This year’s cookie season in Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta is quickly drawing to a close… Have you bought yours yet? Even if you can’t find a Girl Scout who’s still selling door to door, there’s still time to track down a booth! Visit HERE and enter your zip code in the “find cookies” box near the top of the page and a list of locations near you will pop up, easy as pie… er, I mean, cookies!
Yesterday, while browsing through the archives, I came across a super interesting find! A bunch of Junior/Intermediate badges in a baggie and a little typed note that said “Cookie Participatory Badge,” no other description, no date, no requirements, no information at all… The image on the badge is a plate of various cookies and if you look closely, you can make out a tiny little “GS” in the center on what looks like a trefoil shaped cookie. I asked around if anyone knew anything about it, but so far I haven’t found anything. How exciting! This must be rare! Because of the fabric used in the production of the badge, it appears to date from anywhere between 1963-1974. Because the back is cloth, and not plasticized, I hesitate to date it any more recent than that, but I certainly welcome any more thoughts or ideas!
My original thought upon investigating this badge was that it was a Troop’s Own- a badge that was made specifically for a troop or Service Unit in our region- to be earned by girls as they learned the skills it takes to become a business woman and learn the ins and outs of cookie selling, much like the contemporary Cookie Activity Pin, first introduced by GSUSA in 1999 and available to earn every year. But, is it possible that this is a previously unknown Council’s Own badge from our days as the Girl Scout Council of Northwest Georgia, or even before that, when we were know as the Girl Scout Council of Greater Atlanta? Maybe, maybe not, but a fantastic find, none the less!
There are a very limited amount of these “Cookie Participatory Badges” available in the archives, but if you are interested in your troop earning a cookie badge, there are two awesome badges that are retired, but still available in some places: The Cookie Connection (with a Trefoil cookie on it) and Cookie Biz (with a Tagalong on it). Both are shown below:
If you’re interested in finding out the requirements for either of these retired badges, please don’t hesitate to contact us here at the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta Archives. Or you can make your own “cookie participatory badge” at https://www.gsmakeyourown.com. If you do, we’d love to see them! Send us a picture in an email or leave it here in a comment! Good luck and happy Girl Scouting!
2015 will be here in just a few days, and here in the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta Council, so will the cookies! Girl Scout cookie sales start at different times throughout the country, but here they begin on January 1st! Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta will be offering the same “Super Six” cookies they sold last year, but we will also be adding two exciting new varieties: Rah-Rah Raisins, and Toffee-Tastic, which are certified Gluten Free!
The original six and Rah-Rah Raisins will be available on the order sheets that the girls will be presenting to customers, but the gluten-free Toffee-Tastics are a very limited edition and orders must be written in. All varieties will be $4 per box this year, except for the Toffee-Tastics, which will be $6.
Another new feature that Girl Scouts nationwide will be able to access is online selling! All cookies this year will be able to be ordered and paid for online and delivered right to your address! Your local Girl Scouts will have all the information for you as they set up their online sites for taking orders. Does Grandma live in a different state, but she wants to support her granddaughter and buy some cookies? Well, this year it will be easier than ever! Contact that special Scout in your life and find out all the details!
The Countdown Is On! Happy New Year and Happy Scouting!
December marks the beginning of the season of baking- pies, cakes, cookies, desserts of all kinds! Well, did you know that the first week of December is National Cookie Cutter Week? National Cookie Cutter Week was started in the mid 1990’s for the members of the Cookie Cutter Collector’s Club. How fun, right? Girl Scout cookie season may not start for at least a month, but let’s go ahead and take a look at some of the different Girl Scout cookie cutters throughout the years!
Did you know that the very first Girl Scout cookie sale didn’t feature pre-made, pre-packaged cookies? Girls and volunteers spent time in their own kitchens baking cookies, cutting them into trefoil shapes, and wrapping them in wax paper. The earliest mention of a Girl Scout cookie sale dates back to 1917 in Oklahoma and the first time the Atlanta Girl Scout Council held a cookie sale was in 1936! Check out a couple of our past posts to read all about the first Atlanta cookie sale and check out an early Girl Scout cookie recipe!
