Your 2017 Cookie Program Guide

This post will be your one-stop Cookie Program resource! You’ll definitely want to bookmark this page — we’ll continually update the post with the most up-to-date information to help your 2017 Cookie Program go smoothly.


Get Ready with Cookie Program Training:

Service Unit Product Chair (SUPC) Training: This training is for Service Unit Product Chairs responsible for the 2017 Cookie Program. Click here to access the recorded training.

Juliette Parent/Guardian Training: This training is designed for Juliette parent/guardians who are new to the Cookie Program. We will discuss definitions, what girls should learn from the program, how to facilitate it and council policies. Click here to access the recorded training.

Troop Cookie Program Refresh: This training is designed for returning volunteers who will be acting in the Troop Product Manager role. Click here to access the recorded training.

Troop Cookie Program Basics: This training is designed for new volunteers who will be acting in the Troop Product Manager role. We will discuss definitions, what girls should learn from the program, how to facilitate it and council policies. Click here to access the recorded training.

Snap+ 101 Training: This training is designed for all Troop Product Managers. We will do a complete walk through of the Snap+ system. This year will have many enhancements that new and returning volunteers will be excited to hear about. Click here to access the recorded training.


Cookie Program Resources

This is your one stop shop for all things Cookies. Updated guides for the 2017 program will be listed here so you get everything you need in one place!

Shout Outs – Links to all Shout Out Product Program Newsletters will be added to this Bridge post.

Forms & Agreements

 

  • Bad Check Form (Fill out this form if you need to report a bounced check that you received in exchange for cookies.)
  • Girl Shortage Form (Fill out this form if you have not received full payment from a troop family for the cookies they received to sell.)
  • Payment Adjustment Form (Fill out this form if you need to adjust the amount withdrawn during one of the sweeps from your troop account due to a girl shortage.)
  • More to come! Check back soon. 

Program Guides

  • Volunteer Guide – This guide is for Troop Product Managers and Service Unit Product Chairs to manage the Cookie Program. It includes important dates, deadlines and helpful information to start the program.
  • Family Guide – A resource for families who have a Girl Scout in a troop participating in the Cookie Program.
  • Juliette Guide – A resource for Juliette (individually registered girls) and their families who are participating in the Cookie Program.

 

  • Bank Account Set-Up – Check out our Bridge post for helpful information on getting your troop bank account set up!
  • Booth Sale Guide for Volunteers – This guide has all the information you need to know about booth sales for your troop during the Cookie Program.
  • COCOdirect Guide – This guide has helpful information about how to use COCOdirect to sell cookies online and have them shipped directly to your customers.
  • Contests & Promotions Guide – This guide contains information on all of the contests and promotions available for troops and consumers during the 2017 Cookie Program.
  • Cookie Cupboard/Jar Listing – This document contains information all Cookie Cupboard and Cookie Jar locations for restocking your cookie supply during the program.
  • Cookie Dough, Munch Money, and Program Credit Policies – Information on how Cookie Dough, Munch Money, and Juliette Program Credits can be earned and used through the Product Programs.
  • Cookie Rally Planning Guide – Information on holding a Cookie Rally to prepare your troop and service unit for an awesome program.
  • Credit Card Reader Request Form – A limited number of credit card readers (known as Clovers) are available for check out from the council for the 2017 Cookie Program. Clovers are available on a first-come, first-served basis based on requests received through this form.
  • Delivery Day – This volunteer guide explains the tips and frequently asked questions about the day that cookies are delivered to service units.
  • How the Cookie Crumbles – This chart shows where the proceeds from the Cookie Program go in our council.
  • Juliette Deposit-Only Card Guide – This guide contains information for Juliettes using a deposit-only card (rather than a troop bank account) to manage their money.
  • Managing Cookie Money – This document for volunteers contains details and resources to help manage money during the Cookie Program.
  • Recognition Panel – This panel is included with your girl cookie Order Card and shows all items girls can earn through the Cookie Program (including Cookie Dough).
  • Safety Activity Checkpoints (Product Programs) – These guidelines will help ensure your Girl Scouts have a safe Cookie Program.
  • Trios Gluten Free Guide – This guide has information on the gluten free Trios pilot, and how those cookies need to be managed differently.
  • Troop and Girl Experiences Guide – This guide gives you a quick look at all of the unique experiences – from camp to trips – that girls and troops can earn during the 2017 Cookie Program!
  • Web and Mobile Tools – This guide will help you navigate the different ways Girl Scouts can use technology to supplement their Cookie Program.
  • More to come! Check back soon.

