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2017 marks 100th year of Girl Scout cookie sales

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Photo by Pat Sunderland The Girl Scouts of Delta County are hitting the streets with boxes of highly-anticipated Girl Scout cookies.

The 2017 cookie season, which marks the 100th year of the first known sale of cookies by Girl Scouts, is under way. To commemorate this banner year for the organization and celebrate how the cookie program powers amazing experiences for Girl Scouts year-round, the highly anticipated Girl Scout S'mores™ cookies are now available, joining classics like Thin Mints® and Trefoils®/Shortbread.

The sale of cookies by Girl Scouts had humble beginnings, born as a way for troops to finance activities. The first known sale of cookies by Girl Scouts occurred in 1917, when the Mistletoe Troop in Muskogee, Okla., baked cookies and sold them in their high school cafeteria as a service project. As the Girl Scout Cookie Program developed and evolved, it not only became a vehicle for teaching five essential skills -- goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and business ethics -- but it also enabled collaboration and integration, as early as the 1950s, among girls and troops of diverse backgrounds as they worked together toward common goals.

Hoover inspired the first organized national sale of Girl Scout Cookies in 1933 as a way to cope with the effects of the Great Depression. And when the popularity of Girl Scout Cookies soared higher than expected in 1936, commercial cookie bakers were called in to assist in making the sweet treats. Not even cataclysmic world events have dimmed the popularity of Girl Scout Cookies or the resolve of tenacious and resourceful girls. During World War II, there was a global shortage of cooking ingredients like eggs, milk, and sugar -- and Girl Scouts, too, were faced with imposed war rationing. Girl Scouts sold calendars with images of them engaged in wartime service activities instead of cookies and supported the war effort through humanitarian actions like running farm-aid projects, planting victory gardens and sponsoring defense institutes that taught women's survival skills and techniques for comforting children during air raids. When postwar prosperity flourished across the country, Girl Scouts employed clever new sales tactics to their advantage. By going door-to-door and setting up booths in shopping malls, the girls were able to reach customers in innovative ways, as well as sell a brand new cookie -- the now iconic Thin Mints, which first were produced in 1939 as "Cooky-Mints."

Today, nearly one million Girl Scouts participate in the Girl Scout Cookie Program, generating nearly $800 million in cookie sales during the average season. All of the net revenue raised through the Girl Scout Cookie Program stays with the local council and troops. With over 50 million households purchasing cookies every season, the irresistible treats can be found nationwide and will hold a beloved place in Americana for years to come, continuing to help girls take the lead and, ultimately, change the world.

To find cookie varieties available locally or learn more about the history of Girl Scout cookies and the Girl Scout Cookie Program, visit www.girlscoutcookies.org. To contact one of the seven troops in Delta County, call Jessica Earl at 970-985-5297 or Georgi Kirkman at 901-1827.

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Clubs, Girl Scouts
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