.

The fun doesn’t end there. Girls who sold 1,500+ boxes of cookies will participate in our S’more Adventure Weekend (June 10-11) at Camp Osito Rancho in Big Bear. I look forward to a special dinner and campfire with the girls on Saturday evening.  Plus, I’ll have the privilege of lunching with girls who sold 2,000+ boxes on June 21—who’ll also be treated to a limo ride as we share stories of cookie success! I’ve never handed out so many CEO special patches in one season. It has been such a joy for me to be with so many proud and accomplished girls and their families who support their participation in our program.

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Bob Hope USO cookie drop-off.

Thank you to all of our cookie bosses who’ve worked so hard, and to the parents and volunteers who’ve made it possible for them to pursue their dreams. Together, we accomplished so much during the 2017 cookie season, including breaking our own council record: more than 5 million boxes of Girl Scout Cookies sold! Plus, we donated more than 100,000 boxes to Gift of Caring—which we also celebrated with a special cookie drop-off at Bob Hope USO. Gathering together to celebrate our servicemembers as they arrived from Camp Pendleton was a highlight of our season.

The Girl Scout Cookie Program is life-changing and uplifting, and we encourage all our girls to participate. The 2018 cookie season starts next January—stay tuned for more information! In the meantime, we encourage you to read more about the program on our website, and get excited for next year!

Yours in Girl Scouting,
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Lise L. Luttgens
Chief Executive Officer
Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles

Girl Scout Cookie Foodie Blog Favorites

A collaboration with Melissa’s Produce

Just as Girl Scouts are challenged to think outside the box when coming up with innovative and resourceful ways to help their communities—we challenged five local foodie bloggers to create imaginative, original recipes that include both Girl Scout Cookies and fresh ingredients from our friends at Melissa’s Produce.

And the results are in! As we enter our last weekend of Girl Scout Cookie sales in Greater LA, check out all the recipes below and scroll to the end of this post to find out which recipe we’ve dubbed the 2017 champ!


Citrus Raspberry Trifle by Kitchy Cooking
This recipe will make you glad that Girl Scout Cookie season overlaps with citrus season.

citrus trifle

Chocolate Samoa Cake with Hazelnuts and Fresh Coconut by Fresh Food in a Flash
From Chef Patricia K. Rose: Girl Scouts have taken on the challenge of selling cookies for the past 100 years and I encourage you to take on the challenge of making this outrageous fresh cake with their Samoa cookies.

samoa cake

Tropical Friendship Bars by My Imperfect Kitchen
From Chef Sara: These shareable snack bars are stuffed with tropical dried fruits, coconut flakes, almonds, white chocolate chips and use Savannah Smiles Lemon Cookies to give them a summery brightness! They would be perfect for a troop meeting, hiking trip, backpacking adventure or a simple after-school snack!

friendship bars

Thin Mint Key Lime Tart by Cooking on the Weekends
A minty Key lime custard in a Girl Scout Thin Mint cookie crust. This fresh, creamy dessert is beautiful, unique and oh-so-tasty!

key lime pie

Cozy Campfire Crisp by It’s Okay to Eat the Cupcake
Trefoils meet Bosc Pears, Honey Crisp Apples, and Meyer Lemons from Melissa’s Produce. Yum.

campfire crisp

Glampfire Bark by It’s Okay to Eat the Cupcake
In addition to providing this delicious recipe, Girl Scout alumna Sue confesses her love of glamping (and camping) in this post. Her troop first purchased their camping tents with their cookie proceeds in fifth grade which they used all the way through high school!

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I Want Samoa Ice Cream! By My Imperfect Kitchen
Now that the weather is finally warming up, this ice cream should hit the spot. Thanks to Girl Scout alumna Sara for creating it!

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And the 2017 champion recipe is… Thin Mint Key Lime Tart!

Which recipe are you eager to try?

Don’t forget—this weekend is the last chance for Greater Los Angeles customers to purchase Girl Scout Cookies to create any of the above recipes—and to help girls gain five essential life skills while contributing to our regional five-million-box goal! Click here to find cookies near you.

A Win for Girl Scouts

“We… got a kick out of being celebrities, if only for a few days.”

The 89th Academy Awards air this Sunday, Feb. 26—and we can’t help but remember last year’s Oscars, when the Girl Scout Cookie Program took center stage.