Snap+ Guides and Videos

Interactive Tools

  • Booth Sale Reconciliation Worksheet – Use this worksheet to keep track of your cookies and finances during booth sales.
  • Buy 5 and Win Entry Form – Entry form for customers to fill out when participating in the Buy 5 and Win contest during the Cookie Program.
  • Buy 5 and Win Flyer – A flyer for troops to promote the Buy 5 and Win contest for the 2017 Cookie Program.
  • Buy 5 and Win Official Rules – The official rules for the Buy 5 and Win contest during the Cookie Program.
  • Cookie Booth Recruitment Flyer (NEW) – This half page flyer can be printed and handed out during your troop’s booth sales to encourage new girls to join Girl Scouts!
  • Cookie Share Donation Record – Use this form to have girls record any Cookie Share donations they receive during the Cookie Program.
  • Cookie Troop 100 Website – This GSUSA page has all the information you need to join “Cookie Troop 100” with your troop!
  • Family Training Presentation – This powerpoint is meant to help Troop Product Managers present helpful 2017 Cookie Program information to Girl Scout families.
  • Family Training PDF – This printable PDF is meant to help Troop Product Managers present helpful 2017 Cookie Program information to Girl Scout families.
  • Initial Order Estimator for Returning Troops and Juliettes – This fillable excel file will help returning troops and Juliettes estimate their Initial Order for cookies.
  • Mini Order Card – Use this printable Order Card if you need more space for cookie orders.
  • Mix It Up Contest Flyer – This printable flyer will help you promote the Mix It Up baking challenge with your customers.
  • Mix It Up Official Rules – The official rules for the Mix It Up: Girl Scout Cookie Challenge.
  • New Troop Initial Order Estimator (Fillable) – This fillable excel file will help new troops and Juliettes (individually-registered girls) decide how many cookies to order for the start of the program.
  • Troop Inventory Tracking (Fillable) – This tool is for Troop Product Managers who like to keep detailed records of the cookies they move within their troop. Keep track of cookies going out, money coming in all in one place with all girls listed on one page. (Optional)
  • Troop Inventory Tracking (Printable) – This printable PDF will help you track your troop’s cookie inventory. (Optional)
  • Check back soon for links to more interactive tools.

Family Resources

Be sure to check out our “Family Resources” section on the Resources page of our website for some great info to give your troop families!

Keep an eye out for more great information and resources soon. Happy Cookie Season!

March 2017: Your Checklist for Success

Need a refresher from last month? Check out the February Checklist!

Need to download a copy of the March Checklist? Click here!


March At-a-Glance

  • March 2: First auto-withdrawal for the 2017 Cookie Program takes place.
  • March 11: First Aid/CPR Training in Ankeny.
  • March 12: Order-Taking ends for the 2017 Cookie Program.
  • March 19: COCOdirect and booth sales end for the 2017 Cookie Program.

Upcoming – For Girls, Troops, and Families

Claim Her Spot for the Best Summer Ever – For Only $35!

  • Did you know? You don’t have to pay your Girl Scout’s full camp session fee all at once! Only the $35 deposit is due at the time you register, and then you can pay the rest later (and apply the Cookie Dough your Girl Scout earns this year). Check out the awesome sessions at Camp Sacajawea and Camp Tanglefoot, and register today!

Winter Events

Troops and Girl Scout families can view and register for events around the council from the Events Calendar on our website. You can also find program kits and field trips online!
Be sure to check out upcoming programs near you:

  • Camp Cookout – Join us March 25 to learn all about cooking over a campfire at the Des Moines Leadership Center (grades 2-5).
  • Backpacking Adventure – Girls in grades 4-12 can join us April 13-15 for a backpacking trip in the Loess Hills!
  • Red Cross Babysitting Class – Cadettes and older can gain valuable training to be a safe, reliable babysitter through the Red Cross! The cost (for supplies) is $25/girl; maximum participants is 12. If your troop or service unit is interested in hosting a class, email info@gsiowa.org with the following info: leader name, email address, city, # of girls, potential dates (supply two), potential location.

