2017 marks a special bench mark for the Girl Scouts organization — 100 years of cookies.
In 1917, five years after the organization was founded, Girl Scouts sold their first cookies as a way to finance troop activities. Now the endeavor not only raises money for club activities, it’s used as a way of teaching girls essential skills needed to become good and effective community members and leader. The girls learn skills such as goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and business ethics.
The Girl Scout cookie sales also are recognized as the largest entrepreneurial program in the world.
Jane Christyson, CEO of the local chapter, Girl Scouts of North East Ohio, said it’s more than a revenue-generated; it’s about teaching the girls successful life and business skills.
“The Girls Scout cookie program is essentially a business built by girls,” Christyson said.
“Girls who participate set goals and decide how their profits will be used to support their activities, which often include giving back through service projects. Because it’s girl led, they’re learning to be effective leaders, manage finances and gain self sufficiency and confidence in handling money.”
Last year the scout members achieved that by selling 2,605,429 boxes of cookies, with each girl selling an average of 138 boxes. Nearly 50 of those scouts sold more than 1,000 boxes on their own.
In celebration of the commemorative year, the organization has released a specialty cookie, and what better flavor than one that encompasses the Girl Scout tradition of camping — s’mores.
The new s’more feature a crunchy graham cracker cookie with chocolate and marshmallow filling, without any artificial flavors or colors.
“Toffee-tastic” cookie also will be offered as a specialty cookie this year. Plus, it’s a gluten-free treat.
These cookies are added to the regular lineup of cookies, which includes thin mints, samoas, trefoils, “do-si-dos,” tagaloongs and Savannah smiles.
Last year’s top selling cookies were thin mints, of which 834,674 boxes were sold, followed by samoas (576,449), tagalongs (556,320) and do-sidos (417,168).
Lookie to purchase some cookies? Presale started Jan. 4, so be on the look out for your local Girl scout to be knocking on your door, or find the cookie digitally through the Girl Scout Cookie finder app or visit gseno.org/cookies to find the cookies nearest you. Booth sales will run March 10 to April 2.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Girl Scouts of North East Ohio communications specialist Kristina Markovic contributed to this story.