Girls from Troop 5215 sold cookies to the stars as part of a segment conjured up by host Chris Rock, whose daughter is a Girl Scout. The girls rehearsed in secrecy in the days leading up to the main event. According to Cadette Girl Scout Aniyah G., “We got a real behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to put on such a show. There were producers, directors, camera people, and writers; people who did the lighting, wardrobe people, tutors, and so many more. It was like attending an entertainment industry career day!”

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Courtesy: Getty Images (including featured photo in header)

Images of celebrities such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, and Christian Bale devouring Girl Scout Cookies left an indelible impression on the ceremony’s 34 million viewers.

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Courtesy: ABC

“We were thankful to have the opportunity to represent the organization, and got a kick out of being celebrities, if only for a few days,” said Aniyah.

Aniyah’s mom, Troop Leader Cicely Smart, reflected on how the cookie program has helped her Girl Scouts come into their own: “It’s been rewarding to see how far they have come as little entrepreneurs… It’s amazing to watch unfold right before your eyes. Although it’s a lot of work, the cookie-selling business is an all-around great experience for the girls.”

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Courtesy: ABC

Sounds like a win—at the Oscars and beyond.

So this Sunday, join us in fondly remembering last year’s Academy Awards—and don’t forget to treat yourselves to the best viewing party snack around: Girl Scout Cookies.

A Different Side of Girl Scouting

“Setting that example of volunteering, working together to make cookie season an even bigger success, is so important.”

We all know Girl Scout Cookies are not only delicious but life-changing: The Girl Scout Cookie Program, the world’s largest girl-run business, instills critical values in these young go-getters. With every sale, Girl Scouts learn the fundamentals of running an enterprise and the skills needed to be successful.

But behind every Girl Scout troop is an army of volunteers, including the parents and troop leaders on the front lines at booth sales: It’s a vast and coordinated effort to make sure our Girl Scouts get the most meaningful experience.

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Volunteers at our Marina del Rey cupboard.

One group that’s instrumental to the success of cookie season is our team of cookie cupboard volunteers. Cookie cupboards, in case you aren’t familiar, are where troops go to pick up and exchange orders of cookies. To make sure the process goes smoothly, GSGLA relies on our amazingly dedicated volunteers who give their time (and sweat!) to running our cookie cupboards—many of whom also have other roles at the troop and service unit/neighborhood levels. (Want to sign up to volunteer at our cookie cupboards? Click here!)

We spoke with three superstar volunteers who return each year to our cookie cupboards: Astrid Fribourg-Martinez (referred to as AF below), Chris Steptoe (CS), and Rosalie Brown (RB). Here’s what they had to say about their experience—and why you should consider volunteering too:


Q: Why do you volunteer each year at our cookie cupboards?
CS: I love being around the excitement of cookie season! Being able to help drives me to return. I’m busy like other parents and like that I can put in a couple hours of work at a time.
AF: I love returning to the Marina Del Rey cupboard because the people we greet and help stock their orders are so friendly. They are so appreciative of our service. This is my fourth year volunteering at the cupboard and it’s nice to see returning volunteers, some of whom I only see at this event. That makes it feel like a mingling party!
RB: It is a lot of fun. I have worked with these ladies for many years. Also, you see the pride in the troop leaders or helpers who pick up cookies. You get to meet a lot of people.

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Volunteers at our Montclair cupboard.

Q: What are some of your favorite memories from volunteering at our cupboards?
RB: My favorite memories are watching the little Girl Scouts trying to pick up the boxes that are almost as big as they are. Standing inside that cold trailer until troops come to pick up cookies. Just talking and getting to know each other.
CS: Meeting new people, especially leaders whose troops and/or daughters are headed to college. Their experiences and stories are a tremendous help.
AF: I have met many troop leaders who swap stories and adventure experiences, which couldn’t make this a more enjoyable environment to work in.  

Q: If you are involved in other Girl Scout activities, what do you do?
AF: I have been with my troop for five and a half years. Right from the start, I helped take charge of certain badges or outings. Then once I experienced the system of Girl Scouts, I volunteered to lead a level (we are a multi-level troop).
RB: I am the service unit fall product chair for Compton/Lynwood.
CS: I’m a parent volunteer. My daughter’s troop is located in the South Bay. I help coordinate the events for our troop.

