by Dr. Lori Verderame
The Girl Scouts of America were first established by Juliette Gordon Low of Savannah, Georgia. To date, there are four million Girl Scouts. Low wanted to give young girls an opportunity to learn life and leadership skills and contribute to their communities. By 1914, just two years after the organization was established, an official insignia and uniform was commissioned for member use. In 1915, the famous Girl Scout catalogue with pages of uniforms, badges, accessories was printed. Many of the antique and vintage Girl Scout collectibles are noted in these catalogues.
Girl Scouts Cookies
By 1917, the Girl Scouts were selling cookies as a form of fundraising for the organization. Bakeries were engaged to make official Girl Scout cookies. For a short time, there were no Girl Scout cookies. During World War II, the Girl Scouts sold calendars due to shortages of the necessary ingredients to make their famous cookies. By 1948, nearly 30 bakeries were licensed to make the now famous Thin Mints, Samoas, and Tagalongs. Apparently, the Girl Scouts are very, very good at selling cookies. Recent reports show that the Girl Scouts sell a few hundred million boxes of cookies every year. A few hundred million!
The Girl Scouts’ interesting history is highlighted by their divese vintage and antique memorabilia. Early in the Girl Scouts’ history, many members made their own trefoil (three leaf form) badges. Badges were earned for accomplishing tasks or mastering a certain skill.
Market for Girl Scouts collectibles
Some of the most common Girl Scout collectibles are back issues of the Girl Scouts’ magazine, pins, membership cards and handbooks, Brownie items, jewelry, cookie tins, uniforms, cameras, watches, pocket knives, advertising canisters filled with cashews or peanuts, cookie cutters, first aid kits, advertising posters, dolls, camping supplies, badges, etc.
Girl Scout memorabilia is largely associated with the Girl Scout cookie sales and uniform accessories. The wide variety of types of Girl Scout memorabilia creates a broad range of values for Girl Scout items as they come to market. Specific Girl Scout items regularly sell for $200 to $1,200 for traditional objects like complete uniforms, collectible watches, and lithographic cookie tins. Specialty items like advertising posters for cookie sales, advertising and early memorabilia items with established provenance in good condition can command prices from $1,200 to $5,000 depending on various factors.
What to Look For
Just like Boy Scouts memorabilia, authenticity is key for collecting in the realm of the Girl Scouts. Early and rare pieces are of particular interest. Knowing where to market your Girl Scout item is where my expertise assists many collectors.
No matter what kind of Girl Scout collectible you have, it has significant value because there are so many potential buyers who were once Girl Scouts.
When it comes to the Girl Scouts’ uniforms and accessories, a complete uniform in very condition is most important and valuable.
Get an online appraisal of your Girl Scout collectible from Dr. Lori