A century ago, a group of innovative girls started what would become a national tradition: Girl Scout Cookies.
This year, Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GSGCNWI) is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the first known sale of cookies by Girl Scouts with the debut of the new Girl Scout S’mores™ Cookies. The s’mores-inspired crunchy graham sandwich cookie with creamy chocolate and marshmallowy filling will join Girl Scout Cookie classics such as Thin Mints®, Samoas®, and Trefoils®.
Local Girl Scouts began taking orders for Girl Scout Cookies from family and friends earlier this month. Meanwhile, cookie lovers can find their favorite varieties at booth sales near public places throughout the area beginning Feb. 17 until March 26. Cookies sold by GSGCNWI are $5 per box.
“When you buy Girl Scout Cookies, you help power unique opportunities for Girl Scouts to take the lead in powerful, everyday ways,” said Nancy Wright, CEO of GSGCNWI. “We are excited to introduce the new Girl Scout S’mores™ Cookies and give customers a delicious way to help our girls learn important life skills, such as goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and business ethics.”
The first known sale of cookies by Girl Scouts occurred in 1917, when the Mistletoe Troop in Muskogee, Oklahoma baked cookies and sold them in its high school cafeteria as a service project. Since then, the Girl Scout Cookie Program has evolved into the largest entrepreneurial training program for girls in the world.
Girl Scout Cookies not only help Girl Scouts earn money for fun, educational activities and community projects, but also play a huge role in transforming girls into G.I.R.L.s (Go-getters, Innovators, Risk-takers, Leaders)™ as they learn essential life skills that will stay with them forever.
“The most important skill that I have learned is how to communicate with strangers,” said Nina Grotto, a 17-year-old Girl Scout Ambassador and one of GSGCNWI’s top cookie sellers. “As a kid, I was always really shy and I wouldn’t talk to anyone, but selling Girl Scout Cookies helped me to talk to people that I don’t know … I learned that being creative is always better than staying inside the box. It’s when you do something different from everyone else and tackle an issue in a new way that you succeed.”
Every penny of net proceeds earned from the sale of Girl Scout Cookies is reinvested locally into exceptional programming and activities for girls. At the troop level, girls manage the decision-making process for how to spend their troop cookie money and often reinvest it in their neighborhoods through service projects and learning experiences, including travel. Customers who purchase Girl Scout Cookies are not only getting a tasty treat—they are also investing in their communities and girls.
“With the money that my troop earns through cookie sales, I can pay for travel opportunities, programs and camps,” Nina said. “It also allows me to give back to my community because I also use the money toward community service projects.”
For more information about Girl Scout Cookies, including the official Girl Scout Cookie Finder app, please visit girlscoutcookies.org.