Are they made from real Girl Scouts?
March 4, 2015 9:07 AM   Subscribe

 
I've been dying to try the Lemonades, but they don't sell them up here. We happened to be in Orlando and spotted some Girl Scouts at the local Publix. Huge score! Of course now I'm in love with a cookie I can't get where I live :( :( :(
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:14 AM on March 4, 2015


Undoubtedly, the custom of girl scout cookies grew out of an earlier pattern in which individual troops would do bake sales, where they and their moms (or dads, as would have been the case in my family) baked cookies at home and sold them to support the troop.

So naturally, 'long about the 1960s they figured, let's do it the American Way, economies of scale, franchising, mass-produced identical commodities: better to make a whole bunch of mediocre cookies in factories, make everything 'easier' for everybody, take all the magic and individualism out, and voila, the bland, totally uninteresting system we have now.

On the one hand, local bake sales for x-cause or y-organization can be kind of a crapshoot. I'd say a quarter of the bake sale cookies I've bought over the years were basically inedible. But on the other hand, Girl Scout cookies are just another bland, over-sugared, mediocre industrial product, which by a process of synechdoche kind of makes the organization itself feel like a mediocre industrial product.
posted by jackbrown at 9:17 AM on March 4, 2015 [10 favorites]


Canada, I love you deeply, but Girl Guides cookies are just not the same.

(There are Thin Mints and chocolate and vanilla sandwich cookies. BUT NOTHING ELSE.)
posted by Kitteh at 9:25 AM on March 4, 2015


Girl Scout cookies are just another bland, over-sugared, mediocre industrial product

Don't you dare talk about my Samoas that way
posted by rifflesby at 9:26 AM on March 4, 2015 [27 favorites]


It's all about setting, because now, to me, "Synecdoches" sounds like yet another type of Girl Scout cookie.

I would also be curious to find out what Previouslies taste like. Maybe ABC Bakers's taste like pure nostalgia, while Little Brownie Baker's are tinged with regret.
posted by benito.strauss at 9:26 AM on March 4, 2015 [14 favorites]


Scandal!
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 9:28 AM on March 4, 2015


I was super disappointed in the (Little Brownie) GSCs this year. Maybe I've just lost my taste for them, but they were godawful. I'm getting squeaky-teeth just thinking about the horrible waxy coating on the Thin Mints.
posted by uncleozzy at 9:29 AM on March 4, 2015


Girl Scout cookies are just another bland, over-sugared, mediocre industrial product

Just walk away man, just walk away.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 9:29 AM on March 4, 2015 [9 favorites]


Having two cookies with "peanut butter" in the name just leads to confusion and hurt feelings. When my SO calls and asks what kind I want, I say ORANGE BOX and hope there aren't any weird test flavors in orange boxes that could throw him off.
posted by almostmanda at 9:30 AM on March 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


It's all about setting, because now, to me, "Synecdoches" sounds like yet another type of Girl Scout cookie.

A box of Girl Scout cookies, each cookie itself shaped like a smaller box of Girl Scout cookies...
posted by nebulawindphone at 9:31 AM on March 4, 2015 [14 favorites]


I was super disappointed in the (Little Brownie) GSCs this year. Maybe I've just lost my taste for them, but they were godawful. I'm getting squeaky-teeth just thinking about the horrible waxy coating on the Thin Mints.

Thin Mints are vegan this year.
There's something ... off about them.
posted by madajb at 9:33 AM on March 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


Thin Mints have been vegan longer than this year, IIRC. (ABC Thin Mints have been vegan for a while and it looks like Little Brownie followed suit. Actually, a lot of Girl Scout cookies are vegan. The Peanut Butter Tagalongs, the lemonade ones--the ones without powdered sugar--and a few others.)
posted by Kitteh at 9:35 AM on March 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


jackbrown--Nope--Girl Scout cookies have been made by commercial bakers since 1936.
"The Philadelphia troop concocted the idea to bake the cookies commercially and market them in the windows of local utility companies.

In 1936 the National headquarters of Girls Scouts of America hatched a new plan of baking all Girl Scout cookies in commercial bakeries, shortening the lag time in cookie production and increasing the sales inventory for troops across the nation.

