Girl Scout Cookies

Girl Scout cookies are cookies sold by Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) as one of its major fundraisers for local Scout units. Members of the GSUSA have been selling cookies since 1917 to raise funds. Girls who participate can earn prizes for their efforts. There are also unit incentives if the unit as a whole does well. As of 2007, sales were estimated at about 200 million boxes per year.

The first cookie sales by an individual Scout unit was by the Mistletoe Troop in Muskogee, Oklahoma in December 1917.  In 1922, the Girl Scout magazine The American Girl suggested cookie sales as a fund-raiser and provided recipes.  In 1933, Girl Scouts in Philadelphia organized the first official sale, selling homemade cookies at the windows of local utility companies. The first Girl Scout cookie recipe was a sugar cookie.  In 1936 the national organization began licensing commercial bakers to produce cookies.

During World War II the Girl Scouts sold calendars in addition to cookies, because of shortages of flour, sugar, and butter.  In 1942 there were 48 cookies per box, available in either vanilla or chocolate.  Customers were limited to two boxes during some war years.  By 1943 Girl Scouts also collected fat in cans with Girl Scout labels to aid the war effort and sold War Bonds at no profit.