Badges, Activities, & Beyond, Parents, Volunteers

Girl Scout Destinations: Money Earning Tips From Pros!

Much thanks to Girl Scouts Cara, Reagan, Victoria, and Alex for sharing their money-earning tips with us!

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: Girl Scout Destinations are the ultimate adventure for individual girls ages 11 and up!

With awesome trips every year to exciting locations and themes like outdoor adventures, conservation, exciting careers, and more, there’s sure to be something that your Girl Scout would enjoy, right? But once she’s narrowed down her choices and chosen the trips she wants to apply for, the question we get most often is: how will she pay for it?

To answer that question, we spoke with some Western Ohio girls who worked hard to earn the funds for a Destination trip to see how (and when!) it all came together. So settle in and prepare to be amazed by our ambitious girls and the steps they took to reach their goals!

Want a hint? It’s all about grit, hard work, and some elbow grease.

Goal Setting

Setting a goal and making a plan to get there was a big part of these girls’ success. They looked at all the trip options, chose some favorites, and then made a savings plan with goals. Once they had their overall goal set, they set some benchmark goals along the way to help them keep on track!

Some of their benchmarks were quarterly or monthly amounts, like saving $150 a month for 12 months. Others had benchmark goals from different income sources listed out, like $200 from the cookie sale (girls first checked with their troop and received the go ahead to use a portion of their individual sale proceeds), $400 from their jobs, $200 from birthday and Christmas presents, and $150 from babysitting.

Once girls had their plan and benchmarks, it was time for the money earning to begin!

Girl Scout Product Sales

Many of our girls listed the Fall and Cookie sale as a focus for money earning for big trips. The girls first spoke with their troops about their goals and got permission to use a portion (or sometimes almost all!) of their individual proceeds to help fund their trip.

They persevered through barriers like a limited customer pool in their small town, busy schedules full of extra-curricular activities, and even harsh winter weather to meet their sale goals. One girl was a cookie booth champion, working at least one cookie booth a night during March and 3-4 on the weekends!

It was hard work and not always fun but as one girl pointed out, “in the end, every hour spent earning money was worth it when it finally came time for my trip!”


Another common money-earning activity for our Destinations girls was getting a job. Some of them worked traditional jobs for minimum wage at a local company (one girl worked 3+ days a week as a lifeguard!), while others got creative with multiple streams of revenue (one shoveled snow, walked dogs, babysat and mowed lawns).

No matter what job they did or how many hours they worked at it, all of the girls were focused on their dream of going on a Destinations trip and that made “all the hard work so worth it!”

Outside Fundraisers

Beyond employment and Girl Scout Product Sales, many of our girls participated in non-Girl Scout fundraisers to help defray the cost of the trip. While this was not how they made the bulk of their earnings, every little bit helped them reach their goals! They held garage sales, collected used cell phones and turned them in for cash, and sold candy and pizza kits.

Of course, there are a million different things that the girls could do.  All of your basic fundraising ideas are always good, but don’t forget to have your girl create a poster or a presentation about what she’s doing, why she’s excited, what she’ll learn, and how she’ll use her new knowledge. All fundraising events that are planned (even cookie booths!) should always have her presentation information displayed!

Before you go this route with your girl, remember to review “Money-Earning Basics” in Volunteer Essentials (page 59) before planning any fundraisers.

Special Occasions and Donations

Our girls were also successful in getting others to donate toward their Destinations fund. Girls wrote letters about their plans, made short videos sharing their goals, and sent them to family and friends to encourage them to make donations toward the Destinations instead of buying birthday and Christmas presents.

One girl shared the educational aspects of her trip with area businesses, and several of those businesses made donations!

This was generally the smallest portion of the girls’ overall funds, but every small donation is a step closer to the goal! Before you help your girl go this route, be sure to check out Volunteer Essentials for our Donations & Grants guidelines (pg. 62).

Now matter how they earned the funds, all girls unanimously agreed that their months of effort were worth it.

So what do you think? Is your Girl Scout ready to set some goals and reach for her dream Destinations?  With some planning and hard work, it’s possible!


  1. Angie Elizabeth DuPont

    November 29, 2018 at 8:33 am

    Hi. I’m trying to plan a trip like this with my troop but I am confused about how girls bookmarked any portion of their individual cookie earnings towards their trip when the girls got policies seem to read that an individual cannot allocate funds from group money earning activities. If you could share with me how this is done so that you’re following policies I sure would appreciate it.

    1. Caitlin Honard

      November 30, 2018 at 10:23 am

      Hi Angie! Great question. What’s described in the post is outlined in Volunteer Essentials on page 61 under the description of two common troop money management techniques. This is technique #2: Tracked Money with a Common Pot.

      Tracked Money with a Common Pot: This is used by troops that are planning more complicated, expensive activities like a trip to Savannah, attending Troop Adventure Camp or if girls have individual goals as well as troop goals. This technique allows for a percentage of the money earned going into the troop “common pot” for troop activities and an additional percentage to be tracked for each girls to individually save for a long-term troop activity or a council sponsored activity. The troop as one body still makes decision about how the money should be spent. The money, even when tracked for individual girls, is never the property of an individual girl.

      I hope this helps! 🙂 Good luck with the trip planning!

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