Leah Camp is a local Girl Scout Troop leader of Troop #70376.
"I have 20 girls in my troop," said Camp, "and last year proved to be a very successful year with cookie sales. The troop sold $18,000 worth of cookies, which equals 4,500 boxes."
Girl Scouts will be selling eight cookie varieties from now through the middle of March with proceeds benefitting local Girl Scouts.
"If a girl sells at least 500 boxes, she receives $150 off the cost of camp," said Camp. "Last year I had one that sold 500 boxes and three more that came close with 400 boxes each. The girls are also earning money to take a trip to St. Louis in June."
According to Camp, donations that are made are split in half to be given to the Mt. Vernon Rehabilitation Center and the GRIP Home for boys in Verona.
Girl Scout cookies had their earliest beginnings in the kitchens and ovens of members with mothers volunteering as technical advisers. The sale of cookies as a way to finance troop activities began as early as 1917, five years after Juliette Gordon Low started Girl Scouting in the United States.
The earliest mention of a cookie sale was that of the Mistletoe Troop in Muskogee, Okla., which baked cookies and sold them in its high school cafeteria as a service project in December 1917.
In July 1922, The American Girl magazine, published by Girl Scout national headquarters, featured an article by Florence E. Neil, a local director in Chicago, Ill. Neil provided a cookie recipe that was given to the council's 2,000 Girl Scouts. She estimated the approximate cost of ingredients for six to seven dozen cookies to be 26 to 36 cents. The cookies, she suggested, could be sold by troops for 25 or 30 cents per dozen.
In the 1920s and 1930s, Girl Scouts in different parts of the country continued to bake their own simple sugar cookies with their mothers. These cookies were packaged in wax paper bags, sealed with a sticker, and sold door to door for 25 to 35 cents per dozen.
Today, Girl Scouts offer eight cookie varieties, including Thin Mints, Caramel deLites, Peanut Butter Sandwiches, Shortbread, Thanks-A-Lots, Lemonades and Shout Outs. All cookies are $4 per box. The shortbread cookies will feature a special 100th anniversary edition box.
Individuals who do not pre-order Girl Scout cookies will can purchase cookies at an assortment of booth sale events that will be held later this year.