Within a year, roughly 125 local chapters registered the initiations of cookie sales drives using the commercially baked cookies."
posted by Ideefixe at 9:36 AM on March 4, 2015 [8 favorites]


and voila, the bland, totally uninteresting system we have now

right but thin mints
posted by Jpfed at 9:36 AM on March 4, 2015 [9 favorites]


ABC BAKERS REPRESENT. And +100 for the impossibly perfect FPP title.

This is a timely post, I've just picked up my annual order of GSCs! Just about to dig in to some Cranberry Citrus Crisps. The LAT infographic made me really excited for the prospect of an even more delicious version of Peanut Butter Patties -- MORE peanut butter inside the cookie?! -- but Tagalogs have milk in. [heart breaks, an eagle softly cries]

Of course now I'm in love with a cookie I can't get where I live :( :( :(

Oh no! FWIW, we're knee-deep in Lemonades over here in southeastern Wisconsin -- I have three sleeves in my office desk drawer right this moment -- and I can totally mail you some if you'd like.

Just to make sure, since they weren't mentioned on the map: Everyone reading this has access to Thanks-A-Lots, right? The crunch! The dark chocolate! The little on-cookie reminders to stay grateful, no matter what language you're speaking! And they're made with sustainable palm oil! Basically they are perfect and you need them in your life TODAY. Yes, you!

Thin Mints are vegan this year.

Thin Mints have always been vegan in ABC country!
posted by divined by radio at 9:37 AM on March 4, 2015 [4 favorites]


I say ORANGE BOX and hope there aren't any weird test flavors in orange boxes that could throw him off.

but the orange box has always been about testing

ALTERNATE JOKE:
Sweet potato and... turmeric?
posted by backseatpilot at 9:37 AM on March 4, 2015


Oooh, this is interesting. Great post. I was a Girl Scout in ABC Bakers country, but now I'm solidly in Little Brownie territory. May have to ask mom to mail me some boxes for a taste test.

What's happening with the 49th parallel? Did they use two slightly different projections or something? Weird little display error.
posted by everybody had matching towels at 9:38 AM on March 4, 2015


Girl Scout cookies are just another bland, over-sugared, mediocre industrial product... which are occasionally all that holds me back from the yawning chasm of the Pit Of Despair.
posted by Devils Rancher at 9:38 AM on March 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


dbr -- Choose Veg says the Peanut Butter Patties are vegan, so maybe the baker for your area is one of the ones that isn't?
posted by Kitteh at 9:39 AM on March 4, 2015


House Little Brownie Bakers rules!
posted by Thorzdad at 9:40 AM on March 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


I do not have these Thanks A Lots, but I do have the Savannah Smiles. My niece is selling them and her goal (because she is a chip off the old auntie block) is to sell 500 boxes. So, of course, I have a billion boxes of GSCs.

But I want to know why we can't all have the same thing!
posted by Sophie1 at 9:43 AM on March 4, 2015


Thin Mints are the worst. They aren't even particularly good, but I always end up eating half a sleeve in a sitting out of some weird compulsion. They're the Pringles of cookies.
posted by gatorae at 9:44 AM on March 4, 2015 [4 favorites]


Canada, I love you deeply, but Girl Guides cookies are just not the same.

(There are Thin Mints and chocolate and vanilla sandwich cookies. BUT NOTHING ELSE.)


Do they still make the sandwiches? I thought the horrid little thin mints replaced them entirely a few years back, as a result of that half-assed slide toward Americanization we're always doing up here. Have I been suffering needlessly all this time?

The Girl Guide sandwich cookies are (were?) the best sandwich cookies evar. Just the right amount of softness, you know? Like maybe the fat content is higher than other cookies or maybe they're like really super stale or something. But, yeah.

Are those still a thing? Should I go harangue some Brownies, or what?
posted by Sys Rq at 9:46 AM on March 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


I honestly can't believe that there isn't some sort of organized smuggling operation down Interstate-80 giving the superior Samoas and version of the Thin Mints available to me in Chicago to the downstate area where I grew up who is denied them.