Volunteer Resources

Wells Fargo Community Service Grant

  • Thanks to Wells Fargo, Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa troops have the opportunity to receive grant funding ($100 – $500) for service projects in local communities. Find out more information on what projects qualify and how to apply on our website at girlscoutsiowa.org/wellsfargo!

Circle of Excellence Registration is OPEN!

  • Registration is open now for our big Circle of Excellence celebration on April 22 in Ames! Dr. Nancy Franz will be our keynote speaker, and the event will be FREE for all current Girl Scout members (girls and adults), and $15 per non-member – please note that registration is still required for all, even if you do not need to pay a registration fee. Register now on our website Event List!

First-Aid/CPR Classes

  • Need to complete your first aid/CPR training? We have a few scheduled trainings coming up across the council (first aid/CPR training will also be available at the Fall Leader Retreat – see below for more info).

Indoor Trampoline Parks and Safety

  • With the council’s express permission, indoor trampoline parks are one of only two freefall activities not prohibited by Girl Scouts. An indoor trampoline park is an enclosed gymnasium-like space consisting of many connected trampolines used to turn an entire room into a massive trampoline. Indoor trampoline courts, because they are contained, low-impact, and adjustable to size and skill-level of participants, is one of two freefall activities not prohibited by Girl Scouts. Indoor Trampoline Parks have padded walls, soft (may be foam pits) landing areas and staff trained to watch for possible unsafe behavior. Indoor trampolining is not recommended for Girl Scout Daisies.
  • Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa has only approved the following indoor trampoline parks to date.  If you have a park in your area please let us know so we can verify they meet the safety standards.  Be sure that each family has signed a specific release form for the facility for each of your girls.  If you have any questions please contact your Troop Support Manager.
    • Sky Zone Trampoline Park, 1300 SE Gateway Dr. #103, Grimes, IA 50111
    • Get Air Des Moines, 3799 86th St, Urbandale, IA 50322

Save the Date for the Fall Leader Retreat

  • The 2017 Fall Leader Retreat will take place October 20-22 at beautiful Camp Sacajawea in Boone! Keep an eye out for more information, including details on which volunteer training will be offered, daily schedules, and more.

Girl Scout Week


Girl Scout Q&A

 Q: Can I get gluten free Trios through my Planned Order in Snap+?

A: Trios will not be available through the Planned Order process to pick up at cupboards. If a troop would like Trios they will need to get them from a troop who does have them and do a Troop-to-Troop Transfer. We encourage troops to network amongst one another as well as check out the Facebook groups which may be available for leaders to access in their respective areas.  Troops who are picking up Planned Orders at a cupboard may also ask the cupboard manager if they have any Trios from any exchanges, and if the cupboard does the troop is welcome to them. However, inventory is not guaranteed and they will be given on a first-come, first-served basis; we are unable to hold Trios for any troops.

Q: How much will be withdrawn from my troop bank account during the first Cookie Program auto-withdrawal on March 2?

A: On February 23, the Troop Product Manager will receive an email detailing the amount that will be withdrawn on March 2. This total is calculated by $1/package received by the troop through February 18. For the second auto-withdrawal on April 4, the remaining balance due will be withdrawn.

Q: How can I get in touch with local leaders to exchange cookies?

A: Check out our region-based Facebook cookie exchange notes! You can post in the comments with what you have or are looking for, and then exchange contact information with each other via private message. Check out the exchange note nearest you:

Volunteer Cookie Cupboard/Jar Resources

**Please note: This post contains resources for the volunteers who are running the Volunteer Cookie Cupboards and Jars during the 2017 Cookie Program. If you are not helping run a cupboard or jar, you can ignore this content.**

Resources for Volunteers Running Cookie Cupboards and Jars

Printable Tools for Troops

Let Your Voice Be Heard: Apply to Be an Annual Meeting Delegate!