Cookies make a perfect, inexpensive gift that girls of almost any age can help adults make and then give to leaders, volunteers, teachers… anyone! A modern version of the metal, trefoil shaped GS cookie cutter can be found online, sold through the GSUSA website or take a look at your local Badge and Sash store and see if they’re in stock!
Happy December and Happy Baking, everyone!
Another exhibit featuring material from the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta Archives is “100 Years of Girl Scouting” in Duluth, Georgia. While there is a contemporary exhibit at Duluth City Hall, featuring local Girl Scouts’ community projects, the historical artifacts are located at the Strickland House in Duluth, Georgia. Currently the home of the Duluth Historical Society, the Strickland House is also the home to several Girl Scout troops who meet there on a regular basis.
One of the troops, sixth grade Cadette Troop 1941, has met there for three years, and wanted to help out the DHS for being so welcoming. Since this is the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouts in the USA, the girls wanted to create an exhibit celebrating local Girl Scout history. They borrowed a few items from the Council Archives, but also borrowed a great number of items from local community members. One woman loaned her grandmother’s 1937 Intermediate uniform, her mother’s 1960s-era Junior uniform, and her 1990s-era Junior uniform. These were placed next to a current Junior uniform, showing the change in our Council’s name.
The Cadettes held an Open House on Sunday, February 12, from 3:00-5:00 pm, and gave free tours of the collection. Many of the donors came, as well as many community members who had never been in the Strickland House. The Cadettes enjoyed their roles as docents and had fun explaining the history of Girl Scouting and the significance of the items in the cases and on stands to the guests. The refreshments included lemonade and the early Girl Scout cookies in the side tea room.
The exhibit at Duluth City Hall and the exhibit at the Strickland House is available until April 28, 2012. Hours at the Duluth City Hall are Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Hours at the Strickland House are Friday and Saturday from 12:00 to 3:00 pm. Tours can be arranged at other times. Visit http://www.duluthistorical.org/ for more information.
More stories about the exhibit:
- Girl Scout History Exhibits Open at Museum, City Hall
- Girl Scouts Get Community Together For Centennial Celebration [Correction on this story: The troop did this exhibit as a service project to thank the Duluth Historical Society, not to earn their Silver Award.]
- Exhibit of “100 Years of Girl Scouting” to Run Through End of April
Did you know that in the early 1980s, the Girl Scouts began selling crackers as well as cookies? Searching for “Girl Scout crackers” on the Internet will generally lead you to a few references of “Golden Yangles.” The cracker was triangle shaped and had a cheesy flavor. It was only sold for a couple of years, and as far as we have researched, was never sold through the Northwest Georgia Girl Scout Council (one of the historic councils of the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta). According to the memories posted in various comment sections, consumers either loved them or hated them.
However, the Northwest Georgia Girl Scout Council did sell a cracker labeled as “Sesame Wheat Crackers.” It was only sold in the 1979 and 1980 Cookie Season. The Archives has one of the cartons that the cracker boxes were shipped in, but we do not have an individual cracker box in our collection. During the 1980 season, the cost of the all the cookies (and crackers) were $1.50 per box.
Notice the FFV above the Girl Scout name, which stands for “Famous Foods of Virginia.” The company became one of the licensed bakers for the Girl Scouts of the USA in 1937. The company is still in business under the name Interbake Foods, but is better known to the Girl Scout community as the ABC Bakers. From the company website:
Founded in 1899 in Richmond, Virginia, Interbake Foods was originally known as Southern Biscuit Works, a regional baking company that packaged its baked goods in decorative tins under the trademark of “FFV”, which stood for “Famous Foods of Virginia”. Interbake Foods was created in 1967 when George Weston merged its other US-based bakery purchases to create the Interbake name. Under George Weston Limited, Interbake Foods grew and expanded its portfolio to include Girl Scout cookies; cookies, crackers, and specialty items for retail and contract customers.
We would love to hear from our readers and the community if you remember selling these and/or remember eating these.
Most folks know that nationwide, Girl Scout Cookie season has begun! Girls started going door-to-door on Friday, January 6, 2012, and will take initial orders through January 23, 2012. There are even websites and apps to help you find a local cookie booth sale. Did you know that one of our historic Councils–the Atlanta Girl Scout Council–began selling cookies in 1936?
