Girl Scout Cookie season is well underway in Oxford.
The Girl Scout Cookie sale is the largest entrepreneurial project for girls in the world. Approximately 200 million boxes are sold every season, generating roughly $800 million for trips, service projects and camp for the scouts.
Oxford’s cookie preferences are consistent with those of the nation, according to a poll in the Oxford Talk Facebook page. Thin Mints (mint-flavored and crunchy cookies with a chocolate coating) are in the lead, with Tagalongs (chocolate-coated cookies with a peanut butter layer) and Samoas (ring-shaped cookies covered in caramel, toasted coconut, and chocolate) coming close behind.
Pitting the cookies against each other sparks heated debate.
“Thin Mints are the best, and anyone who says differently can fight me,” Miami University student Ryan Dern said. Dern purchased six boxes of Thin Mints this season.
The cookie sale traces its origins back to the Mistletoe Troop in Muskogee, Oklahoma in 1917 when the girls baked and sold cookies in their high school cafeteria. Now there are two licensed bakeries, Little Brownie Bakers in Louisville, Kentucky and ABC Bakers in Richmond, Virginia, that supply the nation’s Girl Scouts. The bakeries’ unique history accounts for regional variations in the cookies and their names.
Thin Mints from ABC Bakers are crunchier with more mint than chocolate, while those from Little Brownie Bakers are round and smoother with more chocolate taste. Samoas from Little Brownie Bakers have more toasted coconut and a heavy caramel layer, but the cookies are called Caramel deLites when produced by ABC Bakers and ironically have a vanilla flavor to them.
There are seven troops in Oxford and therefore plenty of opportunities to get your cookie fix. Scouts will be selling cookies at booths in front of Kroger, Walmart, and other businesses until March 24.
The program is so popular that the scouts don’t even need a sales pitch.
“I usually just say ‘hey, would you like to buy some cookies?’” Justice Isaacs, a Cadette-level scout, said.
It’s working. Isaac’s troop has sold over 1,000 boxes this season.
For Oxford’s Troop #41988, revenue from this sale will be used for a four-day trip this summer to Savannah, Georgia, which was the birthplace of the Girl Scouts over 100 years ago.
“It’s an opportunity to learn more about Juliette Gordon Low, the founder of the Girl Scouts,” Troop Leader Jessica Greene said.
The troop, which is made up of 12 Cadettes, or girls in sixth, seventh and eighth grade, will be exploring Low’s childhood home, now a Girl Scout museum and facility center, and visiting the beach at nearby Tybee Island.
Last year, Troop #41988 used their cookie sale revenue to build two benches for the newly-paved Oxford trail behind Yager Stadium. This earned the troop their Bronze Award, which recognizes “a commitment to working to better one’s life and the lives of others.”
“It’s our biggest fundraiser,” Greene said. “The girls pick where the money goes and how it helps.”