Do you want to learn more about how the council is run? Would you like to have the chance to vote on council business for the upcoming year? Every year, Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa holds an Annual Meeting to bring together delegates from across the council, board members, and staff to do just that!

The 2017 Annual Meeting will be held on April 18, 2017 at 6:30 p.m. via a teleconference. Any member 14 years of age or older is welcome to apply to be an official voting delegate, but all members are invited to attend the meeting. Delegates and visitors alike will be able to access the meeting from their own homes, and will not need to travel!

At the Annual Meeting, delegates:

1 Elect officers, board members at large, members of the Board Development Committee; and this year, the delegates and alternates to the National Convention.

2 Consider any proposed amendments to the bylaws.

3 Provide input on key issues affecting the Council and the Movement.

4 Consider any other business appropriate to come before the corporation in accordance with the process established by the board of directors.

It’s very important to us that every service unit and community can have their voices be heard in these decisions!

Interested in participating in this unique opportunity? Start the process of applying to be a delegate by contacting their Service Unit Manager.

We will be emailing delegate materials in early March, so make that call today!

Have any questions, or not sure who to contact? Email us at info@gsiowa.org.

 

February 2017: Checklist for Success

Need a refresher from last month? Check out the January Checklist.

Need to download a copy of the February Checklist? Click here!


February At-a-Glance

  • February 1: The 2017 Cookie Program Begins! Order-Taking starts now.
  • February 8: Live announcement of Winter Membership Drive winners on Facebook at approx. 11am
  • February 10: Booth sales start for the Cookie Program.
  • February 27: Registration deadline for Girl Scout Day at the Capitol.

Upcoming – For Girls, Troops, and Families

Winter Events

Troops and Girl Scout families can view and register for events around the council from the Events Calendar on our website. You can also find program kits and field trips online!
Be sure to check out upcoming programs near you:

  • Girl Scout Day at the Capitol – Get a behind-the-scenes look at how our state government works on Monday, March 13! (Registration Deadline: 2/27/17)
  • FIRST LEGO League (Jr. FLL) (ages 6 – 10) – Let her inner innovator shine! Jr. FLL features a real-world challenge to be solved by research, critical thinking, construction, teamwork, and imagination. Teams use LEGO® bricks to build a model with a motorized part and develop a coordinating poster to illustrate their journey. We still have the opportunity to sponsor a few more teams for the 2016-2017 season. Email info@gsiowa.org to learn more!

Volunteer Resources

Girl Scout Week Program Kit

  • Girl Scout Week, celebrated March 12 – 18 this year, is fast approaching! To make it easier to plan your festivities in honor of Girl Scouts’ 105th birthday, we’ve put together a Program Kit (also featured in the program/camp book)! Check out the kit (and lots more) on our website.

Last Chance to Nominate Amazing Volunteers!

The Volunteer Toolkit – What GSGI Volunteers Think!

  • The Volunteer Toolkit (VTK) is a tool, accessible through the MyGS login on our homepage, that allows volunteers to plan your year, customize meetings, communicate with families, and so much more! The volunteers of Troop 00980, who are navigating their first year as leaders, have this to say about the VTK:

“Having no knowledge of what should/should not happen in meetings, this has served to give ideas and direction for our meetings.  It’s easy to go in, see what is there, and change what we want without having to start from scratch.  Having the resources, printouts, etc. right there without having to search is great too.  It’s a customizable road map which is especially nice since we are a new troop with new leaders.”

Circle of Excellence

  • Registration is opening soon for our big Circle of Excellence celebration on April 22 in Ames! Dr. Nancy Franz will be our keynote speaker, and the event will be FREE for all current Girl Scout members (girls and adults) – please note that registration is still required once it has opened. Check out more information on our website.

Building Girl Scouts

Winners Announced Live – Winter Membership Drive

  • On February 8 at 11:00 a.m., we’ll draw the winners of our Winter Membership Drive contest gift cards, live on our Facebook page!

Your Girl Scout Shop

Your Cookie Booth Gear!

  • We’ve got yard signs, car magnets, balloons, tablecloths, and more in the council shops to help your troop bling their booth! Stop by today.

