We all know that, when a Girl Scout places a pin or a badge on her uniform, it symbolizes an important achievement. Earned awards tell a story of the tangible skills a girl has mastered over the years—from archery to survival camping, first aid to public speaking, computer science, good sportsmanship, and so much more!
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One of the cornerstones of the Girl Scout Program is that girls receive first-hand exposure to experiential entrepreneurship and financial literacy opportunities, part of which is accomplished through the Girl Scout Cookie Program. Did you know that we actually have a series of badges and pins that complement the cookie program? Well, we totally do—14 of them, to be exact!
I appreciate our financial literacy and entrepreneurship badges because they can help troop leaders create the perfect framework for helping their girls rock the cookie program. When I was a troop leader, I loved being able to plan the final meetings before our big launch around earning all of the Cookie Business badges—it made meeting planning a breeze and helped the girls start thinking like business owners, which I think is a formative part of their learning experience.
Now, as you’re gearing up for your cookie sale, check out these 14 awards that seamlessly integrate into the Girl Scout Cookie Program and will help your girls kick-off their cookie biz with ease!
Cookie Activity Pin
The annual Cookie Activity pin acknowledges participation in the Girl Scout Cookie Program and recognizes the five skills (goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills, and business ethics), learned and practiced during the sale. The requirements walk you through each of the 5 Skills practiced in the cookie program and will help your girls reflect on their accomplishments along the way.
Cookie Business Badges
When your girls take part in the Girl Scout Cookie Program, you are part of the largest business run by girls in the whole world! Earning Cookie Business badges give Girl Scouts the chance to hone their skills and gain an understanding of the world of business, which is something that will stay with them into the early years of their career. (Trust me, I definitely called on many of the lessons I learned in my own cookie badge work when I started my first job! Money management? People skills? It’s all so valuable!)
These Cookie Business badges demonstrate that a girl has developed specific skills related to running her own business and, when a Girl Scout wears these emblems, she lets the world know she’s a real-life Cookie Boss.
|Talk It Up: When Daisies earn the Talk It Up leaf, they’ll learn to figure out your customer needs and wants by deciding how to use your cookie money, talking about how to use cookie money to help others, and inspiring your customers with your goals. This is a great complement to your conversation around what kinds of service projects you want to do with your cookie money.|
|Count It Up: This badge is great for teaching your Daisies about the product they’ll be selling. As they work on Count It Up, they’ll find out what cookies cost, learn about different kinds of cookies, and set a sales goal. As they learn about how much coins and bills are worth, they’ll be able to use what they know to ask customers to buy some cookies!|
|Give Back: As Brownies earn this badge, they’ll find out how philanthropists give money to help others and then use the skills they learned to come up with ideas for how to give back with some of their cookie money! They’ll do this by setting a giving goal, learning how to involve their customers in their goals, and telling their customers how they’ve helped your troop achieve their goals.|
|Meet My Customers: As your Brownies earn the Meet My Customers badge, they can make an elf paper doll and take her shopping and learn a lot about how to manage their money by pretending to be a customer! Girls will find out who their customers are, talk to some customers, practice handling money and making change, and role-play good customer relations.|
|Cookie CEO: The Cookie CEO badge will help your Juniors come up with ideas for a business you’d like to run someday, and then do research to see if the business would succeed. As they work through the badge, girls will set a group goal, explore how a small business works, and even learn how to track their sales. And guess what? When you troop sells Girl Scout Cookies, they’re already running their own business — so why not earn this badge for it?|
|Customer Insights: This badge will help your Juniors learn how to use their money wisely as they learn to tell the difference between what they “need” and what they “want”. And they’ll learn about how their customers want to use their money wisely when they make purchasing decisions as they do research at the grocery store, find out who buys cookies and why, and learn from people who don’t buy cookies. Then they’ll use all this great information to make their cookie business even stronger!|
|Business Plan: When you run a business, you need a plan for the overall business, including the money you earn and how you want to use it. As your Cadettes earn the Cookie Business badge, they’ll write their cookie business mission statement and goals, make a risk management plan and get feedback from experts, learn to increase their customer base, and more!|
|Marketing: Once your Cadettes have earned this badge, they can use some of what you learned to create a strong advertisement and marketing message for their cookie sale! The Marketing badge will help girls learn about brand identity, develop their marketing messages, and create their own marketing campaign from the ground up – sweet!|
|Think Big: As Cadettes earn this badge, they’ll learn to think big about their future (pun intended, of course). Your troop will come up with a big idea to take their sales to the next level, sell their big dream to others, and ask experts to help take their plan up a notch.|
|My Portfolio: The My Portfolio badge will help your Seniors learn to invest in themselves, whether that means going to a trade school, community college, or university. No matter what path she chooses after high school — continuing her education or getting a job — she’ll find that her cookie sales experience will put her a step ahead. From creating a cookie resume and putting together a portfolio to learning how to market herself and ace an interview, this badge will help your girls reach their full potential.|
|Customer Loyalty: Thorough this badge, Seniors will find out how to make wise judgments about how to spend their money — including what companies or products they’ll stick with over the long haul. Then they’ll use what they learned as a consumer to find out how to engage their customers and ensure their loyalty beyond the cookie sale season, so they’ll keep coming back for more.|
|Research & Development: When Ambassadors earn their Research & Development badge, they make a plan for their future. One way that businesses plan for the future is through R&D — Research and Development. They spend time and money researching new ideas and create budget for development — taking those new ideas, refining them, and bringing them to the market. Your girls will implement R&D in their cookie biz, too! They’ll analyze sales trends, explore possible new projects, and develop fun new ways to use Girl Scout Cookies.|
|Profit & Loss:This P&L badge helps Ambassadors learn how to use money wisely so that they’ll be seen as a good credit risk — someone who will be responsible and meet her financial obligations. Then they’ll use those same values of honesty and responsibility as they run their cookie business – and teach younger Girl Scouts what they’ve learned. After all, practicing good business ethics means looking at both the business P&L (profit and loss) and the Girl Scout P&L (Promise and Law)!|
BONUS: 2018 Cookie Pro Patch
Are your girls barrier breakin,’ challenge crushin,’ lead takin’ cookie entrepreneurs? This cookie season, show the world how the largest girl-led entrepreneurial program in the world prepares girls to lead, learn, succeed, and shine—not only for today but also for the future—by entering our Girl Scouts of the USA’s Cookie Pro 2018 Contest from January 2 through April 30, 2018. Every girl who enter earns this exclusive patch!
Phew, that’s a lot of badges! But hey, it leaves us no shortage of fun activities to do with our girls this spring, right? 😉 As you can see, the awards at each age level really do cover all of the concepts you’d want to talk to your troop about during the sale. Best of all, it’s in a clearly progressive way: one day your Daisies start off learning how to count money and, next thing you know, they’re Ambassadors creating their own plans for R&D. (They grow up so fast, don’t they?)
Do you have any plans to work on some of these Cookie Business badges with your troop? Let us know in the comments below how you integrate them into your meeting plans!
What to do next:
- Read more of our blog posts about the Girl Scout Cookie Program!
- For other badges Girl Scouts can earn outside of the cookie program, check out the Badge Explorer.
Marissa Vessels—Marissa is the Director of Marketing at Girl Scout of Northern California and a Gold Award Girl Scout. Though she’s originally from Southern California (Yay, Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio Council!), she moved to the East Bay to attend UC Berkeley and never looked back. One of her favorite things about Girl Scouting in the Bay Area is all the incredible hiking and camping options available to girls who love to explore the great outdoors.