8 Facts You Might Not Know About Girl Scout Cookie Sales
By David Volk
It seems like just a few weeks ago, Girl Scouts were knocking on our doors taking orders for the Thin Mints and Samoas we've been craving since we finished our last box some time around April. (Oh, who are we kidding? We finished them the day they arrived in mid-March.) Now that the treats are finally in our hot little hands, here are some fun facts to chew on with our milk and cookies.
1. GIRL SCOUTS ARE ENCOURAGED TO SEE COOKIE-SELLING AS A BUSINESS.
Drmies via Wikipedia // CC BY-SA 3.0
Going door to door selling may be fun, but it's also a serious business that helps teach the junior CEOs how to set goals, make business decisions, manage inventory, and gain confidence to deal with a wide range of people. It should come as no surprise that Girl Scouts of the USA claims that 52 percent of the country's businesswomen were once Girl Scouts.
2. IT'S NOT JUST ABOUT FUND-RAISING. IT'S ALSO ABOUT REWARDS.
Scouts get more than just bragging rights when they sell a lot of boxes. They also get rewards, which vary from region to region. The incentives can range from a theme patch for their uniform to an iPad. They can also earn virtual money to pay for camps, travel, and other programs.
3. THEY SELL KOSHER, GLUTEN-FREE, AND VEGAN OPTIONS.
All Girl Scout cookies are kosher and have been for years. Thin Mints, Peanut Butter Patties, Lemonades, and Thanks-A-Lot cookies are vegan. Gluten-free Trios and Toffee-Tastics are now in their second year.
4. THERE ARE SOME LIMITS ON WHERE GIRLS CAN SELL.
Although it may sometimes seem that there are Girl Scouts hawking cookies in front of every business you visit, regional councils determine what locations are okay and which aren't. Most agree that liquor stores and marijuana shops are off-limits, but that hasn't kept some from defying the rule. In 2014, one scout set up shop in front of a medical marijuana dispensary in San Francisco and sold 117 boxes in two hours (she did it again in 2015 and sold 208 boxes).
5. THE GIRLS STAND UP FOR WHAT THEY BELIEVE IN.
They can't unionize, but that doesn't mean they won't protest. When scout Lily DeRosia saw a news story saying that workers at a Kellogg's cookie plant that makes the cookies were complaining about forced overtime, she wrote the company to oppose the practice and urged her troop to send the company a petition. Other Scouts have protested the use of unsustainably harvested palm oil in the cookies.
6. THE COOKIES ARE NOW AVAILABLE ONLINE.
Thanks to Digital Cookie 2.0, kids can now sell to relatives all over the country through a personalized web page. The service even allows sellers to record their own promotional video. Shipping fees substantially increase the cost, but isn't that a small price to pay for keeping your granddaughter happy?
7. IF YOU DON'T WANT TO BUY COOKIES, YOU CAN STILL BUY COOKIES.
This isn't the movie Glengarry Glen Ross where the girls have to "always be closing," but they are encouraged to ask people who don't want to buy cookies if they'd like to make a donation. One popular option is Operation Cookie Drop. The program not only sends cookies to troops overseas, it also helps scouts meet their box sales goal if they're a few boxes under their goal at the end of the sale.
8. NOT ALL FLAVORS ARE WINNERS.
Garrett Ziegler via Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Variety can be the spice of life, but not necessarily in Girl Scout Cookies. Thin Mints, Samoas, and other flavors have stood the test of time, but other flavors haven't remained as durable. Thank U Berry Munch, Cinna-Spins, or Mango Cremes, anyone?