Girl Scout cookies are one thing Girl Scouts are known for. It never ceases to amaze me when people see my daughter or her other troop mates in uniform, they ask if they have cookies. Little do they know cookies are only available a few weeks out of the year unless a troop orders extras. So let me ask, what do you really know about Girl Scout cookies? Samoas or Caramel Delites, Tagalongs or Peanut Butter Patties, Lemonades or Savannah Smiles, who doesn’t like a Girl Scout cookie. But did you know that selling Girl Scout cookies is teaching young girls how to set goals, run a business, and develop Girl Scout leadership skills?
Girl Scout Cookies: Samoas Season
Every year girls sell Girl Scout cookies. Samoas, Lemonades, Thin Mints and others are sold by the thousands. Girl Scouts sell cookies door to door, online, and at cookie booths. It’s not an easy task for girls or leaders alike. Selling Girl Scout cookies, Samoas included, raises money for troop trips, meetings, badges and community service projects.
The Troop Leader’s Role in Cookie Sales
The troop leader’s role is varied during cookie sales. It all depends on if they decide to fill dual roles during this season. Because of selling Girl Scout cookies, Samoas and all the other varieties are sold by the dozens, and someone has to track all that for the troop. That role falls on the troop cookie manager. Some troop leaders fill this role (I’m one of those) while others enlist a parent to do this.
Being a troop cookie manager takes time and effort. They track all the cookies taken by the troop, submit weekly orders for girls, set up cookie booths, and manage money from cookie sales. If it seems like a lot, it is. But it is completely worth it.
The other role of a troop leader in cookie season is what they always do. Running the troop, planning meetings, organizing outings, and everything else required in the job description. It really is a fun thing. Just keeps you hopping.
So if you want to be a jack of all trades and develop Girl Scout leadership while selling Girl Scout cookies Samoas, join the bandwagon of troop leaders. It is one of the most worthwhile things I do. If you want more info on becoming a troop leader check out my post “Starting a Girl Scout Troop: The Benefits to Moms and Daughters“.
The Truth About Selling Girl Scout Cookies From a Troop L
So why is it every year girls go door to door or stand outside pedaling cookies? It’s not for the joy of freezing their hiney’s off (if you live in a northern climate). It’s to learn to run a business and fund troop activities.
Each year girls all over take part in cookie sales. They are worth it but not easy. Think of your local businesses, how many competitors do they have in the local vicinity. Maybe a ½ dozen. Now think about all the girl scouts in your town. Depending on the size of town you live in there may be a few dozen to a few thousand. All with the same goal, selling a box of cookies and they only have about 5 weeks to do it.
So the odds are not in their favor. People may come knocking at the door wanting cookies but more often than not they are working countless hours to sell a few boxes. But it’s all worth it.
And here’s why…
Why Selling Girl Scout Cookies is Important
The best way for me to show you why it’s worth the effort girls put forth is if I tell you about what part of our cookie money funded last year. As a troop every year I let the girls decide what fun thing they would like to do with some of the money they earn. My girls picked a trip to Great Wolf Lodge.
Now for anyone that has been to a Great Wolf Lodge knows they aren’t cheap but they are very fun. So imagine taking a group of 10 girls plus 4 adults and the funds to cover the rooms, food, travel, and extras. That’s exactly what we were doing. Many thought it couldn’t be done but I didn’t want to discourage the girls and tell them there was no way it would happen. But it wasn’t an easy undertaking.
The girls worked hard through cookie season. As a troop, we sold over 3000 boxes of cookies. That funded about half of our trip. So we then worked hard to do a few extra fundraisers and last July I took 13 people for 2 nights, 3 days to Great Wolf Lodge. It was a blast! But without the support of people buying cookies and spending on our other fundraisers, it wouldn’t have happened.
Why Not Just Have Girls Pay For the Trips Instead of Selling Cookies?
Great question. But what many don’t realize is how many girls join girl scouts on financial aid. These girls are no less important to a troop. But those families more than likely can’t afford hundreds of dollars for their daughter to go on a trip. And as a troop leader, I won’t leave girls behind or make them feel awkward due to money. So if we are going as a troop then the troop pays or we agree on an affordable amount everyone pays and the troop pays the rest.
