It’s that time of year again. Even though the pandemic has forced us to change things up a bit, I can still hear the sweet call…”Would you like to buy a box of Girl Scout cookies?”
The Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. is an organization devoted to furthering the development of girls and young women as productive citizens and individuals. Based on the principles set forth by the Girl Guides Association of England, Juliette Gordon Low brought Girl Scouting to the United States in 1912. Although Mrs. Low’s first troop was organized in Savannah, Georgia and had only eighteen girl members, news of her Girl Scouting program quickly registered. By the time the Dallas Girl Scout Council was established in 1920, there were over 50,000 Girl Scouts registered nationally.
The sale of cookies as a way to finance troop activities began as early as 1917. Enthusiasm for Girl Scout Cookies spread nationwide. By 1937, more than 125 Girl Scout councils reported holding cookie sales. These photographs and clippings from 1958-1959 depict the kick off of cookie season. Scouts sold two kinds of cookies: Vanilla and Chocolate sandwich cookies, and the ever beloved thin mint. One box cost just $0.50. Those were the days! Sales that season helped fund the building of Camp Laird West located near Athens, Texas.
The Tejas Girl Scout Council papers represent over 50 years of tireless effort to initiate and maintain a Girl Scout program in Dallas, Texas and the surrounding counties. This collection consists of the correspondence of Mrs. Margaret Scruggs Caruth, one of the first Tejas Girl Scout Council members; minutes, financial records, printed materials, which include Girl Scout handbooks, training guides, camping guides, activity guides, and newsletters; photographic material; scrapbooks; and audio recordings.
Though prices and flavors have changed over the decades, the spirit of the cookie sales remains the same. So pick up a box of samosa, trefoils, or this year’s latest flavor, and support these future leading ladies from Texas.
Contact Samantha Dodd, curator of the Archives of Women of the Southwest for additional information or assistance with accessing this collection. The DeGolyer Library continues to expand our digitization efforts, adding new content weekly. We have thousands of items digitized and searchable in our digital collections. Be sure to browse our holdings to find more letters, photographs, manuscripts, imprints, art, and audio/video.