Ten reasons you should not sell Girl Scout Cookies

If you don’t want your child to grow up smart, strong, independent and brave, here are ten reasons why you shouldn’t sell Girl Scout cookies.

I’ve written a lot around here about Girl Scouts. I take a lot of heat around cookie season. Mainly when my daughter and her troop are selling cookies in front of a grocery store. You wouldn’t believe some of the snarky comments people say… to young girls. My favorite comment so far was, “How do you like exploiting your child?” My response? Well, if you don’t want your child to grow up smart, strong, independent and brave, here are ten reasons why you should not sell Girl Scout cookies (unless you want to raise smart cookies)…

Reason #1

My child is learning how to set goals, work towards them, and either obtain them or not. If they reach a goal, fantastic. If not, how can they adjust their goals to reach them next time?

Our girl holding up a box of Samoas

Reason #2

Our girls are entrepreneurs. Once they set a goal, they figure out a sales plan. How are they going to market and sell cookies and where? They get creative, manage money, and take pride in achieving what they set out to do.

Reason #3

They are getting to know their community. When you see girls “exploited” in front of their local grocery store, chances are they are meeting people in their community and making new connections. Our troop is always looking at new ways to donate our time, you never know who you’ll connect with. Our troop has personally donated over $1500 to various organizations. That’s not counting the many hours of service the girls have provided.

Reason #4

Our girls are using their voices. When they are in their uniforms, selling cookies, these girls are loud. That shyness goes away, and they are proud to be selling cookies. They know how much they get per box, and they know that money will be spent wisely.

Reason #5

WHAT? They only get $0.75 per box they sell? WHAT? You don’t take home your entire paycheck either? Wait a minute… before you go out and tell us we are exploiting our children… let’s break this down a bit.

Here’s how the cookie crumbles… on a $5 box of cookies…

  • $2.65 goes to council for activities, volunteer training, and camps.
  • $1.16 goes to the cost of cookies, program materials, and events.
  • $0.19 goes towards the cost of the Girl rewards.
  • $1.00–$0.75 goes to the troop.

I’m certain you have SSI/Medical/Taxes taken from your paycheck. This is no different. And the girls have learned this. So when they get their first paycheck, they’ll know how to break it down and understand why they don’t get ALL THE MONEY.

Reason #6

They learn and understand safety standard from the start. You’ll never see our girls out there without a lot of supervision. In all seriousness, safety comes first. We do everything we can to make sure our girls are in a safe and secure environment.

Reason #7

Girls get to learn how to use the internet in a responsible way. They upload a video talking about what their goals are, how they are going to obtain their goals, and how they are doing with their revenue. I never had this opportunity as a kid, and I still have a hard time in front of the camera. These are life learning activities that prepare them for the future.

Reason #8

Older girls get to help and train the younger girls. When the older girls get to take on this role and become mentors to their little counterparts, you see how much they have learned and are eager to share.

Reason #9

Besides managing money, setting goals, working hard on a business plan, spending six weeks of their lives working hard to reach their goals… they also get to eat cookies, do something fun with their cookie money, donate and feel good about giving back, and make this crazy world we live in a bit better… that’s what being a Girl Scout is all about.

Reason #10

And if you really want to help us with our smart cookies, we created a t-shirt for cookie season. (Update: Sorry, this shirt is no longer available.)

As a mom and troop leader, even I have learned something from these girls. I know they have thicker skin than I do. I know they take “no” a lot better than I do. I know they keep going, even when things are not always bright. They are strong, brave, smart… entrepreneurs.

I am so proud of them. And if you want to know five things you shouldn’t say to Girl Scouts selling cookies, read on over here.

If you like this post, you might find a few of these interesting as well…


  1. Georgia Smiles

    Join Cub Scouts! Cubs have more fun! Then you won’t have to even sell cookies & make 65 cents a box, you can sell popcorn & make 74%!!

    1. Cam bigcrazylife.com

      Thanks for your comment Georgia. I think it’s relative if the Cubs have more fun. I know my kids are having an amazing time. As you can see in my article, Girl Scouts make anywhere from $0.75-$1.00 per box, not $0.65. I supported a local Boy Scout this year but purchasing a bag of popcorn for $20 was INSANE. One bag of popcorn? $20??? You should be getting 90% of that profit instead of 74%.

  2. My daughters were not Girl Scouts, but my youngest has a couple of friends that are. We’ve always bought cookies from them. I don’t have a problem with the girls selling cookies!

    1. Cam bigcrazylife.com

      Exactly, we’re in our fifth year and have two girls selling now. Selling cookies teaches so many great fundamentals.

  3. Selling cookies is an activity girls have been doing for years and is part of being in a community. I always buy from my neighbors when they come around, the cookies are so good.

  4. Angela Tolsma clutterboxblog.com/

    Love your approach on these. I remember selling cookies as a kid and it really does show you so many things.

    As an adult I do buy the cookies and try really hard to interact with the child vs the parent helping.

  5. Krystal Butherus sunnysweetdays.com

    Girl Scout cookies are my weakness! On the serious side, I love how your post is misleading in its title! I’ve always tried to support the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts whenever possible.

  6. Amber Marie thebonafidebroad.com

    I love this list. Isn’t it awesome when people make nasty comments about thinks they know absolutely nothing about? Kudos to you for teaching your girls business basics at such a young age. You’re creating business owners and CEO’s.

