January 31, 2013

From a Cafeteria Bake Sale to a $700 Million Fundraiser - Girl Scout Cookies Have Come a Long Way

Scotland County Girl Scouts of all ages are busy selling Girl Scout cookies. Pictured in the front row (L to R) are Lydia Krouse, Katie Offutt, Natalie Krouse, Conner Wiggins, and Cheyann Hackett. Back Row (L to R) Sadie Davis, cookie customer Mrs. Wentworth, Shelby Troutman, Claire Hite, and Brittney Smith.

Perhaps you've been approached by a young girl, received a phone call, or - a sign of the times - an email, text, or internet message. If so, you already know that it's Girl Scout Cookie Time. If you haven't ordered your favorite Thin Mints, Peanut Butter Patties, or the new Mango Cremes, you need to act fast. Cookie sales conclude this weekend on February 2nd. Delivery will begin at the end of February.

The program has come a long way since its inception in the early 1900's.

Girl Scout Cookies first appeared in 1917, just five years after Juliette Gordon Low launched Girl Scouting in the United States. The Mistletoe Troop in Muskogee, Oklahoma, holds the honor with the first cookie, a service project distributing homemade cookies at the high school cafeteria.

After World War II, the organization began certifying bakeries to produce official Girl Scout cookies, with more than two dozen licensed nationwide to make the sugar cookies.

The menu expanded in the early 1950's to include peanut butter cookies as well as chocolate mints.

Today, there are 28 different varieties of cookies, with an average of 200 million boxes being sold to generate $700 million a year for the Girl Scouts' Program.

The Girl Scout Cookie Program is the largest girl-led enterprise in the country, engaging girls with five skills they will use throughout their lives: Goal setting; Decision making; Money management; People skills; and Business ethics

Many successful women leaders tell us that their first entrepreneurial experience came from selling Girl Scout Cookies. Girl Scouts have been selling cookies for more than 80 years.

All cookies are sold at $3.50 per package. Proceeds from the Cookie Program stay within the community to benefit local girls. Troops use the money for everything from field trips to community service projects. With these funds, Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri can also deliver programs for girls, provide training for adult volunteers and maintain three local Girl Scout camps.

Scotland County Girl Scouts are active and growing, with several troops represented by all ages. A Daisy troop led by Heather Morse is comprised of the youngest girls from kindergarten and first grade.

Brownie Troop 9081 has 2nd and 3rd graders led by Sarah Krouse. They are working on projects to help them learn to use resources wisely and be thrifty. For their latest service project, they made Valentines for the residents of the Care Center.

Junior Troop 9088 is led by Nancy Hite. Recently, these 5th and 6th graders were working to earn a badge that commemorates the 100th Anniversary of Girl Scouting and another that helps them show character by using their manners.

Cadette Troop 9085 has members from 7th and 8th grade led by Michelle Chance and Trinity Davis. They are working to earn their "Cuisines" badge and fundraising to plan a travel opportunity.

Another troop based in Gorin is composed of mixed ages and is led by Andrea Davis.

Girl Scouts has designated February 8 as National Girl Scout Cookie Day to raise awareness for the world's largest business program for girls, one that builds courage, confidence, and character. The success of Girl Scouting is demonstrated in the statistics that 80% of female business owners in the United States and 70% of female members of Congress were once Girl Scouts.

Show your support for girls by ordering your cookies to see what a cookie can do for a girl and what a girl can do for her community. Contact any troop leader to find a Girl Scout to take your cookie order.

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