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

Future CEOs Compete at Startup Weekend

As Girl Scouts, we’re all about challenging ourselves, trying new experiences, and exploring our interests. Recently, dozens of GSGLA Seniors and Ambassadors participated in the first-ever Girl Scout Startup Weekend (held in partnership with Google for Entrepreneurs and Techstars). Ambassador Girl Scout Dagny S., who is also a Gold Award recipient, took part in Startup Weekend and shared her experience with us for the blog.


In GSGLA, it seems like the opportunities never stop coming! I just experienced the most amazing weekend with dozens of other high school-age Girl Scouts, being mentored and coached by business leaders at a Startup Weekend. The event description on the GSGLA website had said we would “…pitch ideas, form teams, create a prototype, and participate in a Shark Tank-style pitch competition… be mentored and judged by successful business and thought leaders.” I didn’t know exactly what to expect, but it definitely sounded like something I should try!

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Jemie Sae Koo with a Startup Weekend participant.

When I arrived Friday evening, I was honored to interview keynote speaker Jemie Sae Koo onstage. Ms. Koo is one of the top 100 most-followed chief marketing officers on Twitter (she even tweeted about us, check it out), and has accomplished so many things that honestly it is hard to keep track of them all! She was easy to talk to and her confidence and success were inspiring. After our “eat and meet,” we did some fun activities to learn about team-building (I will never look at spaghetti and marshmallows the same way again!) and how to make a good pitch.

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On Saturday, we pitched our ideas to the group. I was disappointed my idea didn’t get chosen, but jumped in to be part of a team pitching a winning idea. I didn’t know any girls at Startup Weekend before I got there, but we formed a working team and started collaborating pretty quickly. My job turned out to be developing the business plan and marketing. We worked all day creating a prototype, and mentors also came in that day to help with application design and business models.

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On Sunday, the teams finished developing their ideas, and I represented my team at the business mentoring session. Also, Glen Liu, an intellectual property attorney, gave a great presentation on how to create an effective presentation for a pitch. I thought Mr. Liu’s presentation was one of the most valuable parts of the weekend. Our team then improved our presentation and together we practiced our pitch. Later in the day, the judges arrived to hear our pitches, and my team was super excited to win first place! We happily claimed our award and enjoyed a nice dinner with everyone looking great in uniform.

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I am grateful that GSGLA provides these kinds of opportunities for us, and I am especially thankful to Elizabeth Chadwick and Bethany Wylie (who also helped me a ton as I navigated the Gold Award process last year) for organizing this amazing event. Thank you all so much!

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Dagny (top of stairs) with the winning team.

Congratulations to all our G.I.R.L.s (Go-getters, Innovators, Risk-takers, Leaders) who participated in Startup Weekend, and huge thanks to our mentors, judges, and guests who guided our future CEOs over 54 hours and gave them feedback. Here are the full results:

  • 1st Place: Line Up, an app that allows users to play games with others waiting in line at amusement parks
  • 2nd Place: 21st 60’s, a company that solves the problem of costly designer jeans—customers send in their old jeans and the company facilitates embroidery of the jeans and sends it back to the customer
  • 3rd Place: Reel Squishy, a sea creature-themed children’s toothbrush with a toothpaste reservoir; give it a squeeze and it dispenses just enough toothpaste
  • Best Design & Best Presentation: Save Our Soles, an app that solves the problem of shoes of the same size actually being differently sized
  • Honorable Mention: U Got This, a peer advice website, app, and newsletter that provides a safe space for teens to give positive advice to each other
  • Honorable Mention: Chaos Unraveled, a website and business facilitating video STEM tutoring between high-school students

At GSGLA, we have multiple opportunities for older girls to take the lead like a Girl Scout while discovering new interests and activities. Visit our website to learn more.