Celebrating 100 Years of Girl Scout Cookies

Think back to scout meetings, patchy green vests, and all the cookies you and your friends could sell for your camping trip in the summer. Feels like almost 100 years ago, right?

Yes, that is right; Girl Scout Cookies celebrated their 100th birthday this March by continuing their mission of “building girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place.” The Girl Scouts also added to the celebration by introducing a delicious new cookie, S’mores - which, if you’ve already sampled, you would agree that delicious isn’t just my personal opinion.

It all began in little Muskogee, Oklahoma, with the Mistletoe Troop. They came up with the idea of selling their homemade chocolate chip cookies to fund future projects. Word got out about their sweet, successful idea and soon enough more and more troops began selling cookies in their own communities. Less than five years after the Mistletoe Troop’s first sale, the popular fundraiser got so much attention that in 1922, a troop’s sugar cookie recipe was published in The American Girl magazine.

The first official sale didn’t happen until 1933 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where the Girl Scout Cookie Sale was born and raised. By this time, the demand for cookies sold by Girl Scouts was so high that within the next couple of years, they had to bring in commercial bakers to uphold the sales.

Today, there are two manufacturing facilities — one in Richmond, Virginia, and another in Louisville, Kentucky — dedicated to making Girl Scout Cookies, and just waiting for cookie selling season to come their way. The current record is held by Katie Frances of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, with a total of 22,200 cookies sold in one season, which happens to be $88,000 in sales. This year she hopes to sell 100,100 cookies for their 100th anniversary. Go Katie!

The Girl Scouts have made a national name for themselves when it comes to giving back to their communities and giving all girls the chance to transform into “go-getters, innovators, risk-takers, and leaders,” or G.I.R.L.S., one of the Girl Scouts’ mottos.

Being a part of Girls Scouts has influenced so many powerful women. In fact, “57% of alumnae said the program was key in the development of their skills today,” according to the Girl Scout Cookie website.

This is true in Oklahoma City as much as it is in Northeast Ohio. Girl Scouts throughout the region have many scheduled events for the upcoming month, such as: ‘Girls Take Flight,’ a day organized by NASA and CWRA held at an aerospace in Cuyahoga, First Aid Training in Lorain, and ‘Culinary Specialist,’ a day where girls create nutritious snacks in the labs of Cuyahoga Community College.

So, when thinking back, way back, to those scout leaders or troop moms, maybe take a moment to thank them. They helped you not only become the woman you are right now, but also gave you a cookie mound of memories to look back on. Thank them by going out and buying a pack of Girl Scout Cookies today.