The members of Girl Scout Troop 3276 worked hard at cookie sales, averaging about 175 boxes each. All that hard work wasn’t without its rewards, though -- the girls were treated to manicures and pedicures at A Perfect Touch.
Selling cookies has been part of Girl Scouts almost since the organization was founded by Juliette Gordon Low in 1912. The first troop to sell cookies was the Mistletoe Troop in Muskogee, Oklahoma, who sold their first dozen in 1917.
As with cookie sales today, the proceeds were used to finance the troop’s activities.
By 1922, the Girl Scouts magazine, “The American Girl,” carried a simple sugar cookie recipe that would yield six to seven dozen cookies using $.26 to $.36 worth of ingredients (between $4 and $5 in today’s dollars). The cookies could then be sold for $.25 to $.30 per dozen, netting a tidy profit of about $2 (about $28.50 today).
Girl Scouts went door-to-door selling homemade sugar cookies, wrapped in waxed paper bags and sealed with a sticker, until the mid-1930s.
Girl Scouts in Philadelphia were the first to sell commercially made cookies in boxes, in 1934. The words “Girl Scout Cookies,” along with the trefoil, were first used in 1935. The Girl Scout organization began working toward licensing commercial bakers to produce the increasingly popular baked treats.
Ingredient shortages during World War II put a damper on cookies in the 1940s, leading the organization to sell calendars instead. By the late 1940s, however, cookie sales were again on the rise.
Girl Scout cookie enthusiasts in the early 1950s had three varieties to choose from: Sandwich, Shortbread and Chocolate Mints (now called Thin Mints). Flavors have continued to evolve, and now even include a gluten-free option.