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Chapter 6: Product Programs

Product programs are the main way Girl Scout troops earn funds for the activities and outings that help them have new experiences. But there is more to these programs than meets the eye. They help girls learn essential life skills too!

Types of Programs:

Cookie Program

Cookie season occurs between the months of January and March. Troop leaders can learn the basics by taking the Getting Started with Your Troop (6) online at Troop fall managers (TFMs) and troop cookie managers (TCMs) take annual training and are supported by their service unit cookie coordinator during the season. Learn more about Girl Scout Cookies.

See the video: The Girl Scout Cookie Program.

Cookie Donations (Operation Thin Mint)

Customers who wish to purchase cookies for donation can donate to Operation Thin MintSM (OTM), which sends donated cookies to deployed troops who are serving around the world including in Afghanistan, Iraq, Africa, Japan, Korea, and the Western Pacific and Indian Ocean. All local cookie donations go to Operation Thin MintSM. Donated cookies cannot be resold. Learn more about OTM

Fall Product Program

The fall product program is a nut, magazine, and snack program that helps girls earn startup funds in the fall for their troop year. It’s for “friends and family,” which means that girls don’t market items in public. Booth activities are not permitted. Girls are encouraged to market door-to-door in their immediate neighborhood, but canvassing the county is not allowed. It’s a good opportunity for volunteers and girls to get their feet wet before diving in to the cookie program. Learn more about the fall product program.


Roles and Training:

Volunteer’s Role

Girl Scouts means girl-led. As you and your troop prepare for product programs, work with girls to make plans and set goals.

  • Give girls access to info and training and let girls engage with customers and deliver products themselves. Girls make all sales, except where volunteers are helping Daisies handle money.
  • Teach girls product program safety guidelines.
  • Help girls understand finances and give them ways to practice money skills.
  • Advise girls on how to market cookies, but let girls make their own decisions.
Cookie Captains

Cookie Captains are older Girl Scouts who can help younger girls learn about the cookie business. If you’d like a Cookie Captain to assist your troop, contact your service unit cookie coordinator.


Troop leaders and co-leaders can take an overview of the fall product program and the cookie program online. Find the course in the New Leader Learning Path on your online learning dashboard at—it’s automatically assigned. Sign in with your username (Girl Scout email) and password. Contact if you need assistance.

Seasonal training for both programs is available for volunteers filling a troop fall manager (TFM) or troop cookie manager (TCM) role. Visit our cookies page or contact your service unit for more information.


More Resources:

Skills Girls Learn

Product programs help girls learn to set goals, make decisions, manage money, learn people skills, and business ethics. Participating in the cookie program and the fall product program helps girls gain confidence too. It’s not easy to ask people to buy something. Girls have to speak up, look people in the eye, and believe in what they’re doing—all skills that help girls succeed in life. Learn more with The Girl Scout Cookie Program: 5 Skills for Girls booklet at

Where Proceeds Go

After paying for the cost of Fall products and cookies, all proceeds stay in San Diego and Imperial counties to provide Girl Scout programs in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM); the outdoors; life skills; travel; entrepreneurship, and more.

It’s important to remember that troop members share the proceeds they’ve earned by participating in product programs. Proceeds don’t belong to any one girl or group of girls in the troop. Also, girls decide how they’ll use their funds.

Proceeds must be used for the purpose of Girl Scouting. Troop funds cannot be used to purchase memberships or uniforms for another organization.

“All money and other assets, including property, that are raised, earned, or otherwise received in the name of and for the benefit of Girl Scouting must be held and authorized by a Girl Scout Council or Girl Scouts of the USA. Such money and other assets must be used for the purposes of Girl Scouting.”–Girl Scout Blue Book of Basic Documents

Individual girls in troops are eligible for cookie rewards. Independently registered members can earn cookie bucks in lieu of cash proceeds.  

Product Program Safety Guidelines

Girl Scout cookies give girls an incredible opportunity to learn skills and earn funds to do amazing things, but safety comes first. Follow the safety guidelines anytime your Girl Scout troop participates in product programs.

Contact Information

Contact Info for Product Complaints:

Troops contact to let us know about quality concerns. Customers contact the manufacturers directly:

  • For Fall Program products: UNIFY at 1-877-305-4146. (Monday–Friday 6:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.)
  • For Girl Scout Cookies: Little Brownie Bakers at 1-800-962-1718. Contact information is also listed on each cookie package.

Council Product Program Contact Information:

Questions about product programs? Contact