The Atlanta Girl Scout Council sponsored its first Girl Scout cookie sale in 1936 to raise money to expand Camp Civitania. The next year, the cookie sale proceeds were used to raise money to repair flood damage at the camp.
“In Atlanta, we made them (the cookies) ourselves. We made the cookies and we took them downtown. We wrapped them in waxed paper and tied them,then took them out and sold them. This lasted several years until we hired a baker.” ~Ellen Newell Bryan, long time Girl Scout volunteer and member of the National Girl Scout Board, in an interview at age 91
Even so, under the leadership of Mrs. Charles Shepherd, the girls of the Atlanta Council sold 7,867 dozen, bringing in $500. The next year, the girls and their parents sold 11,000 dozen cookies. Eventually, the cookie sales became so successful that the girls could no longer bake the cookies themselves, and the council contracted with a series of bakers to produce them.
In 1939, the first year that the cookies were embossed with the Girl Scout insignia, the council sold 17,000 dozen cookies. Mrs. Shepherd was given the Thanks Badge, the highest honor in Girl Scouting, for her work on the cookie sale.
As you can see from this 1962 case, we are still honoring the past and serving the future. This box honors the 50th anniversary of the Girl Scouts, and is about the same size as the cookie case is today. Interestingly, although you can’t see it from this picture, there are handles on the top of the case to make it easier for scouts (and their parents) to carry the cookies around the neighborhood.
Under the heading “1960s,” the GSUSA Girl Scout Cookie History site mentions that:
During the 1960s, when baby boomers expanded Girl Scout membership, cookie sale volume increased significantly. In 1961, 14 licensed bakers were mixing batter for thousands upon thousands of Girl Scout Cookies annually.
In 1960, licensed bakers first began wrapping Girl Scout Cookie boxes in printed aluminum foil or cellophane to protect the cookies and preserve their freshness. By 1966, a number of varieties were available. Among the best sellers were Chocolate Mint, Shortbread, and Peanut Butter Sandwich cookies.
These cookies–the Thin Mints, Trefoils, and Do-Si-Dos–are still available today and just as popular.
From the Atlanta Daily World, February 26, 1950:
GIRL SCOUT COOKIES–The members of Girl Scout Troop 140 prepare to sell cookies on Auburn Avenue. Miss Jesse Andrews, leader, totals the day’s receipts at the Girl Scout office. Three hundred Girl Scouts are selling cookies for the purpose of increasing their camp development fund. Cookie Sale dates are February 21 to March 10. Girl Scouts have secured permission to sell cookies at community centers, schools, grocery stores, and other public centers of activity. They ask the public to buy cookies.
Girl Scout cookie tins are very popular, and are often sought by collectors. According to the Girl Scout Collector’s Guide (2005),
“Many vintage Girl Scout cookie tins and boxes exist. These early tins and boxes are often difficult to identify and date, however. The difficulty can be attributed to the fact that over the years a great number of bakers existed in many locations throughout the country.” (p. 457)
The Archives also has a tin from Byrd’s Cookie Company in Savannah, Georgia, depicting the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace. We would love to hear from you about which tins you have in your collection!
As many of you know, it’s Girl Scout Cookie Time again. Perhaps you’ve seen uniformed girls in your neighborhood earlier in the year and now you have your Thin Mints on hand. Ever wonder which cookie was the first? The earliest mention of a cookie sale found to date by GSUSA was that of the Mistletoe Troop in Muskogee, Oklahoma, which baked cookies and sold them in its high school cafeteria as a service project in December 1917. According to the GSUSA website, an early cookie recipe was reported in The American Girl in July 1922. Here’s the recipe. Enjoy! (If you make the cookies yourself, please feel free to send a picture and tell us the results!)
An Early Girl Scout Cookie® Recipe
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar plus additional amount for topping (optional)
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
Cream butter and the cup of sugar; add well-beaten eggs, then milk, vanilla, flour, salt, and baking powder. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Roll dough, cut into trefoil shapes, and sprinkle sugar on top, if desired. Bake in a quick oven (375°) for approximately 8 to 10 minutes or until the edges begin to brown. Makes six- to seven-dozen cookies.
Note: If you are wondering where your local booth sale will be, check out the Cookie Locator.