Sara Gleason admits she’s “an addict” and expects to meet soon someone in the High Desert who will offer her “a quick fix,” usually in the form of Thin Mints or Peanut Butter Patties.
“I think my addiction to Girl Scout Cookies started about 12 years ago when an old boyfriend broke up with me,” said Gleason, 35, who lives in Hesperia. “I was so depressed that I sat in bed all day eating Thin Mints and watching YouTube.”
Gleason called Thin Mints “A mint-flavored poker chip covered in chocolate” that took all of her cares away. She also admitted that a glass of red wine also helped her “broken heart heal."
Gleason is one of many Girl Scout Cookie aficionados who are waiting for Jan. 30, the start of the seven-week cookie season, where boxes can be picked up. The online presale of cookies began on Jan. 16.
This year, the scouts will unveil boxes of “Adventurefuls,” a brownie-inspired cookie with caramel flavored creme and a hint of sea salt, GS executives said.
The new sugary treat joins a 12-variety cookie lineup from ABC Bakery that features Thin Mints, Lemonades, Shortbread, Caramel deLites, Peanut Butter Patties, Peanut Butter Sandwich, Toast-Yay! and the gluten-free Caramel Chocolate Chip.
This month, the Daily Press connected with dozens of cookie lovers, who shared their favorite Girl Scout stories, including a former scout who still has her decades-old uniform.
“My cookie dealer is my boss’ daughter, Katy, who I’ve kept in business over the last three years,” Gleason said. “I think altogether, I’ve purchased about 40 boxes from her.”
For about the last 10 years, retired truck driver Steve Murray has purchased at least 30 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies to serve during his annual Super Bowl party.
“I buy an assortment, and we snack on them during the game,” said Murray, who lives in Adelanto. “After the game, my wife and I keep a couple of boxes and give the rest away.”
Murray said the tradition of buying cookies began when his friend, Carlos Ortega, brought two boxes of cookies to a party, and they ran out before the game started.
“I told Carlos to bring more boxes next time,” Murray said. “As a joke, I bought 30 boxes the next year, which was pretty funny because he only brought four.”
Teacher Rhiannon Aragues said her love for “most things chocolate and peanut butter” can be found in her favorite — the crispy and fudge-coated Peanut Butter Patties.
Aragues, who lives in Victorville, said each year she usually purchases an assortment of four or five boxes, staying clear of the Shortbread Cookie because she claims, “It’s nothing special.”
Ann Moore of Apple Valley admitted that she’s “addicted” to Caramel deLites and Lemonades, which she was introduced to a few years ago.
“Thin Mints are the best and also Peanut Butter Patties,” Joe Zuccaro said. “In the ‘90s, when I worked for the Victorville Fire Department, myself and a Building Department plan checker would each buy more than the other, to the tune of 50 boxes each.”
Zuccaro said a city employee’s daughter, Alisha Weaver, was the duo’s cookie “supplier.”
Thin Mints are the favorite cookie of Cheryl Neely, who said she purchases at least four boxes a year — one for herself and the rest for her family.
“I would buy every box they have, but my scale would not appreciate it,” Neely said. “Shortbread is the second best. I can’t remember the name, but one with coconut is the non-fave.”
Neely spoke of the coconut-flavored cookies as the Caramel deLite, a crispy cookie with caramel, coconut, and chocolate stripes.
Neely said if she doesn't know anyone selling the cookies, she buys them from the “cute little” Girl Scouts who shop outside stores.
Lovella Sullivan of Apple Valley also loves Thin Mints, saying she used to buy $200 worth of cookies and had them shipped to her mom, who used to live in Texas and would not venture out to purchase them.
Like many cookie lovers, Sullivan’s mother would put her sugary delights in the freezer and eat them throughout the year.
“I was a Girl Scout and sold cookies for 50 cents a box back in the day,” said Marilyn Vaughn, a grandmother who grew up in the ‘60s. “I have several cookie badges for selling so many boxes of cookies. As I grew up, I became a Girl Scout leader and had so much fun.”
Vaughn said she still has her original Girl Scout uniform dress with the tie, which she bought for $7.99 at JCPenney.
Nita Paddack of Apple Valley recalled when her late daughter, Jessica, was a Girl Scout and top cookie seller for her troop mostly because of one home daycare provider.
“She said that she always bought enough cookies to last the year from the first Girl Scout to come to the door,” Paddack said. “If I remember correctly, she ordered around $350 worth of cookies. I think they were $1.25 a box at the time.”
Hesperia resident Colleen Calderon laments the loss of the ABC Bakery version of the S'Mores. This cookie consisted of a graham cracker, covered in thin marshmallow creme and dipped in chocolate.
The S'Mores cookies were introduced in 2017 and were in the cookie lineup until last year.
“I don’t eat them anymore since I gained eight pounds during the last cookie season,” confessed Rochelle Arostegui, who lives in Apple Valley.
Different bakeries, different cookies
ABC Bakers have been producing Girl Scout Cookies since 1937, while Little Brownie Bakers have since 1973. Each baker has its cookie recipes, cookie flavor names, and even cookie box design.
ABC Bakers serves the Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio Council, which oversees Girl Scout troops in the High Desert and San Bernardino and Riverside counties.
Girl Scout goals
Girl Scout parents told the Daily Press that the organization inspires and supports the entrepreneurial aspirations of girls during cookie season and throughout the year.
Girls can learn the five essential skills through the cookie program: goal setting, money management, people skills, decision making, and business ethics. Girl Scouts contributes to girls' academic success by helping them develop important leadership skills, such as resourceful problem solving and challenge seeking, the organization said.
Girl Scouts of the USA is the largest leadership organization for girls in the
world, with about 2.6 million girl and adult members worldwide.
The Girl Scout Cookie Program is the largest girl-led business in the world, with the young entrepreneurs selling about 200 million boxes of cookies — nearly $800 million
worth — each cookie season.
How to purchase cookies
Cookies can be purchased from girls participating in the Girl Scout Cookie Program. Find cookies in the community and locate cookie sale booths by entering your zip code in the Find Cookies search box at www.GirlScouts.org.
Based on the scout website, cookie stand hours vary and will be located at most Lowe’s, Walmart, and Stater Bros. stores in the High Desert.
You can also call or email your local Girl Scout council. Your council’s phone number, website, Facebook page, and Twitter account are all on the Council Finder page.
Try the free mobile Girl Scout Cookie Finder app. You can search for cookie sales in your neighborhood, get details on your favorite Girl Scout Cookies, and use social media to tell your friends.
This article originally appeared on Victorville Daily Press: Girl Scout Cookie 'addicts' share confessions as season begins