Money From Girl Scout Cookie Sales Provide More Than Just Fun Trips
Cookies provide more than just trips and fun things for girls. Troops also pay for badges, meeting supplies, community service projects and more. Selling Girl Scout cookies is how troops fund
You may think this isn’t that big of a deal but let me put a little perspective on it. In our area for me to buy one badge for one girl, it would take a girl selling 6 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies. Now, I have a troop of 9 girls so take that times 9 plus we generally earn up to 10 badges a year. So if we earn 10 badge times 9 girls that’s 90 badges. Which means we would have to sell at least 540 boxes of cookies to buy badges.
Now that doesn’t include trips, camping, meeting supplies, and the other things necessary to run a troop. So hopefully you get the idea that it’s about more than just a box of cookies, but about providing experiences for girls that they may not be able to get any other way.
Selling Girl Scout Cookies Also Develops Girl Scout Leadership
Selling Girl Scout cookies is about more than the money. Yes, the funds are a huge part of cookie sales, but the other thing girls are getting is the experience of running a business. They also learn how to set goals, interact with customers, count money, and be confident. All these are part of the Girl Scout leadership experience.
As a Girl Scout, leadership is key. Troops are supposed to be girl-led. Meaning they make the decisions, not the leaders. Now this is age dependent. As girls age they take on more roles in Girl Scouts. Leadership develops and they begin running the troop more and more. Cookies is one of those teaching tools.
These things generally don’t happen overnight, but in the four years I have been a troop leader, I have watched girls grow and gain confidence. They have learned to be vocal at cookie booths and ask customers for gifts of sharing donations. The girls are becoming more independent and able to count change and track sales without much adult help. As they have grown in Girl Scouts, leadership abilities within them
The one thing I see cookie sales doing is allowing girls to dream and providing them with a way to make those dreams happen.
Selling Girl Scout Cookies: A Junior Girl Scout’s Perspective
So that you don’t just have to take my word about why cookie sales are important, I interviewed a junior Girl Scout who has been in Girl Scouts and selling cookies for the past 6 years now. This is what she had to say about cookie sales.
“I have been selling Girl Scout cookies for the past 6 years. I have learned a lot of things along the way. I’ve learned that it’s harder than it looks. You have to get out there and try really hard if you want to reach your goals. But it’s completely worth the work. I like to earn money for my troop so we can go on big, fun camping trips and also go places like Great Wolf Lodge. This year I’m hoping to sell 700 boxes of cookies and get 400 boxes donated to our local Humane Society and the military. I’m selling Thin Mints, Caramel Delites, Shortbreads, Peanut Butter Patties, Peanut Butter Sandwiches, S’mores, Lemonades, and Thanks-A-Lots. If you’d like to support me or donate boxes of cookies feel free to visit my cookie shop. Thanks to all who support me and my troop!”Junior Scout
I have led this young lady in Scouts for the past 4 cookie seasons. Each year I have watched her grow and become more confident in how she approaches customers. She had gained so much Girl Scout leadership experience it amazes me. She has learned how to set goals and go after them. In addition, she has learned to handle money and count it back to customers, track sales, and adjust as necessary. And this isn’t exclusive to her, but what I see happen with all girls as they sell cookies year after year.
So, if you are ready for info on the cookie lineups and how to place a Girl Scout cookies order, read on…
The Girl Scout cookie flavors available
This all depends on the area you live in. In the United States, there are two bakeries, LBB
Below are the cookie flavors for ABC and LBB bakeries:
Thanks-A-Lots are sold exclusively by girls selling ABC bakeries girl scout cookie flavors. It is a shortbread cookie with a thin layer of chocolate on the bottom. These make amazing dunking cookies if you like milk and cookies. The cookie will soften within the milk while the chocolate keeps
A Junior Scouts thoughts: “Used to be my favorite until S’mores came along. Has a nice blend of chocolate and cookies.”
The next cookie is the S’mores. The S’mores cookies were released just a couple of years ago. This is one with a definite difference between bakeries. The LBB smores cookie has a cookie layer on the outside with a thin strip of chocolate and a thin strip of marshmallow on the inside. This is the only LBB cookie I have tried to date and they weren’t bad, but I have to admit I prefer the ABC S’mores.
The ABC S’mores cookie has a graham cookie inside with a very thin layer of marshmallow around the cookie. Then, the whole thing is dipped in chocolate. When we have been selling Girl Scout cookies we have found that people either love or hate the S’mores. Not a lot of gray area with this one.
A Junior Scouts thoughts: “This is my favorite. It has that chocolatey graham cracker all in one with a hint of marshmallow.”
