Juliette Gordon Low, the original smart cookie

On March 12, 1912, Juliette Gordon Low gathered a group of 18 girls in her hometown of Savannah, GA, for the first meeting of what would become Girl Scouts of the USA. In 2012, 3.2 million girls and adults worldwide are members of the Girl Scouts, an organization dedicated to helping girls become self-reliant, resourceful leaders. Alumnae include Mariah Carey, Hilary Clinton, Katie Couric, Celene Dion, Star Jones, Condelezza Rice, Martha Stewart and Barbara Walters — all of them smart cookies.

To commemorate its milestone business anniversary, Girl Scouts of the USA has rolled out a 100th anniversary cookie. Savannah Smiles are crisp, half-moon shaped lemon cookies with a powdered-sugar coating. (Think Lemon Coolers, a past favorite.) The centennial cookie is the featured confection of the 2012 Girl Scout Cookie Program, the largest girl-operated business in the country.

Cookie sales have been part of Girl Scout history since 1917. Today’s program is a $760 million enterprise, involving girls from kindergarten through 12th grade. Girls learn to set goals, make decisions and manage money. By taking and fulfilling orders, they gain strong interpersonal skills and acquire good business ethics. All of these skills help girls become smart cookies.

Money raised from cookie sales funds Girl Scout activities and special projects. As the Girl Scouts of the USA website (www.girlscouts.org) notes: “Every cookie has a mission: to help girls do great things.”

As a former Brownie, Junior and Cadette Girl Scout, I wish today’s smart cookies a happy 100th business anniversary.

Blogger  Bio: Pauline Bartel, M.A., is President and Chief Creative Officer of
Bartel Communications, Inc., an award-winning corporate communications firm,
specializing in marketing, public relations and business anniversary consulting
services. The firm  created “The Bartel Years™” and “The Bartel Years 200™,” rosters of business  anniversary symbols to inspire two centuries of business anniversary
“sell”-abrations. Download free copies of “The Bartel Years™” and the special
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