It was in 1917, five years after Juliette Gordon Low started Girl Scouts in the United States, that the Mistletoe Troop in Muskogee, Oklahoma, baked cookies and sold them in its high school cafeteria as a service project.
Here are some other notable years in the 100-plus year history of the Girl Scout Cookies progam.
1922: “The American Girl” magazine, published by Girl Scouts of the USA, featured an article by Florence E. Neil, a local director in Chicago, Illinois, including a cookie recipe that had been given to the council’s 2,000 Girl Scouts. She estimated the approximate cost of ingredients for six to seven dozen cookies to be 26 to 36 cents. The cookies, she suggested, could be sold by troops for 25 or 30 cents per dozen.
1933: Girl Scouts of Greater Philadelphia Council baked cookies and sold them in the city’s gas and electric company windows. The price was just 23 cents per box of 44 cookies, or six boxes for $1.24. Girls developed their marketing and business skills and raised funds for their local Girl Scout council. A year later, Greater Philadelphia took cookie sales to the next level, becoming the first council to sell commercially baked cookies.
1935: The Girl Scout Federation of Greater New York raised money through the sale of commercially baked cookies. The group bought its own die in the shape of a trefoil and used the words “Girl Scout Cookies” on the box. In 1936, the national Girl Scout organization began the process of licensing the first commercial bakers to produce cookies that would be sold nationwide by girls in Girl Scout councils.
1944: Because of sugar, flour and butter shortages during World War II, Girl Scout calendars replaced cookies until after the war.
1951: Girl Scout Cookies came in three varieties: Sandwich, Shortbread, and Chocolate Mints.
1978: For the first time in history, all cookie boxes – regardless of the baker – featured the same designs and depicted scenes of Girl Scouts in action, including hiking and canoeing.
1998: Eight cookie varieties were available, including low-fat and sugar-free selections.
2000: All cookies were kosher. And much to the excitement of the youngest Girl Scouts, Daisies started selling cookies.
2014: Launch of the Digital Cookie platform. Digital Cookie takes the iconic cookie program digital and introduces Girl Scouts to vital twenty-first-century lessons about online marketing, app usage, and ecommerce.
2016: Girl Scouts took the stage at the Academy Awards to sell cookies to Hollywood’s A-list.
2021: All Girl Scout Cookies are both kosher and Halal certified. There are vegan and gluten-free varieties too.