Lemonades and Savannah Smiles
Both bakeries have their own version of a lemon flavored cookie. I have not had a chance to try the Savannah Smiles, but what I have read and heard others say is they are a tart crisp lemony cookie. I can’t speak for how well-liked they are as my daughter and troop sells the other lemon cookie: Lemonades. ABC bakeries make Lemonades. They are basically a shortbread cookie with a thin layer of sweet lemon flavor on the bottom. These are more sweet than sour with that little zip lemon brings. My husband hates lemon desserts but likes Lemonades if that tells you anything.
A Junior Scouts thoughts: ” If you like sour Lemonades are very sweetish, sourish.”
This is a classic cookie trademarked by Girl Scouts. They have been around for a long time. Both bakeries make Thin Mints. However, I have heard there is a slightly different flavor between the 2 bakeries. But regardless, it’s a true minty, melt in your mouth, classic. And try them in the freezer!
A Junior Scouts thoughts: “Really good. Nice minty flavor in them.”
Other varieties of Girl Scout cookies, Samoas and Caramel Delites, are very closely related. They are cousins made by the 2 different bakeries with just subtle differences. The Caramel
A Junior Scouts thoughts: “You can taste the coconut and it has a nice bit of chocolate in it.”
The Shortbreads and Trefoils are another classic cookie. They are the traditional butter cookie that the very first girls selling Girl Scout cookies sold. They are very simple yet delicious.
A Junior Scouts thoughts: “A little bland. But still tastes like a cookie.”
Peanut Butter Patties/Tagalongs
The Peanut Butter Patties and Tagalongs are a cookie with peanut butter on it all dipped in chocolate. So, if you like chocolate and peanut butter together you will probably like these. They give you the feel of a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup with a cookie crunch. They are one of my favorites.
A Junior Scouts thoughts: “Tastes a lot like Reese’s with a cookie in it.”
Peanut Butter Sandwiches/Dosidos
Peanut Butter Sandwiches and Dosidos are the last of the comparable cookies flavors between LBB and ABC bakeries. These are a crunchy peanut butter cookie with a peanut butter filling. These are a great coffee pairing and a nice crunchy cookie. As long as you like peanut butter.
A Junior Scouts thoughts: “Another one of my favorites. Has a nice blend of peanut butter, salt, and cookie.”
And last is the gluten-free varieties…
Toffee-tastic cookies are the gluten-free variety made by LBB bakeries. They have been around for a few years. They are a butter cookie with little toffee bits inside of them.
Caramel Chocolate Chip
This is a new gluten-free variety made by ABC bakeries. They were just released this year so I can’t attest as to how popular they are. They are a decent cookie but I have to admit I preferred the Trios cookies they replaced. But if this is your only option due to gluten intolerance they aren’t a bad little cookie. They resemble a small crunchy chocolate chip cookie.
Girl Scout Cookie Season
So, are you hungry for a cookie yet? If you are great! Well maybe. I say that because Girl Scout cookie season runs different all over the U.S. For me to tell you the exact dates in your area would be impossible.
However, if you want to place Girl Scout cookie orders from a local scout you can visit the GSUSA website here. Then enter your zip code. They will send you to your local council depending on your location. Your local council can then connect you with a scout in your area. You will then be able to get your Girl Scout cookies, Samoas, Caramel Delites, or whatever kind you like depending on the area you live in. You can also place your Girl Scout Cookies order online.
Or, if you would like to try any of the ABC girl scout cookie flavors mentioned above feel free to visit the link in the interview above to support the Junior selling Girl Scout cookies. You won’t be able to get some of the Girl Scout cookies, Samoas included, but can get it’s close cousin the Caramel Delites (which really is basically a Samoa) or some new ones you may not have access to like the Lemonades and Thanks-A-Lots.
Ready, Set, Action!
Now you know why you see girls selling Girl Scout cookies. They aren’t there to annoy you or break your diet. Get out there and support a Girl Scout, whether online or locally. Place a Girl Scout cookies order today.
They all are learning the ins and outs of business while chasing a dream of some troop activity they have planned. So go support the Girl Scout leadership program.
And if you don’t want cookies yourself, all you have to do is donate the price of a box and those “gifts of sharing” will go to an organization the girls have decided to support. What are your favorite Girl Scout cookies? Samoas? Lemonades? Thin Mints? Share in the comments below!