Now all roads lead to France and heavy is the tread
Of the living; but the dead returning lightly dance.
Edward Thomas, Roads

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Girl Scouts and the Great War (Happy Birthday Girl Scouts)

Contributed by Donna Wagner

The Girl Scout Birthday today, 12 March, commemorates the day in 1912 when Juliette Gordon Low registered the first 18 girl members in Savannah, Georgia. The sale of cookies as a way to finance troop activities began in 1917, five years after Juliette Gordon Low started Girl Scouting in the United States. The earliest mention of a cookie sale found to date was that of the Mistletoe Troop in Muskogee, Oklahoma, which baked cookies and sold them in its high school cafeteria as a service project in December 1917.The profits from the first sales were used to send gifts to Doughboys fighting World War I.  

Everett Juliette Gordon Low (far right),
 founder of the Girl Scouts, with Troop #1 in 1917

After the war, Girl Scouts in different parts of the country continued to bake their own simple sugar cookies with their mothers. These cookies were packaged in wax paper bags, sealed with a sticker, and sold door to door for 25 to 35 cents per dozen.

The July 1922 issue of the American Girl magazine, published by Girl Scout national headquarters, featured an article by Florence E. Neil, a local director in Chicago, Illinois. Miss Neil provided a cookie recipe that was given to the council's 2,000 Girl Scouts. She estimated the approximate cost of ingredients for six to seven dozen cookies to be 26 to 36 cents. The cookies, she suggested, could be sold by troops for 25 or 30 cents per dozen.

1922 Girl Scout Cookies


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar, plus more for topping (optional)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • Preheat oven to 375° F.
  • Cream butter and 1 cup sugar. In another bowl, beat the eggs lightly. 
  • Add eggs to butter mixture; add milk, vanilla, flour, salt, and baking powder and mix well. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  • Roll dough, cut into trefoil shapes, and sprinkle sugar on top, if desired.
  • Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the edges begin to brown.

Makes 6–7 dozen cookies.

Source: GSUSA.

1 comment:

  1. Ah, those were the days, when the girl scout troops actually baked the cookies! Today they are all mass produced, and contain palm oil, which is planted in Southeast Asia after massive deforestation,which in turn contributes to widespread environmental degradation :(