(though I guess a well organized smuggling operation isn't something I'd know about)

(anymore)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:47 AM on March 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


The Chicago area is solid Little Brownie territory. I so want the Thanks-A-Lots, but they're ABC Bakers only and aren't sold anywhere near me. Boo! And the Cranberry Citrus Crisps (ABC) sound so much better than Rah Rah Raisins (Little Brownie)

But I really want them to bring back Scot-Teas, Golden Yangles, and Kookaburras.
posted by SisterHavana at 9:48 AM on March 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


Sys Rq-- The Girl Guides website says that they're still a thing, but I have never seen them IRL. Maybe it's regional too?
posted by Kitteh at 9:50 AM on March 4, 2015


Choose Veg says the Peanut Butter Patties are vegan, so maybe the baker for your area is one of the ones that isn't?

All praise be to the Ancient Ones, I do have the vegan Peanut Butter Patties and may have eaten an entire box of them in two days in one day yesterday afternoon. But now I'm hankering to try the Little Brownies' version, the Tagalong, because it's advertised as having EVEN MORE PEANUT BUTTER... but of course, those are the ones that aren't vegan, hence the heartbreak and eagle tears.

Come to think of it, I'm a little bummed on behalf of any vegans and lactose-intolerant folks making their homes in the tiny corner of Wisconsin that appears to have been given over to the Little Brownie Bakers. What's up, Girl Scouts of Manitou Council?!

Folks stuck in LBB territory who need an ABC hookup, let's work it out!
posted by divined by radio at 9:53 AM on March 4, 2015


Thin Mints have always been vegan in ABC country!

Interesting. They didn't mention that in cookie training!
(but uncleozzy is in LBB country, so it could still be the difference they're noticing)
posted by madajb at 9:53 AM on March 4, 2015


This is something I think a lot about every year when we start getting the cookie push. I love that my girls are Scouts and they do amazing things, but we'd love to just bag the whole cookie thing on a troop level.

However, we're not allowed to do any other type of fundraising. It sucks, because selling processed sugar snacks is not really true to the general values of the families in our troop, and we have a lot of people who would be able to help our girls come up with a much more appropriate way to learn all the values that selling cookies is meant to teach: entrepreneurship, poise, etc. And we do fund a lot of cool things with the money we make (ours is not a badge-grubbing troop, we are pretty outdoorsy).

We try to make a point of letting our cookie customers know that we fund camping trips and elaborate service projects with our cookie profits, but it doesn't change the fact that when people hear "Girl Scout" they don't automatically think "Junior Social Justice Warrior Who Can Start Fires With Sticks And Moss", they think "Cookies!". Which sucks.
posted by padraigin at 9:54 AM on March 4, 2015 [14 favorites]


America : just another bland, over-sugared, mediocre industrial product.
posted by PROD_TPSL at 9:56 AM on March 4, 2015 [4 favorites]


Interesting, but I think this post just scratches the surface. A little internet searching reveals that the smaller and perhaps older of the two bakers, ABC, is part of Interbake Foods, which despite its conglomerate sounding name seems to specialize in cookies, especially made to be sold under other labels.

On the other side of things it is different. When I was growing up it was an open secret that a local business, Murray Biscuit, baked a lot of the Girl Scout cookies sold in the southeast. Through a series of aquisitions they eventually became part of Keebler who apparently are now owned by Kellogg, which really is a junk snack food conglomerate. They seem to be less open about their association; I had to go through Little Brownie Bakers' legal info page to see who they were part of.

I was very interested to see that according to the LA Times map I live right on the border between regions supplied by the two different bakeries. Since the season is winding down I will wait till next year, but it looks like I need to do a side by side comparison.
posted by TedW at 9:59 AM on March 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


The area I grew up in is listed as ABC Bakers, but things must have been different when I was a kid, because we definitely had Samoas. Though my memory is that something changed about Girl Scout cookies, but I wasn't the type to start calling them something new because the Man box told me to. Can any Girl Scout Cookie historians of North Carolina chime in? Was it disputed territory? Did ABC Bakers change the name in the 90s? I'm curious now.

