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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Girl Scout cookie sales have sweeter significance

Photo by Elena Fiegen
Girl Scout cookies vary from region to region based on their names, their appearances, their tastes and even their recipes. Two different companies make the cookies for all of the U.S.

The start of March marks the beginning of Women’s History Month, and fittingly, Girl Scout cookie season.

While many people look forward to the annual announcement that a younger cousin or a co-worker’s child is selling boxes of famous sweet treats, there is more to Girl Scouts than just providing widely-loved cookies that cannot be regularly purchased in a grocery store.

According to the Girl Scouts’ website, the cookie sale both raises money for Girl Scout troops and helps girls learn five main skills: goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and business ethics. The exact date of when cookies go on sale varies from region to region, but it is typically between January and April.

“I just think like the whole concept (of Girl Scouts) is really important — (it is) just like empowering girls and women from such a young age to have the motivation and confidence to make a difference and know that their voices matter,” Siobhan Colleran, a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences, said.

Colleran took part in Girl Scouts in elementary school, and said she had a positive experience with the organization. She said her history with Girl Scouts played a partial role in her decision to join Kappa Delta — a sorority that has Girl Scouts as one of its philanthropies — during her sophomore year.

As part of its philanthropy, Marquette’s chapter of Kappa Delta works closely with Milwaukee Girl Scout troops, Colleran said. They annually set up campus tours for local Girl Scouts, where troops come to Marquette and members of Kappa Delta divide into groups according to major. The Kappa Delta members then set up activities to teach the girls what they do and learn in school.

Other involvement with the Girl Scouts includes helping local troops with their cookie sales, and both sending members of Kappa Delta to troop meetings and inviting troops to Kappa Delta chapter meetings.

The Girl Scouts’ mission toward creating a positive community of girls dedicated to values like confidence, strength and leadership similarly aligns with what it means to be in a sorority, Riley Donahue, a freshman in the College of Business Administration, said. Both organizations were formed at similar times: according to the Girl Scouts’ website, founder Juliette Gordon “Daisy” Low brought together the first group of what would become known as Girl Scouts in 1912, during the height of the Progressive Era. Kappa Delta was established in 1897, toward the beginning of the Progressive Era, by four women at the State Female Normal School — now known as Longwood University — in Farmville, Virginia.

Colleran is far from the only Kappa Delta member to have a history of involvement with Girl Scouts and to have been partly drawn to the sorority for its philanthropy work with the organization. Donahue was a Girl Scout for nine years and joined Kappa Delta this year.

Donahue said being a part of Girl Scouts, and particularly the annual cookie sale, taught her values like perseverance and leadership. She said that one day each cookie season, her troop selected a public location — like a bank or grocery store — to set up a stand and sell cookies. They had to learn how to deal with different customer interactions and rejection.

“Being a strong, independent woman I think was also kind of a part of Girl Scouts,” Donahue said.

While her troop was very tight-knit, Donahue said, they all had very different personalities, and she said she learned about dealing and working with a community of others, both in fun bonding activities and projects like the cookie sales.

Donahue said her favorite cookie was the Lemonades, but the lemon sandwich cookies are no longer annually sold in her hometown of Arlington Heights, Illinois. There are slight variations in Girl Scout cookies from region to region. The cookies are created across the United States by two different companies: ABC Bakers and Little Brownie Bakers. Depending on which provider is used in a certain region, the cookies sometimes have different names, look and taste different, or have entirely different types.

“My least favorite is the Samoas just because I don’t really like coconut, but they’re all really good,” Donahue said.

Little Brownie Bakers’ Samoas are very similar to ABC Bakers’ Caramel deLites — however, the two companies use different recipes, so the cookies are not identical. The same goes for the other cookie variations.

Both Colleran and Wylie Frydrychowicz, a sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences, said their favorite cookie is the Samoa.

Frydrychowicz was involved in Boy Scouts for a few years. While Boy Scouts do not sell cookies, Frydrychowicz recalled having popcorn and holiday wreath sales.

He said his family annually buys a large quantity of Girl Scout cookies around this time of year, and although he does not currently have any boxes stashed in his room at school, Frydrychowicz said he is expecting to have some when he goes home for spring break.

“My family honestly just (buys) like a lot of Thin Mints because you just stick them in the freezer, and then they’re just really good,” he said.

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