Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) announced the start of the 2017 cookie season, which marks the 100th year of the first known sale of cookies by Girl Scouts.
A century ago, girls started participating in what would evolve into the largest entrepreneurial training program for girls in the world: the Girl Scout Cookie Program®. Through the program, girls learn the essential skills they need to become effective leaders, manage finances, gain self-sufficiency, and develop confidence in handling money. To commemorate this banner year for the organization and celebrate how the cookie program powers amazing experiences for Girl Scouts year-round, the highly anticipated Girl Scout S'mores™ cookies are now available, joining classics like Thin Mints® and Trefoils®/Shortbread.
The sale of cookies by Girl Scouts had humble beginnings, born as a way for troops to finance activities. 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 their high school cafeteria as a service project. As the Girl Scout Cookie Program developed and evolved, it not only became a vehicle for teaching five essential skills—goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills, and business ethics—but it also enabled collaboration and integration, as early as the 1950s, among girls and troops of diverse backgrounds as they worked together toward common goals.
Today, nearly 1 million Girl Scouts participate in the Girl Scout Cookie Program, generating nearly $800 million in cookie sales during the average season. All of the net revenue raised through the Girl Scout Cookie Program—100 percent of it— stays with the local council and troops. With over 50 million households purchasing cookies every season, the irresistible treats can be found nationwide and will hold a beloved place in Americana for years to come, continuing to help girls take the lead and, ultimately, change the world.