Tens of millions of girls--including some famous ones--have sold cookies, earned badges and learned new skills and today, the Girl Scouts of America is turning 100.
Whether it’s seeing the green-vested girls outside of grocery stores during the annual cookie sales, or you have a family member, neighbor or friend who participates, most people are familiar with this long-standing service organization whose mission is to build “girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place.”
On March 12, 1912, Juliette Low gathered 18 girls in Savannah, GA, creating the first troop of “American Girl Guides.” The meeting followed Low’s introduction to Sir Robert Baden-Powell, founder of the Boy Scouts.
Since that first meeting, more than 50 million young females have become Girls Scouts, with an average of 3.7 million active at any one time.
In honor of their 100 year anniversary, Patch is pleased to present some interesting, fun and unique facts about Girl Scouts and their famous Girl Scout cookies:
- The very first Girl Scout handbook was published in 1913 and featured information about communicating with Mores code, starting fires, how to save someone from drowning and even how to tie up a burglar using eight inches of cord.
- The earliest mention of a Girl Scout troop cookie sale was in 1917, by the Mistletow Troop in Muskogee, OK.
- The very first badges were hand-embroidered by Girl Scouts and adult volunteers.
- In the 1920s, cookies sold for $.25 to $.30 per dozen. Today, boxes are sold by the box and cost $4.00.
- During World War II, Girl Scouts established troops among girls in Japanese relocation centers. They also sold calendars instead of cookies, due to butter, flour and sugar shortages.
- The Thin Mint cookie debuted in 1951 (and was called Chocolate Mints).
- In 1956, Martin Luther King, Jr. called Girl Scouts a “force for desegregation.”
- Cookie packaging featuring colorful photos of Girl Scouts in action was standardized in 1978.
- The number of cookie varieties stayed at four until the 1980s, when the line was expanded to seven offerings.
- In the 1990s, the first low-fat and sugar-free varieties debuted.
- During the 2000’s the baking process was changed to ensure that all Girl Scout cookies are Kosher.
- The most popular Girl Scout cookie is Thin Mints®, which account for 25% of annual sales. Samoas® are the second-most popular, making up 19%.
- More than 200 million boxes of Girl Scout cookies are sold each year in the U.S.
- There are a number of “Celebrity Girl Scouts” including Hillary Clinton, Dakota Fanning, Katie Couric and Martha Stewart.
Were you a Girl Scout? Do you have daughters, nieces or grand-daughters who are Girl Scouts? Tell us in the comments!