Also, I'm 100% sure that the ABC Bakers picture is not what Thin Mints look like. I'm not angry with you, ABC Bakers, I'm just disappointed.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 10:01 AM on March 4, 2015


To be honest, once I found out that Keebler made knock offs of a few of my favorite GS cookies, I lost interest in getting them.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:05 AM on March 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


If I haven't mentioned, I will totally accept any and all vegan Girl Scouts cookies shipped up here. ;)
posted by Kitteh at 10:06 AM on March 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


I meant also to say: the Twin Cities has a different cookie baker than just over the river in Wisconsin, and there's a lively black market exchange of cookies that aren't available in both places. The years where one of us had Lemon-Aids and the other had Lemon Cremes were pretty fun, since people had Strong Opinions about which was better.
posted by padraigin at 10:08 AM on March 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


jackbrown: better to make a whole bunch of mediocre cookies in factories, make everything 'easier' for everybody, take all the magic and individualism out, and voila, the bland, totally uninteresting system we have now.

Still, they have nothing to fear from the competition: the Boy Scouts of America sell ... flavored popcorn. Stale popcorn, seasoned and flavored to mask the taste of regret and sorrow.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:21 AM on March 4, 2015 [3 favorites]


For everyone trapped in an ABC world with a hankering for Little Brownie cookies, the Girl Scouts are rolling out online ordering.

The sales process is somewhat convoluted, because they want to make sure the girls are still involved in the process.
They're trying to avoid the digital equivalent of leaving a cookie order form in the break room, I think.

But if you happened to know someone with a Girl Scout in the family (me!), you could contact them directly (MeMail!) for a link to their order form and soon forbidden cookies will be winging their way to your door.

(It's like Smokey and the Bandit. But more wholesome. And less car chases!)
posted by madajb at 10:22 AM on March 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


We skipped Girl Scout cookies this last time around, partly because of the whole pension mess but mostly because Mrs. usonian and I shouldn't be left alone in the house with entire boxes of cookies. The next time I see a troop selling cookies I think I'll just give them some cash (or do they have to kick a cut of straight donations upstairs too?) and go buy the generic Thin Mints/Tagalongs/Samoas that they sell at Family Dollar for $2 a box.
posted by usonian at 10:24 AM on March 4, 2015


Until two years ago, I pronounced "tagalongs" like "tagalog" (the language) and not like "tag along." I still do if I'm not thinking about it. If my parents had stayed in Wisconsin and not moved here to Minnesota when I was an infant, I could have been spared some embarrassment.
posted by Area Man at 10:24 AM on March 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


For all you frugal Samoas fans: you can buy an identical cookie at Aldi for $1.79/pkg. I do this and then donate directly to the troop at cookie sale time.

Also: back when I worked at a motorcycle shop in Atlanta, our Snap-On Tools guy used to buy cases and cases of cookies during the sale. Then he'd sell Girl Scout cookies throughout the year along his Snap-On route. Do you have any idea what a box of Thin Mints goes for in, like, October?
posted by workerant at 10:25 AM on March 4, 2015 [4 favorites]


> On the one hand, local bake sales for x-cause or y-organization can be kind of a crapshoot. I'd say a quarter of the bake sale cookies I've bought over the years were basically inedible. But on the other hand, Girl Scout cookies are just another bland, over-sugared, mediocre industrial product, which by a process of synechdoche kind of makes the organization itself feel like a mediocre industrial product.

And by your process of synecdoche, organizations selling those "basically inedible" homemade cookies are incompetent at their actual purpose, right?
posted by desuetude at 10:27 AM on March 4, 2015


Back when I was selling Girl Scout cookies my area's baker was Burry Lu. (Which isn't surprising when a quick search shows that Burry's was only a few towns away.)

I really miss the Scot-Tea's -- the trefoil shortbreads they have now are just not the same. (You know those butter cookies you see in the tins around Christmas with the sugar on top - that's what Scot-Teas were like.) They were always my second best seller after Thin Mints. (It was Thin Mints, then a very small gap, then Scot-Teas, then a large gap, and then everything else, lead slightly by Samoas, or before them, the chocolate robed one with peanut butter the name of which I cannot recall.)

Back in my day, as well, part of the point of the cookie sales was that a significant amount of the profits went back to the specific troop doing the selling. The idea was so that the girls would see their hard work (lack of it) make a direct difference to them. I gather that (a) changes in the way the money gets handed back and (b) the terrible fear of letting a child do anything on their own that leads to parents doing the bulk of the selling has put paid to that.
posted by Karmakaze at 10:28 AM on March 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


the Boy Scouts of America sell ... flavored popcorn.

