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The First Girls Guide Cookies

Updated on September 10, 2016

Selling cookies by Girls Scout came about when the local Scout units developed means of raising funds for laudable reasons and selfless service.

The first unofficial sale by an individual Girl Guide unit was conducted by the Mistletoe Troop in Oklahoma in 1917. By the early 1920s "the Girl Scout magazine The American Girl suggested cookie sales as a fund-raiser and provided recipes".

To raise funds, cookies were (and still are) sold to family, neighbours, friends, schoolmates, and door-to-door to other members of the immediate locality. Girl Guide cookies were also sold from cookie booths in open public areas under the supervisory eyes of the older troop leaders.

The first official sale was in 1933 when Girls Guide in Philadelphia sold home-made cookies "at the windows of local utility companies", with the first set being sugar cookies. Subsequently, selling cookies became recognised widely and by 1936, commercial bakers obtained licenses from the national organisation of the Girls Guide to produce cookies.

Today, many City and County councils offer the opportunity for buyers to sponsor boxes of Guide cookies sent to servicemen and women with an official website launched in 2007 that gives information on how to purchase cookies for such laudable causes.

What's the Incentive for Selling Scout Cookies?

The regional council of each Girl Scout unit chooses which licensed baking company to use for sales of cookie in that particular council and this generally determines the variety of cookies that's available as this varies from one region to another.

Sometimes, Girl Scouts are presented with gifts/prizes as incentives to selling cookies. Prizes vary from one council to another and include items such as credits towards camping outings, coupons, stuffed animals, costume trinkets, coupons, or even Girl Guide uniforms.There are also troop incentives if the whole unit achieves very impressive sales.

When a girls receives incentives they are usually cumulative, so for example a Girls Guide who won something for selling say a hundred tins or packs of cookies will also get the seventy five, fifty, twenty five and twenty box prizes.

There are some council where the Guides prefer to earn more money for their unit instead, especially if they are working and saving for trips, a particular troop goal, or for any other unit activity that requires expensive funds.

Imbibing Skills Through Fundraising Efforts

Fund raising efforts such as selling cookies are intended to imbibe in the girls valuable skills such as:

  • How to plan for a venture
  • How to plan a budget and how to finance it
  • How to work effectively as a team
  • How to organise
  • How to communicate effectively
  • How to set laudable goals

Selling cookies has been one of the major fund-raising efforts for local units of the Girls Guide organisation. For example, the Girl Scouts of the United States of America (GSUSA) have been selling cookies to raise funds from as early as 1917.

Due to shortages of foodstuffs like flour, sugar, and butter during the Second World War the Girl Scouts had to sell other things in addition to Girls Guide cookies. During those times, the numbers of cookies in a box were only 48 cookies and were available in only chocolate or vanilla.

Buyers could only buy a maximum of two boxes during some war years and by 1943, the girls sold War Bonds at cost and even got collections in cans labelled with the Girl Scout insignia, all these were achieved as a contribution to aid war efforts.

Some Varieties of Girls Guide Cookies

There are over two dozen varieties of Scout cookies though many are sold under different names depending on the bakeries that produce them. Usually, the choice of bakery also determines the name of the cookie.

However, the National Girl Scout organisation is the one who approves any variety proposed by the bakeries, but three types must remain constant, they are:

  1. Thin Mints
  2. Peanut Butter Sandwiches
  3. Shortbreads

Notwithstanding, there are a number of popular cookies like Caramel DeLites and Peanut Butter Patties that are always available to buy. The other varieties can be changed every year and include:

  • Thin Mints - comes packed in green boxes
  • Peanut Butter Sandwiches - packed in orange boxes
  • Peanut Butter Patties - packed in red boxes
  • Shortbreads/Trefoils - previously packaged in yellow boxes, but now in blue
  • Caramel DeLites - purple boxes
  • Dulce De Leche - packed in turquoise boxes
  • Thank U Berry Munch - in cranberry-coloured boxes
  • Savannah Smiles

The best-selling Girl Guide cookies are the Thin Mints which makes up 25% of all total sales; Caramel DeLites, also known as Samoas which make up about 19% of total sales; Peanut Butter Patties(Tagalongs ), 13% of total sales, Peanut Butter Sandwiches (or Do-si-dos), 11%; and Trefoils or Shortbread, 9%.

In the past (pre-August 2006), all Girl Guide cookies could be sold at different times, in different regions but as part of an organisational change in structure, all Girl Scout troops now sell cookies at the same time early in the year, and at the same price. And according to 2007 estimates, Girl Guide cookie sales rose to about 200 million boxes.

© 2012 artsofthetimes


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    • WesternHistory profile image

      WesternHistory 5 years ago from California

      Voted up. Thanks for an excellent post. The more I read your hub the more I wanted to buy a box of cookies, especially the mint variety. I haven't seen any for sale lately but I'll keep looking.

    • artsofthetimes profile image

      artsofthetimes 5 years ago

      Thank you so much for your kind comments WH. You'll see these cookies pretty soon im sure.

      Im waiting too LOL!!

      Thanks for visiting.


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