I cannot resist a box of Caramel DeLites (formerly known as Samoas). Everyone has their favorite. Was that a marketing campaign the Girl Scouts used once? Over the years, my preference for Girl Scout Cookies has evolved. Of course, I will always enjoy the standard Thin Mints. At some point, I used to partake in the Peanut Butter Patties (formerly known as Tagalongs). I also have vague memories of enjoying a Kookaburra or two.
It’s interesting that the cookies and names are not nationwide. Out here in California we have Thanks-a-Lot, a chocolate dipped shortbread cookie. Elsewhere they have Dulce de Leche. I prefer a cookie with chocolate over a cookie without chocolate, unless it has raisins in it. Raisins just ruin a good cookie.
However, one non-chocolate cookie I do enjoy is the Lemonade. I didn’t see them available when I stopped at the table set up outside the Lowes in Folsom yesterday. It’s funny because when I was a Brownie oh so many decades ago, we didn’t set up tables at grocery stores and shopping centers. Our cookie time was in the fall not in the late winter. I’m not sure if it was because I lived back East or if things were just different back in the early 1980s. We also went door to door because the creepies weren’t as prevalent as they are today. Granted they were just starting to emerge in the evening news, so we only knocked on doors of known neighbors and only when a parent or guardian was present. It seems to me though that the table in a high traffic area is a pretty good business model. I wonder how much each troop pulls down at those spots and are some better than others? Who decides where to go and do they have to get permission from the store to set up shop?
>Having been a Girl Scout leader for years I can answer a lot of those questions:
There are 2 different bakeries for GS cookies that a council can use – hence the name difference and cookie option difference. However the bakeries usually put out a new cookie and drop an unpopular one annually. The core ones always stay the same though: Samoas, Tagalongs, Trefoils, Thin Mints and Do-Si-Dos.
We still do pre-sales to friends and family (and neighbors too) the site sales are a way to augment our cookie sales to make more money since on the average (depending on cost of cookies) troops only earn about 50 – 70 cents per box. Each council works out when to do cookie sales which may be influenced by other children's groups in the area (for example in Seattle we didn't sell at the same time Campfire kids were doing their mints/candys or Boy Scout popcorn time). But since there are so many councils nationwide, they stagger them from about October into the spring.
Each Service Unit (a subset of each council) sets up their own site sales and makes arrangements with the various businesses to be there for our appointed 2 – 4 hours. And definitely some businesses are better than others. We figured out (and I recognize how I'm going to sound) that with my little African-American girls, we could do really well at places like food co-ops or like Trader Joes (white liberal guilt is a powerful thing). On a good day we could sell several hundred boxes at a location.
>Thanks for the comment, Joanne. That's very interesting! I didn't realize how much the troop made on a box of cookies nor how much goes into deciding when/where to sell the cookies.