Wow! In Canada back in the day we sold apples on street corners, went door-to-door collecting liquor bottles to take to the depot, and only in my last year or so started selling buckets of unpopped popcorn.

Leaps and bounds, I tells ya.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:34 AM on March 4, 2015


filthy light thief: "Still, they have nothing to fear from the competition: the Boy Scouts of America sell ... flavored popcorn. Stale popcorn, seasoned and flavored to mask the taste of regret and sorrow."

Boy Scouts aren't locked into selling popcorn and only popcorn*... and the profit margin on the corn is pretty good, compared to the measly pittance GSA earns per box of cookies.

I'm not saying the popcorn is GOOD, mind you. I still remember the horror of lugging those buckets of kernels door-to-door as a kid. At least these days it's easier to sell, because when it's pre-popped and drizzled with sugar, it's easier to convince people it's premium popcorn, vs. the bad old days when it was dry kernels only. There's no emotional pull for a popcorn kernel.

*Like wreaths. My kid sold 5 wreaths at the holiday fundraiser, which was enough to pay for a weekend camp. I say not bad for a kindergartener.
posted by caution live frogs at 10:38 AM on March 4, 2015


Sys Rq: "Wow! In Canada back in the day we sold apples on street corners, went door-to-door collecting liquor bottles to take to the depot, and only in my last year or so started selling buckets of unpopped popcorn.
"

Lucky. We earned our summer camp money cleaning up the local track'n'trail after events. Acres of garbage, empty beer cans, cigarette butts, and bits of broken styrofoam coolers, all interspersed with piles of vomit. Fun times.
posted by caution live frogs at 10:41 AM on March 4, 2015


One of the great discoveries of my childhood was that you could get the GS peanut butter sandwich cookies -- the only really good ones -- year-round at the grocery store.

Gauchos by Burry's.

Burry's is still around but apparently they don't make Gauchos or GS cookies anymore.
 
posted by Herodios at 10:48 AM on March 4, 2015


A few years ago the Girl Scouts near me tested a Belgian spice cookie that was amazing. The fact that it was only available for one year is one of the greater sorrows of my adult life.
posted by Itaxpica at 10:53 AM on March 4, 2015


I've always known that I liked one Thin Mint more than the other, and I think it's the ABC that I grew up with. But since we were an Orthodox Thin Mint household, I didn't get into Samoas until later, when I was obviously in Little Brownie country.

You know the episode of South Park when Butters dresses up as "Marjorine" in order to infiltrate the girls' slumber party? That's what Caramel deLites are. Gimme genuine Samoas or take your filthy imposter bread out the door with ya.
posted by Navelgazer at 11:03 AM on March 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


A box of Girl Scout cookies, each cookie itself shaped like a smaller box of Girl Scout cookies...

"And inside those cookies, still more box-shaped cookies! It goes on from there. I don't want to spoil where it all ends, but to give you a hint, the flavor of our quarks is Mint."
posted by JHarris at 11:06 AM on March 4, 2015 [5 favorites]


and the profit margin on the corn is pretty good, compared to the measly pittance GSA earns per box of cookies.

When I discovered what my daughter's troop netted on cookie sales (around 16%), it made want to nuke the whole fucking thing and go back to a bake sale. I also sell scout popcorn and that's slightly better (33%), but it's vampires all the way down on these fundraisers.

I'm tempted to go to my Pack next fall and say "tell you what. No popcorn sales if you all kick in $50". And we would be WAY ahead. The local councils don't like this, of course, but at this point they can go scratch.
posted by JoeZydeco at 11:07 AM on March 4, 2015 [3 favorites]


the flavor of our quarks is Mint

Yeah, yeah--don't you think this sub-atomic marketing spin is a bit over the top?
posted by yoink at 11:22 AM on March 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


Hi, I'm a leader and this is my stair case.

Somebody please help me.
posted by phunniemee at 11:37 AM on March 4, 2015 [16 favorites]


I discovered this a couple of years ago when I told my mom, who lives an hour and a half away, to get me some lemon cookies. We have Lemonades (or Limonadas, some years) here, they don't and I ended up with the Savannah Smiles and was all whaaaa? I now compulsively buy the Lemonades whenever I can just in case they disappear forever.

