A Century of Girl Scout Cookies

by: Elaina Pagliasotti

Girl Scout cookie time is here again and there is a lot more involved than just delicious cookies. Selling cookies gives girls of all ages the chance to learn about setting goals, managing money, working on their people skills and learning about what goes into a successful business. Selling cookies allow troops to fundraise for supplies, special goals, and events. Selling cookies started as a fundraiser over a hundred years ago.

Juliette Gordon Low started the first Girl Scout troop in 1912. Girl Scouts started selling cookies a couple years later. Girls would make a couple batches of sugar cookies and sell them door to door by the dozen to fundraise for their troop. By the late 30s, the Girl Scout council had enlisted their first commercial baker. In the 40s, there was a lull in cookie production due to the shortages caused by WWII. Sales picked right back up in the 50s, however, with the introduction of new flavors including a chocolate mint cookie still sold today. Even more, flavors were offered in the 60s including shortbread and peanut butter sandwich cookies. More and more options were made in the 70s and 80s, compiling into the eight kinds sold today.

When you buy a box of cookies from a Girl Scout you are supporting not only the organization but the individual girl and her troop. 100% of the proceeds stay in Arizona to support local troops. Proceeds from cookie sales help to pay for camp experiences, Girl Scout activities and financial assistance. For every box of cookies, the girl’s troop earns %1.11 to use for troop activities, trips, and more. When a girl goes to Girl Scout camp, she learns valuable life lessons through archery, horseback riding, and other outdoor activities. Many girls would not have the opportunity to go camping without the financial assistance made possible by cookie sales.

If you cannot or do not eat cookies, there is another way to support the Girl Scouts. You can donate a box of cookies to an organization chosen by the troop. Some troops choose to send their donated boxes to people serving in the military or to a local organization in need.

There are six main types of cookies and two specialty flavors. The best selling cookies are Thin Mints followed closely by Samoas. What exactly are the cookies available? Following is a list of cookies and their descriptions.


Thin Mints- thin chocolate-mint cookies covered in dark chocolate.

Samoas- cookies coated in caramel and coconut, drizzled with chocolate.

Tagalongs- cookies layered with peanut butter and coated in chocolate.

Do-si-dos- oatmeal sandwich cookies with a sweet peanut butter filling.

Trefoils- delicate and simple shortbread cookies.

Savannah Smiles- crisp half-moon lemon cookies dusted with powdered sugar.


Toffee-tastic- gluten-free cookies filled with bits of toffee.

S’mores- sandwich cookies filled with marshmallow and chocolate cream.


Next time you open the door to a girl in a green or tan vest, know that you are not just buying a box of delicious cookies, but supporting that girl and her troop in their goals.