It ’ s Girl Scout cookie season
By Marianne Austin
TheCoshoctonBeaconToday . com
Beginning in January every year folks look forward to Girl Scout Cookie time . Last year at the height of the cookie selling season the nation was hit with a pandemic which put the event to a halt temporarily . Fortunately , the Girl Scouts came up with a plan and by March they were selling cookies online .
This year selling cookies may be more challenging but ordering cookies is pretty easy with the online ordering site that started Feb . 1 . Anyone can still buy cookies directly from the girls themselves , if the individual want to do that , just contact any Girl Scout .
Mary Haines Hagans has been the Girl Scout leader for Troop 2625 Coshocton / Conesville for 10 years .
“ One hundred percent of the girls usually participate in selling cookies . Our goal is to sell 2,700 boxes of cookies and normally it ’ s easy . I turned in the initial order yesterday and we are not even half way there yet . One factor is not having the booth access out in public , the girls have order cards and can sell to family and friends though . They created their own website for a digital cookie store to print orders through their site and to ship cookie orders direct beginning the middle of February . They can go door to door with forms or ask people they know but it ’ s up to the parents what they want their child to do . The girls vote on what they want our sales goal to be . Normally , we have no problem meeting our goal ,” Hagans said .
When setting goals , they have to consider their expenses .
“ We need to buy sashes and badges for the girls , and any activity we want to do like go bowling , go to the zoo or whatever
, we consider the cost and how many cookies we will need to sell ,” Hagans said . “ Two years ago , we camped overnight at the Columbus Zoo . It was really fun . We camped in the education hall , the zoo guide took us on a tour of parts of the zoo you wouldn ’ t normally see , and they provided breakfast . The girls slept on cots , air mattresses or in sleeping bags . It was one big sleepover at the zoo .”
Although Thin Mints have been top seller for many years on the national level Hagans said it ’ s always close between Tagalongs and Thin Mints for their troop .
Beginning in January every year folks look forward to Girl Scout Cookie time and Girl Scouts look forward to using money they raise to help others . Troop 8169 plans to use some of their money to help homeless animals .
“ One year Tagalongs will be top seller and another year it ’ s Thin Mints . I keep track so that we know what to order but it ’ s always close ,” she said .
Her troop is part of the Ohio Heartland Council Steller Seller event .
“ If a girl sells 1,000 boxes she gets recognition as a Steller Seller and the parents can come . We had one girl that sold 2,000 boxes . If they sell at least 2,001 boxes they get free camp for a
week . A couple years ago , one of our girls got free camp ,” Hagans said .
Two years ago , the Steller Sellers were treated to a ride in a limousine , a red carpet , sash and a crown and dinner with families included . Scout leader Tammy Gray set it all up .
“ We had a Cookie Queen Float in the Memorial Day parade and a float in the Christmas parade , so they got extra recognition for cookie sales ,” she said .
Gray has been a scout leader for more than 30 years . She was a Girl Scout herself for 12 years and became a leader . She has been the leader of the same troop 669 since she started with 28 girls this year of all ages in her troop including Daisies , Brownies , Juniors , Cadets and Seniors .
“ We have the same troop number but for different ages . We meet at the same time at different levels . I have several co-leaders . Without the parents help I couldn ’ t do it with the size of my troop ,” Gray said .
She was troop leader for both her daughter and granddaughter and now both of them are troop leaders .
“ Sales are down by a lot this year . I told my troop that I am not worried . We usually sell between 10 and 12 thousand boxes and we have only sold 4,000 so far . We have a lot of digital cookie sales which really helps . We usually have six or seven Steller Sellers . This year my biggest concern is their health . I work in a pharmacy , so I see it . The girls health and safety come first . Usually , we go on a trip to New York City , but we ’ ll shoot for next year . We have been having ZOOM meetings . As long as the county is in the red there will be no face-toface . We will do something fun once we are allowed ,” Gray said .
According to girlscouts . org Girls Scout Cookie sales have provided financial support for many years beginning in 1917 when as a way to finance troop activities the Mistletoe Troop in Muskogee Oklahoma baked and sold sugar cookies in its high school cafeteria . In 1933 the Girl Scouts of Greater Philadelphia Council followed suit and baked sugar cookies to sell from the city gas and electric company at 23 cents for a box of 44 cookies . A year later they were the first council to sell commercially baked cookies .