I apparently live RIGHT on the borderline between bakers.

Though this does finally explain the differing names thing. I just thought people were trying to be kr8tiv about branding.
posted by jenfullmoon at 11:49 AM on March 4, 2015


I love your stair case.
posted by Kitteh at 11:49 AM on March 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


This cracks me up, regarding Samoas: "A tasty treat isn't all that's involved with a box of our caramel and toasted coconut-covered cookies. Through interaction with each customer and other Girl Scouts, a girl learns the importance of keeping her word, doing the right thing, and being fair. A girl learns the business ethics that will serve her throughout life."

"A girl learns the business ethics that will server her throughout life," i.e. never meet your customer, let your parents sell your cookies to their co-workers, and let your parents do all your hard work for you.

I'll take 4-H, thanks. Then I will really know where my food comes from.
posted by tempestuoso at 11:51 AM on March 4, 2015 [5 favorites]


Ugh, that popcorn. I saw a Boy Scout troop selling popcorn outside a local big box store not too long ago and headed over to the table, thinking one of the dinky bags they were selling would be like $10... an outrageous price for a few ounces of factory popcorn that's probably months old, but I was a Scout and while the national organization needs to get its shit together on some issues, I think local troops and councils *generally* do the right thing, so I figured I'd buy a bag to support them.

They were selling that shit for $25 a bag! I was so taken aback that I wound up buying a $10 bag of popping kernels, but from now on I'll just give them cold hard cash. My own troop's big annual fundraiser was door to door lightbulb sales - probably discontinued in this age of CFL and LED bulbs.

My Cub Scout pack held a pretty successful father-son cake baking/decorating contest and auction every year. Some cakes went for absurd amounts of money because of course every kid wanted to bring their own cake home, and dads would be guilted into bidding wars.
posted by usonian at 12:04 PM on March 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


Do you have any idea what a box of Thin Mints goes for in, like, October?

It seems the sort of thing Silk Road was designed for.

Our region went from Little Brownie to ABC: I was not impressed. It was like the cookies got 20% suckier. It was bad enough I stopped shipping them to expats. Not bad enough to stop buying the sugar-crack.

"A girl learns the business ethics that will server her throughout life," i.e. never meet your customer, let your parents sell your cookies to their co-workers, and let your parents do all your hard work for you.

I share a similar heart: I required my daughter to deliver all her cookies personally but did act as her sales agent (cos' what, we gonna ignore that market? Posting the sign-up is one thing, going pod-to-pod something else. Senior Daughter Lawless tirelessly manned a booth and worked her church, she's earned her stripes this year.) This being the second fundraiser of the year I worry that Girl Scouts has too deep a hand in incentivizing these things. Do cookie weekend! Get a patch! Sell some magazines! Get some tschotskes. Yuck.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 12:29 PM on March 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


Canadian Girl Guides sell those chocolate covered mint cookies around Christmas, and the sandwich-type cookies in the spring. I'm a former leader and when cookie times roll around, I always look for a Guide/Brownie/Spark parent in my office and buy a case. I then put out the cookies, a couple of boxes at a time, in the office lunch room. My colleagues are pleased to get the cookies with their coffee for a couple of weeks; the parent is usually deeply grateful that there are 10 fewer houses he/she has to visit with his/her daughter.
posted by angiep at 12:32 PM on March 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


Everyone reading this has access to Thanks-A-Lots, right? The crunch! The dark chocolate! The little on-cookie reminders to stay grateful, no matter what language you're speaking!

The way you can stick a marshmallow between two cookies, put it in the microwave, and have S'Mores! If you have never had Thanks A Lots S'mores, you're missing out.
posted by Ruki at 12:58 PM on March 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


tempestuoso: "I'll take 4-H, thanks. Then I will really know where my food comes from."

Yeah, it's not like I've ever had a 4h parent drop hints at the office that Lamby McChops is up for auction soon. That's totally not a thing that never happens to anybody in 4h communities ever.
posted by boo_radley at 1:13 PM on March 4, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'm sorry, I don't mean to speak from experience there. That's not fair to 4H or the relevant brands that it benefits and benefits from.
posted by boo_radley at 1:15 PM on March 4, 2015


Note that ABC Bakers is in Little Brownie territory. Think about that: if you work at ABC Bakers and you buy thin mints from your coworkers' children, you're not even getting the thin mints you make.