Q: Why should others volunteer for cookie cupboards? For Girl Scouts in general? 
RB: At the cupboards, you get to see a different side of Girl Scouting and make new friends. You should volunteer for Girl Scouts, because there are so many girls who need to interact with other girls, and Girl Scouts helps them find out what they want to be in life. It teaches them so much about themselves. The joy you see in later years of what these girls have become in our society makes you so proud.
CS:  Grooming the girls for leadership is a big deal. Setting that example of volunteering, working together to make cookie season an even bigger success, is so important. The girls will follow. It’s positive. It displays helpfulness. Why not help an organization where you’re directly involved? 
AF: I believe everyone should give some of their time volunteering for this organization, because you are helping shape the future leaders of our country’s communities.

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Volunteers at our Marina del Rey cupboard.

Huge thanks to Astrid, Chris, and Rosalie for answering our questions—and for contributing their time and talents to our Movement!

Want to support an increasingly important cause while exercising, making friends, and having fun? Sign up to volunteer at one of our cookie cupboards! (Must be 18+ years of age. One exception: Senior and Ambassador Girl Scouts if accompanied by an adult.) Our cookie cupboards are open Feb. 2–March 12, 2017, with locations in Arcadia, Covina, Downey, Long Beach, Marina del Rey, Montclair, Torrance, and Woodland Hills.

Want to learn about other ways to volunteer with Girl Scouts? Click here.

Give the Gift of Caring

“It’s incredible to make an impact on someone’s life, no matter how small or how big.”

When we talk about the Girl Scout Cookie Program, we often mention the 5 Skills gained by girls: goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills, and business ethics. But did you know the cookie program also teaches girls a sixth skill—philanthropy?

Through the Gift of Caring program, Girl Scouts offer customers the opportunity to donate boxes of cookies to military troops overseas and local nonprofit partners. Girls learn about philanthropy, while customers contribute to a very worthy cause (without consuming calories!).

This year, in honor of the 100th year of Girl Scouts selling cookies, we’re aiming to donate 100,000 boxes to Gift of Caring, council-wide. We spoke with 2016’s top Gift of Caring seller, Ambassador Girl Scout Destiny B., to learn more about the program that’s close to her heart.


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Destiny is GSGLA’s top Gift of Caring seller.

You sold an impressive amount of boxes last season (1,020) – and they were all for Gift of Caring (GOC)! Why did you decide to do just GOC?
To me, it is the most important part of Girl Scout Cookie selling. It’s incredible to make an impact on someone’s life, no matter how small or how big. Over my entire cookie career, I have sold approximately 18,000 cookies—11,000 for GOC. I have family in the military, so it’s a cause close to my heart.

Why is GOC so important?
Servicemen and women overseas don’t have the opportunity to see or have anything that reminds them of home. Sometimes, they even give the cookies to the innocent children in the country in which they are stationed. GOC can help so many people in so many ways.

What do you love about selling Girl Scout Cookies?
I am able to increase my confidence in talking to new people, and the people I already know. I have sold cookies for 11 years, and each year I learn something new. Selling cookies offers so many opportunities for Girl Scouts to learn about business, social interactions, and confidence.

What’s your favorite memory related to Gift of Caring?
Once, a soldier flew a flag over Iraq in my name. I later received the same flag in the mail. It was one of the most incredible things that anyone had ever done for me. It inspired me to continue with GOC, so that I could make a difference in the lives of other soldiers.

What do you want to do as a career?
Because of my drive to help others, I want to go into the medical field. I volunteer at my local hospital, and am becoming even more passionate about the field. I love having the opportunity to make an impact on someone’s life.

Why do you think girls should participate in the cookie program?
So they can begin to learn skills to help them in the future. By selling cookies, I have grown up to be a confident, smart, and successful young woman, which is what the cookie program is all about. The cookie program empowers young girls to be the best they can be, and even shows them how to set goals and achieve them. By selling cookies, I have definitely learned how to interact with people and feel comfortable while I am doing it.

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GSGLA’s new GOC patch for the 2017 season.

