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It’s Girl Scout Cookie Time

“Hi, Pop and Gran. Do you want to buy some Girl Scout cookies?” Our Grand tilted her head, raised her eyebrows and grinned, across many miles as we visited using FaceTime. Of course, Husband and I wanted to buy cookies.  In fact, if our 7-year-old Grand had offered sawdust patties, we’d have been happy to buy some.

            Ann held a colorful brochure in front of her computer camera and named thirteen cookie varieties available this year.  “You’ll probably want the Raspberry Rally.  It’s new this year.” Thirteen varieties!  Thankfully, our favorites are still available: Peanut Butter Tagalongs and Trefoils.   

             “Do you want to know how many are in a box?” Ann held the brochure ready to read, but we didn’t need that information. 

            “Do you want to know about Raspberry Rally? It’s really good. I tasted it at the Cookie Sales Rally. You have to buy it online.  I can’t sell it.”  Since our Grand couldn’t order it, we had an easy out. And who’d want to eat a raspberry flavored cookie when a peanut butter and chocolate Tagalong is a choice?

            Husband and I listened as Ann described each cookie and then we ordered our favorites.

            “How do you want to pay?  Credit card or cash?”  Our Grand had been well trained. 

            Girl Scout cookies have come a long way since the first sales in 1917 when the cookies were baked in homes by Oklahoma troop members and their moms to pay for a troop activity. 

            Five years later, The American Girl magazine, published by the Girl Scouts of the USA included a recipe and suggested that cookies be baked at home and sold for twenty-five to thirty cents per dozen.   Throughout the 1920s, Girl Scouts across the country baked sugar cookies, packaged them in wax paper bags and sold them door-to-door. That century-old recipe inspired Trefoils, the iconic shortbread cookies.

            In 1936, the national Girl Scout organization licensed commercial bakers to produce cookies, using traditional recipes, and cookies were sold nationwide.  Today, two commercial bakers produce the cookies -over 200 million boxes in 2022.

            In the 1950s, local Girl Scout troops set up tables on sidewalks in front of shopping malls for Saturday cookie sales, a tradition that continues.  Fast forward to 2014, cookie sales began online, Digital Cookie® and was deemed a successful program for Girl Scouts of the 21st century. 

            Until the mid-1980s when I worked for the Cumberland Valley Girl Scout Council, I wondered if all the money earned by children paid the salaries of adults sitting behind desks?   That’s not true. The profits provide programs and activities that are determined by the council members, troop leaders and scout members. 

            Do scout members benefit in ways besides earning money?  Our young Grand showed confidence in her sales pitch and she used math skills to determine how much our order of ten boxes cost.  And she was surprised we didn’t order Thin Mints. “They are the most popular, you know?”

            As I said, my Grand was well-trained.

PS. If anyone tries the Raspberry Rally cookies, let me know if they measure up to Tagalongs.


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