Personally, I never got why people got so worked up over Girl Scout cookies. They've always tasted like mediocre supermarket cookies to me; and I'm not that discriminating when it comes to these things ...
posted by Betelgeuse at 1:21 PM on March 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


Thin Mints are the worst. They aren't even particularly good

But they used to be really good, with no similar counterpart in (USA) supermarket cookie aisles. Recently however I've become aware of Keebler Grasshoppers and after extensive testing I must say, sorry Little Brownie but your product's inferior to Keebler's. And more expensive!
posted by Rash at 2:14 PM on March 4, 2015


this explains a lot! every time i've bought cookies as an adult i've gotten the little brownie ones, but i grew up on team ABC. Caramel DeLites for DeLife!
posted by ghostbikes at 2:24 PM on March 4, 2015


> However, we're not allowed to do any other type of fundraising

Are you sure? As always, ask your council, but my understanding is that so long as you sell cookie you can do all the other fundraising you want -- and "sell cookies" could be one case of Thin Mints your troop buys itself and gives away.
posted by The corpse in the library at 3:09 PM on March 4, 2015


> Hi, I'm a leader and this is my stair case

Hi, leader! I'm a leader, too. Here we see cookies in their natural environment, the suburban minivan.
posted by The corpse in the library at 3:13 PM on March 4, 2015 [6 favorites]


Are you sure? As always, ask your council, but my understanding is that so long as you sell cookie you can do all the other fundraising you want -- and "sell cookies" could be one case of Thin Mints your troop buys itself and gives away.

Sure.
As long as it is approved up to 8 weeks in advance, doesn't happen during council sponsored product sales times (cookies, calendars, etc), doesn't conflict with United Way fundraisers, doesn't endorse or involve a commercial product, or involve a game of chance or raffle.
Also, you need to justify your need for the money in advance (no saving for a rainy day here).

On the other hand, if you do jump through all the hoops, your girls get to keep everything they net, without having to kick back to the "local" council.
posted by madajb at 5:30 PM on March 4, 2015 [3 favorites]


But they used to be really good, with no similar counterpart in (USA) supermarket cookie aisles. Recently however I've become aware of Keebler Grasshoppers and after extensive testing I must say, sorry Little Brownie but your product's inferior to Keebler's. And more expensive!

Also, Keebler Coconut Dreams are the supermarket equivalent of Samoas (and now they have a fudge-covered version too!), and Pitter Patters are the equivalent of Do-Si-Dos.

Meijer also has a very tasty store brand version of Samoas.
posted by SisterHavana at 5:54 PM on March 4, 2015


I have a Brownie girl scout here, with a Digital Cookie site in Little Brownie Baker country, if anyone wants to memail me for the link. I don't have a staircase of cookies, but it was pretty impressive when I had the 106 cases my troop initially ordered all in the house. I'm down to a low wall of cookies under the window now and another week and a half of sales.
posted by Margalo Epps at 8:25 PM on March 4, 2015


We haven't even had a booth sale yet, so my dining room is packed full of cookies. At this point, I'd straight up pay the daughter of my former cookie mom to rejoin Girl Scouts.

Anyway, ABC troop leader here, with less than a month to sell the hell out of these cookies before my in-laws come over for Seder. I've got the gluten free cookies!
posted by Ruki at 8:47 PM on March 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


(Full disclosure: I'm told the gluten free cookies have a cheese puff aftertaste.)
posted by Ruki at 8:48 PM on March 4, 2015


"A girl learns the business ethics that will server her throughout life," i.e. never meet your customer, let your parents sell your cookies to their co-workers, and let your parents do all your hard work for you.

