This is how a 10-ounce box of Girl Scout Cookies looked in the 1950s.

Girl Scout Cookies had their beginnings in members’ kitchens and ovens, with mothers volunteering as technical advisers. The use of cookies as a fundraising tool began in 1917, five years after the organization was founded in Savannah, Ga., and the earliest known sale was staged by the Mistletoe Troop in Muskogee, Okla., as part service project in December of that year.

In the beginning, a basic sugar cookie was the staple offering. During the early years, the price for a box of a dozen was about 25 to 30 cents. The cost rose slowly to about 50 cents by the 1960s, and is currently about $4.

Nowadays, the Girl Scout Cookie program is the largest girl-led business in the United States, generating more than $700 million nationwide. Girls Scouts of the USA indicates that through the cookie program, girls develop five essential skills: goal setting, decision-making, money management, people skills, and business ethics.

Through last weekend, the 10 troops in Texas County’s Service Unit had combined to sell 14,521 boxes of Girl Scout cookies, generating $8,263.55 to be used for troop activities, supplies, trips and awards.

But Texas County Service Area co-manager Gayla Bratton agreed that there’s a lot more to selling cookies than fundraising or satisfying cravings for sweets.

“There are so many skills that cookie sales help girls build,” Bratton said. “They learn money skills, public speaking and how to interact with a customer. And they learn how to take rejection, which is something people have to deal with every day.”

Bratton said Texas County troops offer eight cookie varieties:

––Thin Mints

––Samoas® or Caramel deLites®

––Tagalongs® or Peanut Butter Patties®

––Do-Si-Dos® or Peanut Butter Sandwich

––Trefoils or Shortbread

––Shout Outs!™

––Thanks-A-Lot™

––Lemonades™

Girl Scouts of the USA also has three other varieties:

––Savannah Smiles™

––Thank U Berry Munch™

––Dulce de Leche

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