In 1912, at a time before women could vote, Juliette Gordon Law, a half-deaf fifty-one year old, had the vision to create the Girl Scouts. She imagined an organization in which girls could embrace, and through collaboration and cooperation learn outdoors skills, share their intellects, hone their strengths, and own their individualities. Juliette gathered eighteen girls together in Savannah, Georgia -- eighteen of the first Girl Scouts.

 

Juliette Gordon Law pictured above
CREDIT: BETTMANN/GETTY IMAGES

 

While Suffragettes fought legally and politically for women’s liberation, the Girl Scouts empowered from within. Members of the newly founded organization swam, played basketball, and hiked, studied foreign languages and astronomy, while sharing their curiosities and increasing their confidence. On August 18, 1920 the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified, enfranchising American women and allowing the arms of the Girl Scouts Movement to wrap themselves around even more people.

 

 August 18, 1920, Women’s Suffrage
Bettmann Archive/Getty Images
 

To finance many of their activities, the Girl Scouts sold simple sugar cookies door to door for 25 or 30 cents per dozen. The Recipe, published in 1922 by The American Girl magazine was often baked by scouts, at home, with their mothers. By the 1930s though, cookie began selling in gas and electric company windows. By 1936 the organization had begun the process of licensing commercial bakers to reproduce their cookies for nationwide sale. Throughout the following decades, cookie varieties increased: chocolate mint (now thin mints) and shortbread in the 1950s, and later peanut butter sandwich cookies.  

 

Hennepin County Library

 

Today, these cookies which started a century ago at a time when equal rights between men and women were considered radical, make up an 800 million dollar business. The average Girl Scout sells 133 boxes of cookies a season, with a majority of their profit targeted towards supporting the organization’s mission: building girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place.

From domestic kitchens, to small shops, and now globally recognized and valued, in many ways, the evolution of Girl Scout Cookies mirrors the social progression of women, young and old. 

So, here’s how some of the best selling Girl Scout Cookies stack up against a Rip Van Wafel:

To be clear; we’re not saying don’t support the Girl Scouts -- we love them! -- but every now and then try switching up a sugary Samoa or Thin Mint, for a wafel. You can support women and your own health at the same time!