How Should You Divide Girl Scout Cookie Profits?

Let me be upfront-I sold cookies with my troop once on a limited basis and it was so stressful I never did it again.  I know all about the ups and downs of this fundraiser because my older daughter had a very active troop in regard to Girl Scout cookies.  For years it was a big deal and I have an insiders view of how it all worked.

Been there, done that.

What shocks me as a leader is how some leaders react to the girls -CHILDREN-who are in their charge.

If you are not receiving Facebook updates in your newsfeed from Girl Scout Leader 411 from Making, you should.  This is an incredibly valuable resource for leaders who have questions.

This morning I woke up to quite the discussion about how to divide cookie money profits for a Daisy troop.  The problem, as always with this fundraiser, is that not every girl sold and some sold very few boxes. How should the profits be split?

Some leaders do not permit girls to use cookie money for big trips if they did not sell anything, or split the profit based on sales.


By U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Lesley Lykins [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
By U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Lesley Lykins [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Troop money is troop money…plain and simple. As much as it may cause you to do a slow burn about girls who do not sell a thing, the bottom line is that you are punishing the girls for something that is not their fault!  You cannot hold a girl liable or make her pay separate money to go somewhere if she did not make your cookie quota (which is also against the rules, by the way).

If a child sells nothing, you cannot penalize her.  It is very clear cut.

But why do leaders ignore this rule?

Because we try to make things fair and equal in life, and as I teach my children, they are not. The troop works as a team to earn money.  Individual incentives are for individual girls to earn to push their numbers up, but in the end, it is the total sold that matters.

Is this fair?  To those who sell 400 boxes, it is not.  But this is the way it has been set up, and so as a leader, you are responsible for keeping your opinion to yourself and not making the girls who sold smaller amounts uncomfortable.  Everyone has different values and different schedules, so booth sales may not be possible for some families.  With my older daughter, my husband and I tag teamed jobs.  I actually had to take a day off from work to make sure she could sell cookies at her troop’s booth. Back then I had paid days off.  That benefit was taken away, and I would now be unable to take the time off to attend (or in this case run) a cookie booth.

My older daughter sold cookies for years and in her troop did some fun things with the money they earned (yes, even the girl whose parents sold almost nothing went on the trips).  By fifth grade, my daughter and most of her friends got tired of Girl Scouts-the meetings had become boring and the leaders were not as interested anymore.  By spring of fifth grade,  my daughter was done.

The troop was disbanding and to spend their fundraising money, a weekend was planned at a big city.  Besides the fact that I worked weekends, I had absolutely zero interest in spending the weekend with these women.  Others felt the same way, and in the end, after years of earning cookie money, only the four leaders and their daughters went on this trip, paid for by all of the girls hard work.

Was it fair?

Yes, it was.  I chose to leave the money on the table that my daughter had rightfully earned. Troop money was troop money, whether I chose to go on the trip or not.  They could not write me a check for her share of money that would have been spent on the room and food.

When it comes to Girl Scout Cookie drama, as the leader, you can make it non-existent by promoting troop goals and being excited about how you will spend the profits.

It is the Girl Scout way.