Friday, February 8, 2013

Eat Your #Desert First: National #GirlScouts Cookies Day

By Bandita @http://www.flickr.com/photos/cosmic_bandita/2276768734/

February 8

National
Girl Scout Cookies Day

I must say of all the bizarre holidays out there this one is my favorite. Who doesn't love a Girl Scout cookie? I was in Girl Scouts for most of my life. I wanted to join the organization after I saw a group of Girl Scouts marching in the Marion Popcorn Festival Parade in Marion, Ohio. I wanted to be just like them. My mother signed me up that year and the following year I was marching in the same parade. I was a very proud Brownie. I remained in Girl Scouts throughout my entire childhood and even became a leader as an adult. I had many great experiences while I was in Girl Scouts. One of my favorite things to do in scouting was sell Girl Scout Cookies. Every year I looked forward to when our leaders would pull out the poster that showed us the prizes we would win if we sold a certain amount of cookies. The more you sold the more prizes you won. The overachiever that I am wanted to win it all! There were many years I was the top seller. I had everyone in my family helping out with my cause and I made sure I was the first scout to approach all my teachers. 

My first Girl Scouts Uniform. 
Although Girl Scouting is a National Organization the sale of Girl Scout Cookies is run by the local Girl Scout Council. Approximately 70% of all funds raised goes back to the council in order for the council to continue to operate, maintain camps and provide programming for all their girls. Troops also benefit in the sale of Girl Scout Cookies. Each troop receives 10-15% of all profits from their cookie sales. Those funds are then used to help the girls with programming, uniform cost, camp scholarship and other expenses.

Girl Scout Cookies are a great way for the Girl Scout to not only help support their troop financially but to build five key skills. These being: Goal Setting, Business Management, Decision Making Skills, People Skills and Business Ethics. You can learn more about Girl Scouting and Girl Scout Cookies at http://www.girlscouts.org/program/gs_cookies/the_five_skills.asp

Here's a little known fact that I never knew until I moved from Ohio to Texas. There may varieties of Girl Scout cookies around the United States. That is because there is more than one bakery. Each region of the United States has its own bakery. The two bakeries used are Little Brownie Bakers, a subsidary of the Keebler company, and ABC Bakers, a subsidiary of Interbake Food. The Girl Scouts of America gives each bakery free range on the kind of cookies they want to make for their region with one exception. They must all produce Thin Mints, Peanut Butter Patties (AKA Tag-a-longs) and Shortbread (Trefoils). Currently there are up to 28 different varieties of Girl Scout cookies being made nationwide. You can read about the bestselling cookies on the Girl Scouts website at http://www.girlscouts.org/program/gs_cookies/meet_the_cookies.asp

A National Treasure
Juliette Gordon Low founded Girl Scouts in Savannah, Georgia on March 12, 1912. Five years later, the Mistletoe Girl Scout Troop of Muskogee, Oklahoma began to bake and sell cookies in their local high school cafeterias in order to raise funds for their troop. Their service project was such a success that it gained the attention of a reporter for The American Girl. The author of the article was a Girl Scout director in Chicago who shared a simple recipe for Girl Scout cookies and the idea that troops could raise funds by having the girls bake the cookies with their mother then selling them. The director estimated the cost of baking would run between 26 - 36 cents. The troops could then turn around and sell a dozen cookies for 26 to 36 cents each. Think about that. That means by selling six or seven dozen cookies those girls would have a HUGE profit. Some 2,000 troops started their own cookie campaigns during the 1920's and 1930's. Here is that recipe.
http://www.gsnetx.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=ZHAfn00jneA%3D&tabid=167

 Today, a box of Girl Scout cookies cost $3.50. You can learn more about the history of Girl Scout Cookies at http://www.gsnetx.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=ZHAfn00jneA%3D&tabid=167 

Girl Scout Cookies are ingrained in American culture so deep that they have become a recognized symbol. I have been involved with several councils but I have to say I have never seen a Girl Scout cookie event like the one the Kentuckiana Girl Scout Council of Louisville, Kentucky places each year.   The Kentuckiana Girl Scout Council serves 6,500 adult members and 22,000 girls in 64 counties throughout  southern Indiana, central and western Kentucky. Their largest fundraiser, Deserts First, takes place in Owensboro, Paducah and Louisville, Kentucky. Deserts First invites well known local chefs to create culinary masterpieces using Girl Scout Cookies as their main ingredient. The public is invited to taste their creations and mingle with other adults who support the Girl Scout organization. The night includes music, silent and live auctions, hors d’oeuvres, and the opportunity to vote on the best chef creation of the night. The winner of the best desert is announced during the event. The Louisville event is held only in January but Paducah and Owensboro are year round. You can view the recipes for the 2012 Lousville Deserts First event here. https://www.gskentuckiana.org/Portals/0/Fundraisers/2012-Recipes-from-Desserts-First-Louisville.pdf. Previous recipes are here: https://www.gskentuckiana.org/Fundraisers/Desserts-First/Desserts-First-Recipes.aspx
















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