Girl Scout cookie

Girl Scout cookie

Girl Scout cookies are any of several varieties of cookies sold by Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) as a fundraiser for their local scout units. Members of the GSUSA have been selling cookies since 1917 to raise funds. Top-selling girls can earn prizes for their efforts. There are also unit incentives if the unit as a whole does well. In 2005, over 200 million boxes were sold.


The first record of cookie sales by an individual scout unit was by the Mistletoe Troop in Muskogee, Oklahoma, in December 1917. In 1922, the Girl Scout magazine "The American Girl" suggested cookie sales as a fund-raiser and provided recipes. In 1933, Girl Scouts in Philadelphia organized the first official “Girl Scout Cookie” sale, selling homemade cookies in the windows of local utility companies. The first Girl Scout cookie recipe was a sugar cookie. In 1936 the national organization began licensing commercial bakers to produce cookies. The Boy Scouts had the original idea of selling food (popcorn) in 1914. Later, they invented tagalongs (peanut butter patties) and gave the idea to the Girl Scouts in 1956. Fact|date=March 2008

During World War II the Girl Scouts sold calendars rather than cookies, due to shortages of flour, sugar, and butter. [ [ Girl Scout Cookie History: 1940s] ]

elling process

Each Girl Scout regional council decides which of the licensed baking companies to use for cookie sales within that council. That decision determines which varieties are available within the geographical area covered by the council.Argen Duncan, [ "Girl Scout cookies take on new shape"] , " El Defensor Chieftain", March 9, 2008]

Most Girl Scouts sell cookies to their relatives, friends, neighbors, and to others in their town or city. Some sales are from customers who place an order for the number of boxes of each cookie type (Thin Mints, Samoas, etc.). In recent years, due to safety concerns, an increased emphasis has been placed on cookie booths, where girls make sales from tables in well-frequented public areas, under the supervision of adult troop leaders, rather than door-to-door selling. Many councils also offer the option for customers to sponsor boxes of cookies to be sent to U.S. servicemen and women both overseas and at home. [Christopher Quinn, [ "Girl Scout cookies bound for troops overseas"] , "Atlanta Journal-Constitution", March 13, 2008] In 2007, an [ official website] was launched, allowing consumers to find out when and where to purchase Girl Scout cookies.

As an incentive to sell, Girl Scouts are sometimes offered prizes (stuffed animals, trinkets, coupons, credits toward Girl Scout camp, activities, or uniforms, etc.). These incentives vary from Girl Scout council to council, but girls generally earn incentives of successively higher value for the number of boxes they sell. The accumulation of prizes is usually cumulative, so that a girl who has won the prize for selling 100 boxes of cookies will still also get the 75-box prize, the 50-box prize, the 25-box prize, the 20-box prize, the 15-box prize and the 10-box prize. In some councils, girls may choose to earn more money for their troop instead of prizes, if they are working toward a troop goal such as a trip or other expensive activities. This type of fundraising also can teach Girl Scouts valuable skills, including planning, teamwork, finance, organization, communications and goal setting.

Each regional Girl Scout council sets the prices for cookies sold by scouts in that council. A 2006 article in the "Boston Globe," noted that price "is hardly ever a factor, until buyers find out that the same box of cookies is selling for less in the next town over:" $3.50 in Rockland and $4.00 in neighboring Norwell, reflecting different decisions by the Girl Scout Council of Southeastern Massachusetts and the Girl Scouts Patriots' Trail Council, respectively. [McConville, Christine, [ "Thin Mints can be Cheaper by the Troop"] , "The Boston Globe", April 2, 2006, p. 14]

The profit from sales is divided among three levels within the Girl Scouts organization: the national Girl Scouts of the USA (via payments from the companies for licensing rights), the regional councils, and the local troops of girls. Depending on the price of the box of cookies, the local troop typically receives between 45¢ and $1. Revenues (at all levels) are used to pay for events and activities for the Girl Scouts, maintenance of the council's Girl Scout camps and other properties, cookie sale incentives, and Council administration costs. Each council can provide a breakdown showing how cookie money is used in that council (this information is usually printed on the back of the Cookie Order Forms). The companies that produce the cookies get about one third of the selling price of the cookies.

In 2008, 15-year-old Jennifer Sharpe from Dearborn, Michigan sold 17,328 boxes of cookies. [ [,2933,355758,00.html "Michigan Teen Sells 17,328 Boxes of Girl Scout Cookies"] , retrieved May 14, 2008] This was a new record for her troop and possibly an all-time record.


