Girl Scouts offer cookies in Anza

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Girl scouts selling cookies
Scouts and mothers from Troop 1805 offer Girl Scout cookies at the Anza Valley True Value hardware store Saturday, Feb. 8. Anza Valley Outlook/Courtesy photo

Girl Scout cookies have arrived, and fans in Anza are searching out every variety. Anza Girl Scout Troop 1805 is filling the landslide of orders.

The young ladies can be seen hosting their cookie booth at the Anza Valley True Value hardware store Saturday, Feb. 8, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Cookie season began in January and will continue through April. The starting price for cookies is $5 per box, with some flavors offered at $6 a box. Proceeds from the sales go to support the Girl Scout organization.

“When you make a Girl Scout cookie purchase, you’re helping the next generation of girl entrepreneurs get an important taste of what it takes to be successful – teamwork, planning and a positive outlook (for starters),” according to the Girl Scouts website.

Girl Scout cookies sign
Troop father Don Salazar set up a sign to help direct buyers to the Girl Scout Cookie sales booth at the Anza Valley True Value hardware store. Anza Valley Outlook/Courtesy photo

Money earned through the sale of the cookies stays local. Marketing techniques teach the girls skills they can use to be successful as they mature. Talking to complete strangers, making change, offering product with a smile, answering questions and dedication are some of the lessons learned.

The confections are a special treat with limited availability, and everyone has their favorite flavor.

“My favorite cookie is the Lemonade,” April Elizabeth Vollan said. “I have always loved Girl Scout cookies. My daughter started selling them three years ago, with me stockpiling at the end of the season and freezing them so we have cookies for a couple more months. That’s how much we love them. Did you know you can find recipes online to make yummy desserts with the cookies, like cheesecake and thin mint crust?”

For more than 100 years, Girl Scouts have offered the cookies for sale as a fundraising event. The cookie sales began as a way to finance troop activities about 1917, in the early years of the Girl Scouts organization. The simple sugar cookies were originally baked by Scouts and other helpers and sold by the girls door to door.

By 1922, cookies could be purchased for 25 cents a dozen, wrapped in wax paper and sealed with a sticker.

In 1935, the sale of commercially baked cookies was developed, and the words “Girl Scout Cookies” on the box was first made available. In 1936, the national Girl Scout organization started the process of licensing the first commercial bakers to produce cookies that could be sold nationwide. By 1937, over 125 Girl Scout councils had cookie sales.

During World War II, because of food shortages, the Girl Scouts sold calendars instead of cookies, but after the war, cookie sales boomed. By 1948, 29 bakers were licensed to make Girl Scout cookies.

In 1951, Sandwich, Shortbread and Chocolate Mints were offered, and by 1966, Peanut Butter Sandwich cookies were added, along with a couple more varieties and produced by about 14 bakers.

In 1978, four bakers produced the cookies, and all cookie boxes had the same designs depicting scenes of Girl Scouts hiking and canoeing. In 1979, the new Girl Scout logo appeared on the cookie boxes.

Choices during the 1970s included Thin Mints, Peanut Butter Sandwich/Do-si-dos and Shortbread/Trefoils and four additional flavors.

In the 1990s, three licensed bakers supplied eight varieties of cookies, and in the 2000s, the bakers were reduced to two. The youngest Girl Scout Daisies were also allowed to help market the cookies.

Today the Scouts are offering the famous treats at malls, door-to-door in their neighborhoods, at sporting events and even over social media and online. Families and troop parents help the girls with transportation and coordination. Sales are continue, and the money raised supports these girls in their educational and fun activities.

“These cookies definitely make a pregnant woman happy,” mother-to-be Heather Wilson said.

To learn more about Girl Scout Troop 1805, visit them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/groups/girlscouttroop1805.

Diane Sieker can be reached by email at dsieker@reedermedia.com.