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7 Things You Didn’t Know About Girl Scout Cookies

girl scouts selling cookies

Good news if you’re craving Thin Mints: Cookie season starts soon for the Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania, so start planning your order. Not only can you get your Carmel deLites fix, but supporting the cookie program also benefits girls in our community by providing entrepreneurial opportunities and funding programming throughout the year. In honor of the season, here’s what you need to know about your favorite sweet treats — including their special Philly connection. 

1. The cookie sale turns 103 this year.

In 1917 — five years after the Girl Scouts began — the Mistletoe Troop in Muskogee, Oklahoma, baked cookies and sold them in the high school cafeteria. From the very first batch, the fundraiser helped girls develop those all-important leadership and financial skills.

2. The Girl Scouts of Greater Philadelphia pioneered the program as we know it.

Fast forward to 1932, when the local troop received permission to use the Philadelphia Gas and Electric Company’s demonstration ovens and storefront to sell cookies. The following year, the council went even bigger. It enlisted a commercial bakery near Logan Square to produce 100,000 boxes of vanilla cookies shaped like the Girl Scout symbol, the trefoil. The national Girl Scout office consequently contracted the company as an official supplier, kickstarting the organized effort we know today. This sweet piece of local history even inspired a historical marker you can see on Arch Street near City Hall.

3. Some Girl Scout Cookies’ names differ because they come from different bakers.

A division of that same company, Little Brownie Bakers, still makes Trefoils today but the other official producer — ABC Bakers — dubs them Shortbreads. Hence the double names for Carmel deLites and Samoas, Peanut Butter Patties and Tagalongs and so on. And even though they’re both called Girl Scout S’mores, each baker makes a different version: either a double-dipped graham cookie (ABC Bakers) or a sandwich cookie with a chocolate and marshmallowy filling (Little Brownie Bakers).

4. All of the net revenue supports local programs.

It’s up to each troop to decide what to do with the funds, but 100% of the proceeds stay in the community. Girl Scouts can use the money earned to build a special STEM project, make memories at camp or support a worthy cause.

5. The cookie program is specially designed to develop girls’ entrepreneurship.

Every Girl Scout hones five key skills during the process: goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and business ethics. They set and meet deadlines, practice working with others and develop financial acumen. So when you order Lemonades from your local troop, you’re also helping them grow as leaders. Use the official Girl Scout Cookie Finder app or enter your zip code here to find the sales nearest you.

6. Thin Mints continue to reign supreme.

The long-standing favorites make up about a quarter of sales and they are third-highest selling cookie in the country. They’re followed by Carmel deLites, Peanut Butter Patties and Peanut Butter Sandwiches, in that order. If you’re looking for the most cookies per box, go for the Shortbreads — you’ll get about 40.

7. There are official Girl Scout cookie recipes.

It’s hard not to eat the whole sleeve, but if you can resist the temptation there is a whole world of Girl Scout baked goods out there. Thin Mints Cupcakes, anyone?

Give your daughter the opportunity to build her leadership skills. Learn more about joining the Girls Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania today.