Girl Scout cookies are made by large national commercial bakeries under license from Girl Scouts of the USA. The bakers that the organization licenses can change from year to year, though change is not common. In 2008 the licensed companies were Little Brownie Bakers (LBB), a subsidiary of Keebler, which is owned by Kellogg's; and ABC Bakers, a subsidiary of Interbake Food, which is owned by George Weston Limited.Andy Rooney, [ "Deconstructing The Girl Scout Cookie: Andy Rooney Tackles A Tasty Task"] , "CBS News" ("60 Minutes"), March 26, 2007] Catherine Pritchard, [ "Only two places make Girl Scout cookies"] , "Fayetteville Observer", February 29, 2008] ABC Bakers has been making cookies for the Girl Scouts since 1939.Lisa Abraham, [ "Girl Scout cookie fans are tasting a difference: Two baking companies have competing recipes"] , Akron Beacon Journal", March 5, 2008]


Licensed baking companies can offer up to eight varieties of Girl Scout cookies. The national Girl Scout organization reviews and approves all varieties proposed by the baking companies, but requires only three types: Thin Mints, Peanut Butter Sandwiches (called Do-Si-Do's by LBB) and Shortbreads (called Trefoils by LBB). The other kinds can be changed every year, though several popular favorites, such as Caramel DeLites (LBB's Samoas) and Peanut Butter Patties (Tagalongs by LBB), are consistently available. Each baking company names its own cookies. Thus the exact kinds, names, and composition of the cookies may vary from year to year, depending on which baking companies have been licensed, and what they have proposed.

Girl Scout cookie varieties include: [ [ Little Brownie Bakers cookie varieties] , retrieved March 19, 2008] [ [ ABC Bakers Girl Scout cookie varieties] , retrieved March 19, 2008]
* Thin Mints: Thin mint-flavored chocolate wafers dipped in a chocolate coating.
* Do-si-dos (Peanut Butter Sandwiches): Peanut butter filling sandwiched between crunchy oatmeal cookies.
* Trefoils (Shortbread): A traditional shortbread cookie made in the shape of the Girl Scout trefoil logo.
* Tagalongs (Peanut Butter Patties): Crispy vanilla cookies layered with peanut butter and covered with a chocolate coating.
* Samoas (Caramel deLites): Vanilla cookies coated in caramel, sprinkled with toasted coconut and laced with chocolate strips.
* All Abouts (Thanks-A-Lot): Shortbread cookies dipped in fudge and topped with an embossed thank-you message in one of five languages.
* Lemon Chalet Cremes (Lemonades): Shortbread cookies with lemon icing.
* Cinna-spins Introduced in 2008, Cinna-spins are cinnamon-flavored cookies that come in 100-calorie packs. Cinna-spins are shaped like miniature cinnamon rolls.
* Sugar Free Chocolate Chips Introduced in 2008, they are small sugar free cookies.

The best selling Girl Scout cookies are:

*Thin Mints (25% of total sales)
*Samoas (Caramel DeLites) (19%)
*Tagalongs (Peanut Butter Patties) (13%)
*Do-si-dos (Peanut Butter Sandwiches) (11%)
*Trefoils (Shortbread) (9%)

The other varieties combined account for the remaining 23%. [ [ "Frequently Asked Questions: Girl Scout Cookies"] , Girl Scouts of the USA, retrieved March 16, 2008]


Samoas (a registered trademark) and the alternate version, Caramel deLites, are the second most popular variety of Girl Scout cookie sold by the Girl Scouts of the USA. Both brands consist of a circular vanilla cookie about 2 inches in diameter with a small hole in the center, covered in caramel and toasted coconut and then striped with chocolate. This is one of the few cookies in the group that has differences depending on the bakery, which is the reason the cookies are sold under two different names. Samoas are made by Little Brownie Bakers. They are circular, with an orange color and are thicker from top to bottom, usually they also contain more caramel per coconut, and they are made with dark chocolate. The Caramel deLites, made by ABC Bakers, are actually hexagonal, with a more yellowish tinge, are made with milk chocolate rather than dark chocolate, and more of the cookie comes through in the flavor because of the lower caramel content. Overall they are both very popular, and most people never notice the differences. Both varieties come in purple boxes. The two types of cookie account for 19% of Girl Scout cookie sales, making them the second most popular types.