Cookie Carts

  • Special “cookie carts” will be available in shops in early February. Limited quantities available – stop by as soon as you can in February!

National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend Patch

  • Is your troop or service unit doing something special to celebrate National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend (February 24-26)? Bring in a photo of your festivities (on your phone is fine) to any GSGI shop from February 27 – March 5 and you’ll receive a free National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend patch for all participating girls!

Girl Scout Q&A

 Q: Why does (Girl Scout name) have an asterisk next to her name in SNAP+? 

A: Girls with asterisks next to their names have a financial restriction with the council.  Please note that these girls may participate in the Cookie Program through booth sales, and by accessing COCOdirect to send e-mails to family and friends to purchase cookies. However, they are not able to handle product or money directly.  You may Transfer cookies to these girls as long as they are for booth sales and not direct sales.

Q: I have a girl showing in SNAP+ who is not selling cookies with my troop.  Can she be removed?

A:  Girls who are active members of the troop but are not participating in the Cookie Program can remain listed in SNAP+.  Girls without any cookies transferred to them in SNAP+ will not impact your troop’s PGA or incentives earned.  If a girl is no longer actively involved with your troop and is not supposed to appear on your MyGS Troop Roster, email us at info@gsiowa.org and we will be sure to place her appropriately.

Q: Where can I access helpful information for the Cookie Program?

A:  Be sure that you’re subscribed to our Shout Out! Newsletters – you can find a list of links to previous Shout Outs! and a link to the subscription form on the Bridge. You can also find a complete roundup of resources at gsgibridge.com/cookieprogram.

Get Ready, Get Set – Get Trained!

*This post is part of our new “onboarding” section for brand new Girl Scout volunteers! If you’re a current volunteer, you can still feel free to browse for a refresher.

We are so excited to offer online training opportunities for volunteers! Here’s why you should be excited too:

  1. Do it on your time! Whether you have free time at night or early in the morning, these new trainings will be accessible 24/7.
  2. Train in easily-digestible pieces! You don’t have to do any of the trainings in one sitting. Have 20 minutes free each evening? No problem! You can stop and start your course wherever you would like.
  3. Review information whenever you want! After you finish the course, you can return to review information weeks or months later for a quick refresher.
  4. Train from home. Now there’s no need to go out after relaxing at home. You can’t beat training while rocking some cozy pajamas!

Excited and ready to get started? 

Here’s how you can create an account in the Volunteer Learning Portal and enroll in a course! 

1. Go to training.girlscoutsiowa.org. On the left-hand side of the screen, click “Create New Account.”

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2. Complete the information as listed. Please use the same e-mail address which you used to register your membership for Girl Scouts.

training-2

3. Check your e-mail account for an e-mail titled “Girl Scouts Iowa Virtual Troop: account confirmation” from Admin User (info@brightcoreconsulting.com). Click the link in the e-mail to confirm your new account!

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4. Click the title of the course you wish to take.

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5. Click the “Enroll me” button on the bottom of the page.

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You’re all set! View the training in chunks as it fits your schedule, and as always – email us at info@gsiowa.org or give us a call at 800-342-8389 if you have any questions.

MyGS: What is It? What Can I Do There?

*This post is part of our new “onboarding” section for brand new Girl Scout volunteers! If you’re a current volunteer, you can still feel free to browse for a refresher.

It’s easier than ever to manage your troop online through the My GS portal – from planning your meetings, to updating contact information, to registering for each new and exciting year.

What is My GS?

My GS is a renewal and volunteer resource tool built into one login. It houses:

  • Member Profile – Your member profile gives you the power to update family information, add additional volunteer roles during the year, and renew each girl, adult, family, or troop!
  • Volunteer Toolkit – This powerful toolkit lets you update your troop’s information, plan your entire year, and communicate with families.

It’s easy to access these great resources in one place!

Where is My GS located on our website?

You can find My GS within the green selection bar of our website, highlighted in yellow font.  Select which tool you’d like to use, and log in.

If you’re a first-time user or have forgotten your login, simply click “Forgot your password” in the login screen, and watch for an e-mail from gsusacustomercare@gsusa.org.

mygs1

Who has access to the Volunteer Toolkit?

