Girl Scouts celebrates 100th anniversary of first known sale of cookies

Published 1:55 pm Sunday, January 1, 2017

HOUSTON, Texas – Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council (GSSJC), one of the largest Girl Scout councils in the U.S., celebrates the 100th anniversary of the first known sale of Girl Scout Cookies with a debut of its new S’mores™ cookies during the 2017 Girl Scout Cookie Program®, which begins January 7, 2017.

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 which girls learn the essential skills they need to become effective leaders, manage finances and gain self-sufficiency and confidence in handling money. To commemorate this banner year for the organization, the highly anticipated Girl Scout S’mores™ will be available for order at the start of the sale, joining classics like Thin Mints and Shortbreads.

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 its 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—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.

“Our Girl Scout Cookie Program has long been used as a way to empower Girl Scouts on every level,” said Mary Vitek, GSSJC’s CEO. “Earnings are not only used to provide programming for girls, train volunteers and maintain our camp properties, it also allows girls to do incredible things– from community service projects to taking advantage of Girl Scout travel opportunities and more. When you purchase a box of Girl Scout Cookies®, you help girls get one step closer to reaching their goals, find their passions, take charge to find solutions to problems in their community and fulfill their dreams of making a difference in the world.”

Today, nearly 1 million Girl Scouts participate in the Girl Scout Cookie Program, generating nearly $800 million in cookie sales during the average season nationally. All of the net revenue raised through the Girl Scout Cookie Program—100 percent of it— stays with the local council and troops.

The celebration of 100 years of Girl Scouts selling cookies will kick into high gear during National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend 2017. From February 24 to 26, Girl Scout councils around the country, including GSSJC, will be hosting events and cookie booths for cookie enthusiasts to get their hands on the iconic treats and join in the fun. To find cookie varieties available locally or learn more about the history of Girl Scout cookies and the Girl Scout Cookie Program, visit or download the Cookie Finder App from the App Store or Google Play.

Girl Scouts of the USA is the world’s preeminent organization for girls, with a membership of more than 2.8 million girls and adults. Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. Chartered by GSUSA to provide Girl Scouting locally, Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council, a United Way of Greater Houston agency, is one of the largest Girl Scout councils in the country serving more than 61,000 girl members and 17,000 adults in 26 southeast Texas counties.