What advice do you have for other girls in reaching high GOC goals?
Like any other way of selling cookies, you must be know your cause. When someone is purchasing something from you, they want to make sure that you know what you’re selling. Sometimes people are cautious about giving money to organizations that they don’t know much about. If you can be confident and passionate about GOC, you can definitely reach your goal.


We’re so proud of Destiny’s accomplishments. You, too, can be a Gift of Caring superstar. Remember to offer customers the ninth “cookie” variety—Gift of Caring—and let’s hit that 100,000 goal together!

100 Dynamic (and Delicious) Years

It’s been a delicious century: 2017 marks 100 years since Girl Scouts first began selling cookies. That initial cookie sale would give rise to the world’s premier business and leadership development program for girls—one which empowers Girl Scouts to pursue their dreams, learn to lead, and change the world!

Throughout cookie season (which runs Jan. 29–March 12), we’ll be highlighting the many ways the cookie program not only touches the lives of our girls, but also benefits our communities. Plus, we’ll be sharing insights from our very own Girl Scouts about the cookie program, starting with Cadette Girl Scout and Girl Advisory Bureau member Elizabeth L. of Troop 7352. As a Cookie Captain, Elizabeth has the following tips to help other girls achieve their cookie goals.


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Elizabeth selling cookies as a Brownie.

I am so excited to sell Girl Scout Cookies during the 100th anniversary celebration of cookie sales! I am currently in the seventh grade and started selling cookies when I was a Daisy. I have learned a lot of tips and tricks over the last few years from my mom, my troop, the internet, and my own personal experience. An easy acronym I created below can help you during this cookie season.

GO START NOW!

Goals: Meet with your leader and your troop to set up goals.
One reason people don’t buy Girl Scout cookies? They were never asked!

Start with last year’s list! Contact your old customers and remind them cookie season is here.
Taste the cookies to allow you to describe them to customers.
Always wear a SMILE and look your best in your vest! You represent Girl Scouts!
Record your cookie season plans, goals, and experiences in a journal and use them to prepare for next year’s cookie season.
Tell everyone! Use the Cookie Club, Facebook, Instagram, email, text messages, etc. (of course with your parent’s permission).

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N
otice which cookies are selling and encourage customers to buy packages of other varieties. [Editor’s note: Don’t forget to mention the brand-new, non-GMO Girl Scout S’mores cookie!) Girl Scout Cookies freeze up to six months!
Offer to explain to customers how the Girl Scout Cookie Program funds troop activities throughout the year and teaches girls five critical skills.
When customers say “no thank you” to cookies, tell them about the Gift of Caring program. Customers can donate boxes to Gift of Caring, which go to service members overseas and other local nonprofits. [Editor’s note: In honor of Girl Scouts selling cookies for 100 years, our council-wide Gift of Caring goal is to donate 100,000 boxes this year!)


Thank you, Elizabeth, for sharing these useful ideas! Don’t forget, cookie season starts Jan. 29—get ready for Go Day by visiting Cookie Central, where you’ll find key resources and news.

Welcome the Newest Member of the Girl Scout Cookie Family!

Happy National S’mores Day! In celebration of 100 years of Girl Scouts selling cookies, Girl Scouts of the USA is rolling out a new cookie flavor for 2017: Girl Scout S’mores™. Each of the two licensed Girl Scout Cookie Bakers created two different cookie recipes for this S’mores flavor—Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles’ (GSGLA)’s licensed baker, Little Brownie Baker, created a crunchy graham sandwich cookie with creamy chocolate and marshmallowy filling (see the image below).GS-Smores

The GSGLA S’mores cookie is a premium non-GMO variety made with clean ingredients. It contains no artificial flavors or colors, high fructose corn syrup, or hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils—and is Whole Foods-certified.

The GSGLA clean/non-GMO S’mores cookie will be sold at $6 a box—alongside the gluten-free premium cookie offered by GSGLA, Toffee-tastic. The classics—Thin Mints, Trefoils, Tagalongs, Do-si-Dos, Samoas, and Savannah Smiles—will remain at $5 a box.

For more information about GSGLA’s non-GMO S’mores cookie, visit http://www.littlebrowniebakers.com/. For more information about the ABC Bakers S’mores recipe (not offered by GSGLA), visit http://www.abcsmartcookies.com/.

GSGLA’s Girl Scout Cookie season starts Jan. 29, 2017. We’ll keep you posted on all cookie-related news!