  • Troop Leader access: Troop Leaders have the ability to view and edit troop info, year plans, and more! This access is given to all those designated as “Troop Leader” for that troop, with a current membership & eligible background check.
  • Parent/Guardian access: One parent/guardian per family has access to the VTK too, but only to view the schedule and information.

Want more information on the Volunteer Toolkit? Head over to our Volunteer Toolkit Guide!

Who has access to Member Profile?

The primary parent/guardian for each family has access to the Member Profile. Our system can also support access for multiple volunteers in a household, if additional roles need to be added.

How can I add additional volunteer roles to myself?

Select the “Add Role” button on the main page of Member Profile as circled below. You will search for your troop or service unit to locate your associated volunteer position(s) and click “Next.” It will return you to your home (Membership) page & show your current membership with the additional role(s).

vtk

Need any help? Give us a call at 800-342-8389, or email us at info@gsiowa.org!

So You’re a New Girl Scout Leader! Here’s Your Checklist for a Great Start

*This post is part of our new “onboarding” section for brand new Girl Scout volunteers! If you’re a current volunteer, you can still feel free to browse for a refresher.

We’re so excited that you’ve decided to start your Girl Scout volunteer journey, and we want to make the process as easy as possible.

Here is your new leader checklist – and you can download a handy printable version (with fillable areas for details like locations and dates) here if you like checking things off your to-do list as much as we do!

  1. Get started by joining now!

❒ Become a registered adult Girl Scout member.

❒ Complete the Verified Volunteers background check.

❒ Watch Welcome video & answer questions in MyGS.


  1. Schedule Orientation with our Troop Support team:

❒ Complete Troop Leader Orientation.

❒ Receive Daisy/Brownie Start-Up Funds if applicable new troop.


  1. Review and sign your Troop Volunteer Agreement.

     4. Get to know your resources:


     5. Complete your required training in-person or online through the Volunteer Training Portal.

❒ Managing Troops & Groups

❒ Leading Your Level (Part I and Level-Specific)


     6. Connect with your Service Unit Manager and other volunteers in your community.

❒ Find out the meeting schedule for your Service Unit.


     7. Meet with your troop volunteer(s):

❒ Troops must have 2 leaders/co-leaders (must be unrelated and one must be female).

❒ All volunteers must become registered adult Girl Scout members & complete the background check.

❒ Determine additional volunteer roles.

– Suggestions: Fall Product Manager, Cookie Manager, Troop Treasurer, Meeting Helper, Communications Coordinator, Chaperone

❒ Review Girls’ Guide to Girl Scouting, Journey books, & Volunteer Toolkit to brainstorm ideas.

❒ Review your list of registered girls by signing into MyGS – Volunteer Toolkit & clicking “My Troop” tab.

❒ Write a parent letter/email.


     8. Communicate with all troop families:

❒ Send parent letter/email about first meetings.

❒ Schedule and hold a Parent/Guardian Meeting.

❒ Determine troop dues (if any).

❒ Decide on Troop Meeting details.

– Helpful Hint: Schedule your troop meetings around your availability. As much as possible, take into account your family needs, holidays, and availability of meeting place.

– Troops meet at many locations, including schools, churches and local community centers.

❒ Submit your troop meeting information through the Troop Catalog Update Form.


     8. Begin using Volunteer Toolkit:

❒ Choose a year plan to customize.

❒ Set up your first few meetings.


     9. Hold your first Troop Meeting:

❒ Make sure all girl & adult registrations are completed – financial assistance is available.

❒ Confirm completed background checks by troop volunteers.

❒ Get parents active in troop volunteer roles.

❒ Discuss & brainstorm how the year ahead can look.

❒ See if older Girls Scouts are available to assist.


     10. Open a Girl Scout Bank Account:

❒ Contact bank in advance to confirm what additional items or paperwork are required to open account.

❒ Complete Troop & Service Unit Bank Account Form and follow instructions to submit.

Enjoy your volunteer adventure!

If you have any questions along the way, email us at info@gsiowa.org, or give us a call at 800-342-8389!