Hear that? Your favorite neighborhood Girl Scout is knocking at your door. Yes, it’s that time of year to stock the secret spot in your pantry with chewy Samoas, Thanks-A-Lots and Thin Mints.
And with cookie sales officially underway, there are a few fun facts and tidbits you may be surprised to learn about those little $4 boxes of cookies.
When did the cookie sales start?
According to ABC Cookies — the oldest and most experienced licensed Girl Scout Cookie baker — Girl Scouts baked and sold their own sugar cookies to raise money for troop activities in the 1920s and 1930s.
Longest Running Cookie
Since the first national cookie sale in 1936, the Shortbread cookie has been a constant offering in the Girl Scout cookie line.
Most Popular Cookie
Thin Mints are by far and away the most popular Girl Scout cookie. Store them in the freezer for extra fresh, minty and chocolate goodness all year long. If you can keep them around, that is. The Caramel Delites (Samoa) is ranked number 2, and bringing up a close third are Peanut Butter Patties. All three are in the top ten best-selling cookies in America.
For 2013, the Girl Scouts are introducing the Mango Creme cookie, with Nutrifusion that, according to the Girl Scouts website features nutrients derived from fruits. Remember — this is still a cookie, not a health food!
According to ABC Smart Cookies, the decision to eliminate the cardboard packaging for Lemonades and Thanks-A-Lots saves the earth more than 300 tons of paperboard, annually. That’s enough paperboard to fill 14 garbage trucks and yields energy savings equivalent to 30,000 gallons of gasoline.
Girl Scout Cookies are Kosher
It’s true. Girl Scout cookies are Kosher. They also have zero trans-fat according to FDA guidelines and have no preservatives. Another healthy tidbit: both the Thin Mint and the Thanks-A-Lot flavors are vegan. However, they are not gluten free, sad to say.
Girl Scout Cookies can be tax deductible
According to the Girl Scouts of America website, cookies can be tax deductible if you pay for a box, but leave them with the troop or donate toward the “Gift of Caring” program.
Cookies with a Message
The Thanks-A-Lot cookie shares a “thank you” message in five different languages: English, French, Chinese, Spanish and Swahili.
Great Cookie Recipes
Now there are apps out there for you to find the closest cookie booth, or even identify yourself with a specific flavor of Girl Scout cookie. So, are you a Thin Mint? Or a Samoa? Visit your app store to find out.
Money stays with the troop
Most importantly, the Girl Scouts are earning money for a specific purpose. Each troop raises funds for fun and confidence-building activities. According to the Girl Scouts of America, after the bakers are paid, 100 percent of funds go back to the Girl Scout councils in your community.
Stand up and be counted, local Girl Scouts
According to the San Gorgonio Council site, there are more than 10,000 Girl Scouts in Riverside and San Bernardino counties, with the dedicated support of 5,000 adult volunteers.
So, get your pocket money ready, Grandma and Granddad. Prepare to answer that doorbell when it rings.
The Girl Scouts will be out in force, selling their cookies with smiles and cheer. And remember, how you answer their sweet request, “Would you like to buy some Girl Scout cookies?” can set a precedent for how they view the future.
Ashley Ludwig is a local writer and regular contributor to SWRNN.