What sort of ogre could look a smiling little girl in the eye and refuse her a cookie sale? Luckily for the Girl Scouts of America, it would appear that these monsters are few and far between. For nearly a century, we have anxiously awaited their annual arrival, and gobbled up these tasty treats to the tune of 200 million boxes sold each year.
Girl Scout cookies arrived on the scene all the way back in 1917, when the Mistletoe Troop of Muskogee, Oklahoma decided to utilize these baked treats for their fundraising efforts. The idea caught on, and by 1936, the Girl Scouts organization was recruiting commercial bakers to help them keep up with the demand. When WWII arrived, customers were limited to two boxes, available in either vanilla or chocolate, as a result of wartime rationing. But once the hostilities ended, the young entrepreneurs were back in full force, ensuring that American families could buy cookies by the armful, in a variety of flavors.
While many types of cookies are offered annually, many are sold under different names, depending on the geographic region and which commercial bakery produces them. Never the less, everyone seems to have a favorite type and people commonly stock up on numerous boxes during the short-lived opportunity for purchase each year. Maybe you prefer the chocolate goodness of the overwhelmingly popular “Thin Mints”, which take on a texture that can only be described as heavenly when chilled in the fridge. Or, maybe you are partial to the peanut buttery goodness of “Do-Si-Do’s” and “Tagalongs”. Perhaps you like the simplicity of the “Shortbreads” or “Trefoils”, depending on where you live. Finally, there is the mother of all Girl Scout Cookies, the caramel, chocolate, and coconut delicacies known as “Samoas”. Regardless of your preference, there is a smiling little Girl Scout, eager to persuade you to open your wallet and trade some greenbacks for a few boxes of sublime indulgence.
In the past, one had to deal with the cruel wait time, as you placed your order, then waited a few long weeks for them to be delivered. Utter torture, that was. In recent years, the order system has given way to swarms of little girls standing outside of grocery stores, and tempting you with all of your cookie favorites; boxes stacked high and offering promise of instant gratification. It would almost seem as if the cookie boxes reach inside your subconscious and pull you magnetically towards them. This feeling can’t be all that different from what a heroin addict feels.
But these aren’t drug pushers, they are sweet innocent little waifs, looking at you with their puppy dog eyes and softly speaking the words that will make anyone on a diet cringe: ”Excuse me, would you like to buy some Girl Scout cookies?”. Why, of course we would, little girl. But you already knew that, didn’t you? Resistance is futile.
Are you still compelled to buy a few boxes of Girl Scout cookies each year? Which variety is your favorite? Share all of your thoughts in our comments section, as we anxiously await the annual arrival of these iconic confections, here at Retroland.