The Greater New York Girl Scout Federation sold commercially made cookies in 1935
using a die in the shape of a trefoil with the words Girl Scout Cookies on the box . By 1936 , they licensed the first commercial bakers to make cookies to be sold nationwide in the Girl Scout Councils .
Due to a shortage of sugar , flour and butter during WWII the Girl Scouts sold calendars to raise money instead . Cookie sales greatly increased after the war and 29 bakers were licensed to bake the cookies . By the 1950s the cookies came in three varieties : Sandwich , Shortbread and Chocolate Mints - now known as Thin Mints .
Five years later , flavors had evolved to a vanilla-based filled cookie , a chocolate-based filled one , shortbread , and a chocolate mint . Some bakers also offered another optional flavor .
During the 1960s , when Baby Boomers expanded Girl Scout membership , cookie sales increased significantly . Fourteen licensed bakers made thousands of Girl Scout Cookies annually and wrapped Girl Scout Cookie boxes in printed aluminum foil or cellophane to preserve freshness . By 1978 the bakers were reduced to four and for the first time all cookie boxes had the same design that showed Girl Scouts in action , hiking , canoeing and other activities . Today according to Girl Scouts of the USA , Thin Mints are still the top-selling cookie , followed in descending sales order by Caramel DeLites or Samoas , Tagalongs , Do-Si- Dos ( Peanut Butter Sandwiches ), and the original Trefoils or Shortbread .
In 1998 Girl Scouts of America introduced official age-appropriate awards for Girl Scout Brownies , Juniors , Cadettes , and Seniors , including the Cookie Activity pin , awarded for participating in the cookie sale .
Early in the 21st century the youngest Girl Scouts , Daisies could sell cookies too . New cookie box designs , introduced in fall of 2000 , were bold and bright , capturing the spirit of Girl Scouting . Two licensed bakers produced a maximum of eight varieties , including three that were mandatory - Thin Mints , Peanut Butter Sandwich / Do-si-dos , and Shortbread / Trefoils . Each year , about 40 girls will sell 1,000 b oxes . This year ’ s new cookie is Toast-Yay , a cinnamon icingdipped cookie shaped like a piece of bread . Income from cookie sales provide girls with community projects , trips and outdoor adventures .
Selling cookies helps Girl Scouts learn skills and have fun
Selling Girl Scout cookies helps Scouts learn business skills and raise money for activities they want to do with their fellow troop members .
Breighlynn Dile has set a goal to sell 1,000 Girl Scout cookies this year . As a member of Troop 2625 in Coshocton , she sold more than $ 1,000 for the Scouts ’ Nuts and Candy Sale last fall .
“ This is the first year I started from the beginning selling nuts and candy . I actually sold over $ 1,000 , which means I did
really good . I was first to get Steller Seller in the county . For
Aurora Earliwine with Daisy Troop 8174 loves to meet people and make them happy .
cookie sales my goal is to sell $ 1,000 ,” Dile said .
Dile has $ 280 in cookie sales so far . She uses the website she created and calls family and friends for orders . Dile also goes door to door with a parent .
“ We always make sure we wear our mask ,” Dile said . “ This year going door to door hasn ’ t been very good . Most people don ’ t answer the door , so I leave a little card on their mailbox with details about my website . I go around my neighborhood and back to the neighborhoods I am familiar with from selling nuts and candy . My grammy owned a cleaning business , and I sell to her customers too .”
At this time Dile ’ s troop has its Scout meetings on Zoom .
“ Right now our meetings are virtual ,” Dile said . “ I get to meet more people my age , and the crafts are really fun . We made a gnome and at Christmas a gingerbread house . We make a lot of really cool crafts . I ’ m just working toward my goal . Normally , we buy Tagalongs and Samoas — two very different cookies but delicious .”
Amelia Gardner ’ s Girl Scout Troop 2625 also is meeting virtually through Zoom . Her mom and dad have helped her sell cookies , and she enjoys the crafts and activities the troop members do together online .
Aurora Earliwine with Daisy Troop 8174 loves to meet people and make them happy by giving them cookies . She also likes hanging out with her friends she ’ s made and Girl Scouts .
Leah Copenhaver from Girl Scout Troop 2447 said selling cookies helps make their fun activities possible .
“ It helps us raise money for our troop so we can do fun things like go to camp ,” Copenhaver said . “ It also gives me a chance to talk to my teachers from past years and family members who I don ’ t see often .”
Editor ’ s note : Josie Sellers contributed to this story .