My husband came home from work the other day and put three boxes of Girl Scout cookies on the table. My two girls and I squealed with delight – Girl Scout cookies! Looking a little shocked at our response, he simply should have stopped right there. Instead, he told us that one of the American sales executives who recently visited Beijing brought with him an entire shipping box full of all varieties of the cookies. This gentleman told my husband to take the majority of them for his family, and then distribute the rest as he saw fit. Gary came home with only three boxes, saying “I didn’t think you liked Girl Scout Cookies.” Wherever he got that idea, I’ll never know. When I gingerly asked how many boxes were given away, he said “Oh, about 20 or 30.”
While my waistline might appreciate this
naiveté, I certainly did not. Nor did my girls. There are many Girl Scout Troops around our area, but this main fundraiser of cookie sales is not allowed in China. I always felt that one of the perks of being in Girl Scouts was the cookie time of year, but I’m sure way back then I also appreciated the finer lessons the organization taught me.
For those of you who are not American and/or do not know about Girl Scouts, it’s an organization that was founded in 1912 to help empower girls and teach them a variety of values to embrace throughout life. Cookies are by far not what they would like to be best known for, but it is the topic of this blog due to my household’s recent cookie encounter. My interest was further piqued after reading an online news story about the Girls Scouts and their cookie sales. Here are some tidbits I learned:
*Since beginning in 1917, cookie sales have turned into a USD $700 million sales business, with 2.7 million sales “women” in all 50 states
*Cookies are sold anywhere between January and April every year, depending on the state
*198 million boxes of cookies sold just last year
*in 2008, a 15-year-old from Michigan sold 17,328 boxes for $14,000 – enough to send her entire troop on a 10-day trip to Europe
*The most popular types of cookies sold are Thin Mints, Samoas, Peanut Butter Patties, Peanut Butter Sandwiches, and Shortbread (my husband did happen to get two of these top sellers, bless him)
Incidentally, back in my college days, friends and I found an interesting stand-in for the taste of Thin Mints right in our dorm cafeterias. Break saltine crackers in a bowl, put a scoop or two of mint ice cream on top, and then pour on the chocolate sauce. I’m not sure if desperation created this odd-sounding replacement, but it works amazingly well as a Thin Mint substitute. At least it did 20-some years ago.
Now that my husband knows better, we can always look forward to cookie sales next year…