Trans fat content

Through 2005, Girl Scout cookies, like many other commercially baked cookies, contained trans fat—one gram per serving in the case of Thin Mints (four cookies), with two grams in every three Do-Si-Dos. Federal guidelines issued in early 2005 call for people to minimize their consumption of trans fat, which is now widely understood to be unhealthy for the heart. Concerned parents urged the Girl Scouts to address this and other health concerns about the cookies, suggesting that the cookie program is at odds with the Girl Scouts' forthcoming "healthy living" initiative. The Girl Scout organization replied that the cookies are a treat which "shouldn't be a big part of somebody's diet," and said that they are "encouraging" the companies that bake the cookies to find alternative oils. [cite web | author=Scout News, LLC| title= Eat Lots of Girl Scout Cookies? Be Prepared to Gain Weight|year=2005 | url=| accessdate=2006-03-14]

In 2006, U.S. federal nutrition labeling requirements now mandate listing transfat content. In 2007, Girl Scouts of the USA announced that all their cookies now had zero trans fat per serving; many required reformulation to accomplish this. [ [ "Statement from GSUSA CEO Kathy Cloninger: Girl Scout Cookies Now Have Zero Trans Fats; Still Recommends Moderation for All Treats"] , November 13, 2006, retrieved March 19, 2008]

Girl Scout cookies are listed as having "0 trans fat per serving" and will have packaging saying Trans Fat Free. The cookies are not truly trans fat free, as various partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs, i.e., trans fats) are still listed in the ingredients. [ [ Frequently Asked Questions: Girl Scout Cookies® ] ] Nonetheless, they now have a sufficiently small amount per serving to comply with the government's official standards for the Trans Fat Free label. (The official rules allow the label to appear where there are less than 0.5 grams per serving.)

In popular culture

Parodies or satires of Scouting cookie sales are often used to give a flavor of Americana or Utopian suburban culture to scenes in films and TV shows. These references are sometimes intended to give the audience a feeling of postmodern irony.