I admit this varies from place to place, but my mother was my troop leader, I have carried literally one billion boxes of cookies, our outdoor booth sales rarely involved temperatures comfortably above freezing, and I think my dad brought in a dozen pity sales every year. I sold hundreds of boxes every year, it really did help fund troop/GS activities, and it forced me to learn to talk to probably more people in those short weeks than I did the rest of the year. If parents are choosing to involve themselves to that degree, they're doing it wrong. I don't think cookies sales are the best option for all troops, and I wish there was more flexibility for fund raising, but they can be really important tools for teaching young girls a lot of skills.

ps LA troops, I am an easy mark and for you, I will even bring exact change, please, I ate my last hoarded box of Samoas last month and everything's a little sadder now
posted by jetlagaddict at 10:23 PM on March 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


When I was a Girl Scout, I sold more cookies than anyone else in my troop. I bore unsuspecting Girl Scouts with that story every time I buy cookies from them.
posted by gingerbeer at 10:26 PM on March 4, 2015


Keebler owns Little Brownie Bakers.

ABC loyalists will be disappointed by Keebler's cookies.
posted by elsietheeel at 8:03 AM on March 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


> If parents are choosing to involve themselves to that degree, they're doing it wrong. I don't think cookies sales are the best option for all troops, and I wish there was more flexibility for fund raising, but they can be really important tools for teaching young girls a lot of skills

I agree. I do see some parents who are over-involved in the sales, but the majority of cookie sales that I know about really are girl-led (after the parents take care of logistics). I think I sold maybe 10 boxes of cookies without my daughter this year, and next year I hope to do none.

One of my Brownies wrote a song about buying cookies. On a camping trip we filmed the girls singing it at a variety of locations around a Girl Scout property -- the leaders held the phones to record it, but that's it. I put the files on a computer, showed my daughter where iMovie was, and left her to it. She taught herself how to import the files, how to edit them from various takes, and how to put in titles. It's awesome.

She also made her own Digital Cookie site. I had to make the login but all the writing is hers (and the link is in my profile if you're curious -- but grr, it doesn't show her current cookie sales, which have surpassed her original goal).

So yeah, that's all stuff I could've done for her, but she did it all. She's not doing a whole lot of cookie booths because, frankly, I don't have the patience and she can't do them without me. I feel sorry for the girls whose parents do it all for them, and hope that the girls shove the adults out of the way as they get older.

My daughter can be shy, and until recently had a stutter. Seeing her ask customer after customer walking out of Safeway if they'd like to buy some Girl Scout cookies makes me so proud.

So, to people who are complaining about how the Thin Mints don't taste as good as you remember them from your childhood, or how they're more expensive than store-brand: it's not about the cookies. It's about the girls.
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:42 AM on March 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


We can't really have GS cookies in our home primarily because my daughter has Celiac disease, but also because of the tiny return that the troop gets per box. I asked at a local set up outside a grocery store and was told that they get 60¢ per box sold. I gave them the equivalent of selling 10 boxes instead.
posted by plinth at 8:49 AM on March 5, 2015


Our troop gets closer to 75ยข per box, which sounds bad until you realize that, for example, my daughter made around $150 this weekend for her troop. That's not easy to do as an eight-year-old. Stupid child-labor laws, spoiling all the fun.

P.S. I took the link to my daughter's site out of my profile because I really did mean it as a demonstration of what a girl can do, but realized it looked like I was trying to sell cookies for her. Sorry. Not my intention. She made her goal and then some, and she's content.
posted by The corpse in the library at 12:55 PM on March 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


Here's my wall of cookies. (It's a double-row, so not everything is visible.) I have to say I've been amazed watching girls come into their first booth sale, some very unsure, and all leaving full of confidence. Even the shyest of the scouts are able to speak clearly, loud enough, and make eye contact with each customer by the end. It's really neat to watch. I figure my role as an adult is to coach them when they need it, haul cookies to their site, and hold onto the large amounts of money. They do all the selling themselves.

And as for the amount our troop receives -- our troop decided to not go overboard with selling, since it's our first year, and our scouts have already made $800 for the troop. This is about $600 more than we thought the girls would want to sell. About $1600 goes to council programs, like scholarships to camp and having the resources to keep foster children in their troops when their families change. (In our council, it's 20% to troop, 43% to Girl Programming, 14% Administration & Fundraising, and 23% is how much the cookies cost. Pdf link to cookie manual with those numbers.) So I guess the questions are whether you think those other things are worth funding and whether having our scouts do the funding is the best way. It does seem to work.
posted by Margalo Epps at 5:57 PM on March 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


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