Girl Scout council‐sponsored product sales, which include magazines, nuts and candy, as well as cookies, give girls proven opportunities to earn money and/or credits for their Girl Scout program activities. These sales also contribute significantly to the girls’ local councils and communities through take‐action projects. In order to ensure the emotional and physical safety and well-being of girls, which is always a top priority in any activity, you need to read and understand the following guidelines.
Communicate with Parents
Ensure that the parents/guardians of all girls participating in product sales are fully informed about the activity including the:
- Safety precautions in place
- Need for appropriate clothing and/or supplies
- Need for advance arrangements for all transportation and confirmation of these plans
- Need for written permission from them in order for their daughter to participate
- Location of designated sale areas, which are also communicated to the Council
Prepare for Emergencies
Regardless of the type of activity, you need to be prepared for emergencies involving girls or other adults. This should include having a first aid kit always available and making sure that if someone is injured and needs help, that one adult cares for the injured person while another adult seeks help.
Arrange Adult Supervision
Adults provide supervision and guidance for all grade levels, and must accompany Girl Scout Daisies, Brownies, and Juniors when they are selling, taking orders for or delivering products. Adults must be present at booth activities, regardless of the age of the girls (see Adult/Girl Ratios.).
Adults who oversee Girl Scout Cadettes, Seniors and Ambassadors must:
- Be aware of how, when and where the girls are selling products
- Be on call when girls are participating in product sales
- Be readily available to them should they need assistance
- Help girls understand how to be safe in their surroundings, and always enforce the use of the buddy system
- Adult supervision for all Girl Scouts extends to any online activity
See Online Safety for specific information about safe online practices for all activities, and to obtain a copy of the Girl Scout Internet Safety Pledge
Plan for Safeguarding Money
Girls should always have a plan for safeguarding money, which includes such things as:
- Not walking around with large amounts of money
- Keeping the cash box against a wall or behind a barrier of cookie boxes
- Not keeping money at home or school
- Giving cookie money to supervising adults, who will deposit the money as soon as possible
Use the Buddy System
Using the buddy system, girls are divided into teams of two. Each girl is responsible for staying with her buddy at all times, warning her buddy of danger, giving her buddy immediate assistance if safe to do so, and seeking help when the situation warrants it. Girls are encouraged to stay near the group or buddy with another team of two, so in the event someone is injured, one person cares for the patient while two others seek help.
Be Streetwise and Follow Your Instincts
In order to ensure the safety of girls while selling door-to-door, you and the girls should become familiar with the areas and neighborhoods in which girls would like to sell. In addition, girls should:
- Participate in door‐to‐door sales only until 8:00 p.m.
- Wear a membership pin, uniform, or Girl Scout clothing (e.g., Girl Scout T‐shirt) to clearly identify themselves as Girl Scouts.
- Avoid a house or person that makes them uncomfortable. They should walk away and find the next person/place that does not make them uncomfortable.
- Call 9-1-1 if they see someone that seems to be acting in a way that makes them feel unsafe. This could include, but is not limited to, any person who is staring at them for long periods, seems to be following them for no apparent reason or takes pictures of the them.
- Use safe pedestrian practices, such as crossing at corners and obeying walk signals.
- Not enter the home or vehicle of a stranger, and to avoid selling to people in vehicles (except at drive-thru cookie booths) or going into alleys.
- Not provide more than their first name. They should give an adult’s contact information if requested.
- Should not carry large amounts of money (see “Plan for Safeguarding Money”, above).
Cookie booths are a traditional and fun way of selling Girl Scout Cookies. Booth locations are approved by councils, facilitated within council jurisdiction and you must follow all council guidelines with regard to setting up, manning and taking down a booth.
When setting up booth sales, it’s important that:
- Adults are present at all times.
- There is adequate space at the booth site/location for table, products and girls and to allow safe passage by pedestrians, bikes and cars.
- Girls are a safe distance from cars. If possible, set up a safety barrier between cars and the booth—perhaps a few volunteers could park their cars in spaces near the booth location.
- The booth is not blocking a store entrance or exit.
- Girls and adults do not confront or engage an irate customer, but call local authorities for assistance.
- While girls can receive cash from buyers and make change, they should hand the money to an adult for safekeeping. It is important that cash is kept safe and out of sight. This can be accomplished by:
- Keeping the cash box against a wall or behind a barrier of cookie boxes.
- Having an adult volunteer keep the money by, for example, securing it in a front‐facing pouch tied around her waist.
- If someone takes money or cookies from your booth, do not attempt to physically recover the stolen items and do not allow the girls to do so. Instead, get a good description of the offender(s), call 911, and alert local security (if applicable). Make sure girls know what to do in case of theft. Report any incidents to your local council according to its guidelines.