*"The Addams Family" (1991) (US): While running a lemonade stand of sorts, Wednesday and Pugsley have an encounter with a Girl Scout who is attempting to sell Girl Scout cookies. The Girl Scout asks about the lemonade, "Is it made from real lemons?" Regarding the cookies, Wednesday responds, "Are they made from real Girl Scouts?"
*"Over the Hedge" (2006) (US): The foraging animals steal cookies from two "Trail Guide Gals." The cookies are so good and so popular, RJ claims, "they are hand-delivered by uniformed officers." Several parody names are mentioned in the scene, and more were included in the DVD release's image gallery, including: Skinny Mints, Love Handles, Neener Neeners, Piggy Backs, Red Rovers, Smackeroons, and Too-Da-Loos.
*"iCarly" In a webisode of 'Wake Up, Spencer!' Sam offers to sell Spencer imaginary Squirrel Scout cookies to which he replies "I didn't know squirrels sold cookies."
*"Lawn Dogs" (1998) (UK): A savage satire on middle-class American culture. The young girl heroine sets out in a Girl Scout-like uniform to sell cookies, but dumps them instead. Her parents are horrified that she might not win the cookie selling competition.
*"The Pacifier" (2005) (US): The younger daughter Lulu is a member of the Fireflies. She and her fellow Fireflies attempt to sell cookies in the Costco parking lot and get tormented by the boys from the Grizzlies troop.
*"Troop Beverly Hills" (1989) (US): When two troops compete at selling the most cookies, one troop gives a street performance of a pop song, complete with backup dancers.
*"Chip 'N Dale's Rescue Rangers" (1989) (US): In an episode of Chip 'N Dale's Rescue Rangers, Professor Nimnul is working on a project and someone knocks on the door; Nimnul is annoyed at the interruption and wonders if it's "little girls selling cookies".
*"3rd Rock from the Sun" (1996–2001) (US): In the episode "I Enjoy Being a Dick," Tommy mentions that his girlfriend August was a Girl Scout, but that she left Scouting because she felt the cookie selling verged on racketeering.
*"Full House" (1987–1995) (US): DJ, Stephanie, and Michelle are all members of the Honey Bees at various times. The Honey Bees wear bee costumes, complete with stinger. The honey bee salute is performed by moving one's body in such a manner as to make the stinger move back-and-forth. They sell jars of honey instead of cookies.
*"Friends" (1994–2004) (US): In the episode "The One where Rachel Quits," after Ross accidentally breaks a young girl's leg, he offers to make it up to her by selling her Girl Scout-esque cookies. The girl has to sell at least 400 boxes to go to Space Camp. The episode's themes mock both the prizes offered by troops for selling the cookies and the rising prices of the boxes in recent times.
*"Friends" (1994–2004) (US): In the episode "The One with Joey's Fridge," Ross has an illicit relationship with a student at the university where he works as a professor. Monica pokes fun at the age difference between Ross and his new love interest, saying to Ross: "You tell her I want my cookies early this year! Y’know, a box of Thin Mints and some Tag-a-Longs."
* "Home Movies" (1999) (US): In Episode 301, "Shore Leave," Melissa joins the Fairy Princess Corporation and is forced to sell "fairy cloths" for $6.66. [cite web | last = | first = | authorlink = | coauthors = | year = | url = | title =The Home Movies Super Site | format = | work = | publisher = | accessmonthday =March 14 | accessyear =2007 ] The pamphlet for the FPC includes a pie chart, similar to the one found in Girl Scout cookie selling guides.
* "Kim Possible" (2002–2005, 2007) (US): "Pixie Scouts" are mentioned as selling both Pixie muffins and cookies. Kim Possible herself was once a Pixie Scout as a young girl.
* "Loaded Weapon 1" (1993) (US): Tim Curry plays Mr. Jigsaw who poses as a "Wilderness Girl" selling cookies to get Sgt. Billy York (played by Whoopi Goldberg) to open the door.
* "The Man Show" (1999–2003) (US): [cite web | last = | first = | authorlink = | coauthors = | year = | url = | title =Girl Scout Cookies | format = | work =Funny and Extreme | publisher = | accessmonthday =March 23 | accessyear =2006 ] The Man Show Boy dresses like a Girl Scout and attempts to sell cookies.
* " Everybody Loves Raymond" (2002) (US): In the episode "Cookies" Ray engages in fierce competition with the "Frontier Girl" Troop Leader and her daughter. A table war ensues in front of the best booth location in town, the local grocery mart. [cite web | url=|]
* " The Benchwarmers" (2006) (US): Howie must go out of his dark bedroom to buy Richie's Girl Scout Cookies. He goes outside with his plastic sword and runs to get the cookies from the Scouts before 'the Evil Sun' will kill him.
* " The Suite Life of Zack and Cody" (2005-2007) (US): A con artist at the Tipton sells Carey, the doorman, and Mr. Moseby "Wilderness Girl Cookies" and stating "If I sell 15 more, I get a bicycle, and I've never had a bicycle before," thus referencing the prizes given by GSUSA for selling cookies. The fictional cookies featured in the episode have whimsical names such as Chippity-doo-das, Mint Marshmallow Mushies, and Low-Fat Lemon Loo-Loos.
* " Holes": Mr. Sir makes constant references to Girl Scouts and selling cookies.
* "" (2004) (US): The Mystery, Inc. gang gets trapped in the basement of creepy mansion after ringing its doorbell. To the delight of Scooby and Shaggy, also in the basement is a little girl selling cookies, who is later seen leaving without any cookies and a wad of cash. Also trapped is a door-to-door evangelist, who asks the gang, "Have you heard the good news?" to which Scooby replies, "Yeah! There's cookies!"
*"Hey Arnold!": In the "Chocolate Turtles" episode, Gerald has planned on selling the Camp Fire Lasses' Chocolate Turtles (their analog of Girl Scout Cookies) for a profit, until Gerald's sister, Timberly, ate all forty boxes that they bought. [cite web | url=|]
*"Homestar Runner": In Strong Bad Email 185, "Nightlife", Homestar sleepwalks into Club Technochocolate mumbling to Strong Bad about having "more badges than you". He then explains: "Because I sold more Thin Mints than you." [cite web | url= | title= Strong Bad Email 185]
*"Johnny Bravo" Little Suzie tries to convince Johnny to buy Girl Scout cookies in a Dr. Seuss style episode.
*"Will & Grace" In the 2000 episode, "Ben, Her?," Jack tells Karen that he needs to talk to her about a business proposition, and Karen says, "Put me down for 2 boxes of the Thin Mints."
*"The Fairly OddParents" In a 2004 episode, "Just the Two of Us," Mark Chang is in front of The White House and says he is an alien who will take over Earth. After all six of his tentacles were handcuffed by security, he exclaims "I mean, a harmless Girl Scout! Who wants cookies?"

ee also

*Girl Scouts of the USA


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External links

* [ Official Girl Scout Cookie locator]
* [ Girl Scouts Cookies information at the Girl Scouts of America official website]
* [ Little Brownie Bakers cookie varieties]
* [ ABC Bakers Girl Scout cookie varieties]

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