Girl Scout Council of the Florida Panhandle announced today the movement-wide celebration of the 100th season of Girl Scouts selling cookies. 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.
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.
“Across the Florida Panhandle, girls can discover, connect, and take action with the proceeds their troop earns through our Cookie Program,” stated Raslean M. Allen, Chief Executive Officer. “It is an honor to be a part of this as we celebrate the 100th anniversary.” “I am so thrilled that, as an organization, we’ve reached such an important milestone—celebrating 100 years of Girl Scouts selling cookies,” said Sylvia Acevedo, interim CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA. “The Girl Scout Cookie Program has long been the engine that powers Girl Scouts on every level. Cookie earnings fund local council programming for girls and allow girls to do incredible things of their own choosing—from civic-engagement projects to educational travel opportunities, and beyond. Each box of delicious Girl Scout Cookies®, and the entrepreneurial skills gained by participating in the Girl Scout Cookie program, helps girls fulfill their dreams, follow their passions, take the lead in their lives and communities, and change the world.”
Girl Scout Cookies not only help Girl Scouts earn money for fun, educational activities and community projects, but also play a huge role in transforming girls into G.I.R.L.s (Go-getters, Innovators, Risk-takers, Leaders)™ as they learn essential life skills that will stay with them forever. Starting from its momentous, first known sale, Girl Scout cookies have gone on to become an indelible part of American pop culture and history—and have enjoyed support from some equally iconic figures and notables. Babe Ruth promoted the Million Cookie Drive during the 1924 World Series. Former First Lady Lou Henry Hoover inspired the first organized national sale of Girl Scout Cookies in 1933, and girls used cookie earnings during this time to help communities cope with the debilitating effects of the Great Depression by collecting clothing and food for those in need. And when the popularity of Girl Scout Cookies soared higher than expected in 1936, commercial cookie bakers were called in to assist in making the sweet treats. Last year, the 88th Academy Awards had the audience eating out of Girl Scouts’ hands, with film stars clamoring to buy and munch on cookies during the telecast.
As the organization entered the latter half of the 20th century, Girl Scout Cookies continued to power once-in-a-lifetime experiences for girls. Whether they used their cookie earnings to attend the Apollo 12 launch at Cape Kennedy, Florida, or microfinancing their big ideas to get to the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, cookie earnings have transported as well as transformed girls. Today, nearly 1 million Girl Scouts participate in the Girl Scout Cookie Program, generating nearly $800 million in cookie sales during the average season. All of the net revenue raised through the Girl Scout Cookie Program—100 percent of it— stays with the local council and troops. With over 50 million households purchasing cookies every season, the irresistible treats can be found nationwide and will hold a beloved place in Americana for years to come, continuing to help girls take the lead and, ultimately, change the world. The Girl Scout Council of the Florida Panhandle has a rich history of girls selling cookies in the Florida Panhandle. Look for our Run for the Cookies 5K Run and One Mile Walk/Run on March 4th which will be held at Sharon Sheffield Park in Lynn Haven. Registration is now open on Active.com.
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 – 26, Girl Scout councils around the country will be hosting events and cookie booths for cookie enthusiasts to get their hands on the iconic treats and join in the fun.
The programs and services of the Girl Scouts of the Florida Panhandle teach girls to discover, connect and take action, while building courage, confidence, and character, to make the world a better place. A United Way agency, the Council currently 4,123 girls across 19 counties of the Florida Panhandle with the assistance of 2,025 dedicated volunteers. For more information about our Cookie Program, or to volunteer or join Girl Scouts, call 1-888-271-8778 or visit www.gscfp.org.