  7. Cassie

    Sounds like growing Girl Scout cookies is a great character builder! I love supporting Girl Scouts. The cookies are amazing!!

  8. Karen Morse glamkaren.com/

    It’s a great way to teach kids skills that they will eventually use when they’re older. I cannot believe that someone would comment rudely like that! I’m glad that you’re encouraging this because there’s really plenty to learn from the experience. It’s not just about earning money.

  9. Angie Paul

    Every council sets their own budget including the price of cookies and the amount the troop receives. Ours is in a tiered system so some troops selling an average of 100 cookies per girl only receive about $.30 per box and the highest level average of 250 boxes will receive $.42 per box. Our girls also could receive a bonus per girl. The bonuses are on the same tier system. A troop must past 100 average to receive four dollar bonus. But the highest bonus at 250 average is $20. Our cookies are still four dollars.

    And with the Boy Scout popcorn, I believe the boxes say 70% stays local. That includes part of it going to the council and part of it going to the troop. Not all 70% usually goes the troop.

  10. kimberly lewis

    none of my daughters have ever been a girl scout. I think all kids need to be involved in something they love, no matter what that might be. I love girl scout cookies!

  11. Terri Steffes terristeffes.com

    I love this list and I hope every girl gets a chance to read this. I love Girl Scouts and so did my daughter. I was a troop leader and it was so fun!

  12. shandy kaye

    Selling cookies also means big fun, great friends, and a chance to change the world.

  13. Lavanda Michelle LavandaMichelle.com

    My daughters were Girl Scouts and they sold their cookies with pride. They prefer to sell with dad because they made more sales. it was truly an amazing experience and taught them so much.i love this post!!!

  14. jill conyers jillconyers.com

    The t-shirt is so cute. Your title really got my attention. NOT sell girl scout cookies? What? LOL

  15. Melissa primpandprimebeauty.com

    I always buy girl scout cookies. I think the little girls are so brave to go out there and try their hardest to meet their goals. I can’t believe people could be so rude.

  16. Joanna

    I don’t mind the girls selling cookies and will usually buy from any girl that asks, with exception of the booths set up in front of every store you pass. I have an issue with the number of parents selling and asking. Parents bombard social media with requests for orders and every break area at work seems to have order forms.

  17. Katie

    Another reason – manners! When my daughter was a Girl Scout, we made sure they said, please and thank you, introduced themselves and their troop, and wished everyone well whether they bought any or not.
    Kids with good manners get noticed for all the right reasons.

  18. Tiffany

    Thanks for this! My daughter is a first year Daisy, and we’re out pounding the pavement a couple of days a week because she LOVES selling. To be honest, she’s not great at all of the people skills yet, and her cuteness is doing her some favors, but she’s learning! She’s not shy about knocking on a door, and is learning the proper manners and things to say when someone answers. She has set a goal twice and has already beat them both, so we’re upping it again… and they haven’t even started booth sales here yet. Next weekend she’ll get the experience of working with her troopmates and start learning the teamwork it takes to make sure all customers are approached, made to feel welcome, and taken care of if they choose to purchase. I think these skills are going to do her so much good for her future.

    And the older girls who led the Cookie Kickoff… I was SO impressed by them. Full of spunk, personality, and seemed to really love leading the younger girls and teaching them from their years of experience. If my daughter were to stick it through to that level, I know she’d be just as strong, brave, and a great leader.

  19. Michal Hynson MichalHynson.com

    I am a brand new Troop leader. (We got our troop # a little over 30 days ago.) and didn’t plan on selling cookies until next year but we decided to take the leap. I can tell the girls are already enjoying the experience! I hope you have other posts on GS because I can stand to learn a lot!

  20. Sue twitter.com/2ndheartmom

    Thanks for posting this. We don’t get many snarky comments, but we do get a lot of people saying things like “I’ll just give you $5 then you get to keep the whole thing.” But, I always say, “Buying a box supports not only our troop but all the girls in our area and the goals the girls set are tied to sellling, not taking donations. But, you can buy a box for the troops or the food bank.”

    Our troop has always got plenty of money from the sales so far (we are in our third year) and our Service Unit does some great things for the girls. I thought I would hate selling cookies, but I’ve seen all my daughter has learned in the last three years and I truly am impressed.

  21. Clair Palmer

    My daughter is a first year daisy, and let me tell you, those little girls are so fierce and so brave. I can not believe the comment this person feeling that parents and Girl Scouts is exploiting girls. These skills that these girls are learning will be used for life. Let me tell you, they are getting a leg up on the competition, because the world is not always loving and kind, sunshine and rainbows.

    This world needs young leaders like the Girl Scouts to light the way. You have to have resilience. I think this program is great and dead on. Continuing to educating others on the program is key, as many times as it needs. Great Article! I enjoyed reading it!

  22. Tb

    Thank you for this! I work for Girl Scouts and clicked this expecting to be angry, but was pleasantly surprised. Thank you for supporting our girls!

  23. Kathy

    I have been a leader for 37 years, yes, selling cookies that long. What I love about Girl Scouts selling is that they set goals, I know parents will ask if you would like to buy, mainly to help the girl learn to do so. I have see girls start out with just a small goal then realizing they can do it. The cookies make it that every girl can be a Girl Scout, going camping, trips, helping their communities. Girls making choices not just an adult deciding what to do. Not only the older girls but Daisies making choices.

    1. Cam bigcrazylife.com

      Wow, 37 years! I can only imagine the impact you have had on your girls. Congratulations.

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