Girl Scouts celebrates 100th anniversary of the first known sale of cookie

Local Girl Scouts kick-off centennial with debut of new Girl Scout S’mores cookies

Staff Report

COLFAX — Girl Scouts Carolinas Peaks to Piedmont (GSCP2P) announced the movement-wide celebration of the 100th season of Girl Scouts selling cookies. A century ago, girls started participating in what would evolve into the largest entrepreneurial training program for girls in the world: the Girl Scout Cookie Program®, through which girls learn the essential skills they need to become effective leaders, manage finances, and gain self-sufficiency and confidence in handling money. To commemorate this banner year for the organization, the highly-anticipated Girl Scout S’mores™ cookies are now available, joining classics like Thin Mints and Shortbreads.

The sale of cookies by Girl Scouts had humble beginnings, born as a way for troops to finance activities. The first known sale of cookies by Girl Scouts occurred in 1917, when the Mistletoe Troop in Muskogee, Oklahoma, baked cookies and sold them in its high school cafeteria as a service project. As the Girl Scout Cookie Program developed and evolved, it not only became a vehicle for teaching five essential skills — goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills, and business ethics — it also enabled collaboration and integration, as early as the 1950s, among girls and troops of diverse backgrounds, as they worked together toward common goals.

“We are excited to celebrate this important milestone with our Girl Scouts!” said Lane Cook, CEO of GSCP2P. “Each box of Girl Scout cookies helps girls fulfill their dreams, follow their passions, take the lead in their lives and communities and change the world.”

Girl Scout Cookies not only help Girl Scouts earn money for fun, educational activities and community projects, but also play a huge role in transforming girls into G.I.R.L.s (Go-getters, Innovators, Risk-takers, Leaders)™ as they learn essential life skills that will stay with them forever. Starting from its momentous, first known sale, Girl Scout cookies have gone on to become an indelible part of American pop culture and history — and have enjoyed support from some equally iconic figures and notables. Babe Ruth promoted the Million Cookie Drive during the 1924 World Series. Former First Lady Lou Henry Hoover inspired the first organized national sale of Girl Scout Cookies in 1933, and girls used cookie earnings during this time to help communities cope with the debilitating effects of the Great Depression by collecting clothing and food for those in need. And when the popularity of Girl Scout Cookies soared higher than expected in 1936, commercial cookie bakers were called in to assist in making the sweet treats. Last year, the 88th Academy Awards had the audience eating out of Girl Scouts’ hands, with film stars clamoring to buy and munch on cookies during the telecast.

Not even cataclysmic world events have dimmed the popularity of Girl Scout Cookies or the resolve of tenacious and resourceful girls. During World War II, there was a global shortage of cooking ingredients like eggs, milk, and sugar — and Girl Scouts, too, were faced with imposed war rationing. Girl Scouts sold calendars with images of them engaged in wartime service activities instead of cookies, using some of the proceeds to support the war effort through humanitarian actions like running farm-aid projects, planting victory gardens and sponsoring defense institutes that taught women survival skills and techniques for comforting children during air raids. When postwar prosperity flourished across the country, Girl Scouts employed clever new tactics to their advantage. By going door-to-door and setting up booths in shopping malls, the girls were able to reach customers in innovative ways, as well as sell a brand new cookie — the now iconic Thin Mints®, which first were produced in 1939 as “Cooky-Mints.”

As the organization entered the latter half of the 20th century, Girl Scout Cookies continued to power once-in-a-lifetime experiences for girls. Whether they used their cookie earnings to attend the Apollo 12 launch at Cape Kennedy, Florida, or microfinancing their big ideas to get to the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, cookie earnings have transported as well as transformed girls.

Today, nearly 1 million Girl Scouts participate in the Girl Scout Cookie Program. All of the net revenue raised through the Girl Scout Cookie Program — 100 percent of it — stays with the local council and troops. With over 50 million households purchasing cookies every season, the irresistible treats can be found nationwide and will hold a beloved place in Americana for years to come, continuing to help girls take the lead and, ultimately, change the world.

Thin Mints, Peanut Butter Patties, Caramel deLites, Peanut Butter Sandwiches, Thanks-A-Lots, Lemonades and Shortbreads return for the 2017 season. The new S’mores is a crispy graham cookie double-dipped in a crème icing and enrobed in a chocolatey coating. It is vegan, and free of artificial colors, preservatives and partially hydrogenated oils. The last new Girl Scout Cookie — gluten free Trios — were introduced in 2015.

Except for the Trios, which will retail for $5 per package, all other cookies will remain $4 per package.

For those who don’t have a Girl Scout connection, consumers can e-mail their name, phone number and address to [email protected] Consumers can also visit to find local cookies or download the cookie mobile app.

Further questions can be directed to a local GSCP2P location including Asheville Service Center, 828-252-4442; Gastonia Service Center, 704-864-3245; Hickory Service Center, 828-328-2444; and Triad Service Center, 336-274-8491.

Local Girl Scouts kick-off centennial with debut of new Girl Scout S’mores cookies

Staff Report

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