The Northern California Girl Scouts condoned the selling of cookies in a rather unique locale. The Scout leaders stated that it is a parental responsibility to determine the acceptability of an area where their daughters may sell cookies. In this case, an enterprising young Girl Scout, Danielle Lei, got permission and encouragement from her mother to set up her cookie enterprise outside of a local cannabis clinic.
The clinic itself had no concerns about Ms. Lei peddling her wares outside their doors. In fact, several employees of The Green Cross, the medical marijuana clinic where the cookies were sold, purchased their own boxes. It seems that the majority of people involved, including Lei, her mother, the clinic, and the clinic’s cannabis patrons, were in great support of the cookie sales.
When the final count of the days sales were totaled, there were 117 boxes of cookies sold. That figure is, not surprisingly, significantly higher than the total sales she managed outside the local grocery store. It appears that the patients are happy to support this young girl on her cookie selling quest.
Girl Scout cookies have been around for almost 100 years. Originally, the selling of cookies was to raise funds to finance troop activities. There was no official baker or big name company churning out boxes of cookies for these young women. There was Mom, the oven, and an unofficial sugar cookie recipe featured in the still wildly popular American Girl magazine.
It wasn’t until the 1930’s that the Greater Philadelphia Girl Scouts had the cookies baked commercially. Still, these were not the same cookies that we now recognize today. They were simply sugar cookies baked in a commercial oven as opposed to the previous practice where the cookies were baked in the girls’ homes. It wasn’t until a year after Philadelphia’s commercial bake-a-thon that the Greater New York Girl Scouts took the commercially baked cookies to the next level. They first purchased a commercial cookie cutter in the shape of a clover, also known as a trefoil. Once the cookies were baked, they boxed them and had “Girl Scout Cookies” written on the outside.
This, in turn, prompted the national organization leaders to look into licensing a professional baker. Since then, commercial bakers have been manufacturing the cookies for Girl Scouts all around the nation. The only time the Girl Scouts have broken from this tradition has been during World War II when ingredients to make the cookies were unavailable. The girls were still selling, but the cookies were exchanged for calendars during this time.
While the Girl Scout Council does not promote the usage of cannabis, they are very much behind their cookies, and behind the enterprise of selling those cookies. The proceeds from cookie sales still remain with each individual local troop. Now, many of the troops use the money to support charities, as well as fund their troop activities. In the case of Lei and her sales, a portion of the proceeds are earmarked for donation to the Alzheimer’s Association.
The original recipe and cutter still remain basically the same. Trefoils may now be called Shortbreads, depending on the commercial baker. These Shortbread cookies are one of only three varieties which are mandatorily manufactured each year. The other two varieties made each year are the Thin Mints and the Peanut Butter Sandwich cookies. All three of these varieties rank consistently in the top five when it comes to popularity. Each year, a maximum of eight types of cookies are manufactured.
While the types of cookies, excluding the three mandatory cookies, may change; and the policies of individual Girl Scout Troops may differ, one thing remains the same. Regardless of the cannabis connection, Girl Scout Cookies remain an effective teaching enterprise for girls learning both about business and the world.
By Dee Mueller