Tag Archives: GSCO History Center

Girl Scout Cookies: A Delicious History

Submitted by the GSCO History Committe

Northern & Northeastern CO


The History Center in in Loveland is more than a collection of old uniforms, books, and badges! In fact, all sorts of Girl Scout Cookies memorabilia is preserved here too, including cookie packages, tins, rewards, incentives, T-shirts, stuffed animals, hats, tote bags, and more.

In 1934, Keebler-Weyl Bakery in Philadelphia, PA was the first commercial company to bake Girl Scout Cookies. At one point, Girl Scout Cookies were baked by as many as 29 bakers across the country including United Biscuit Company of America in Chicago, IL; Bowman Biscuit in Denver, CO; Megowen Educator Food Company in Lowell, MA; Southern Biscuit Company (Famous Food of Virginia-FFV) in Richmond, VA; Burry’s Biscuit in Elizabeth, NJ and Chicago, IL; Weston Biscuit Company in Battle Creek, MI, Passaio, NJ and Burbank, CA; Brownie Baking Company, Spokane WN and Grandma Cookie Company in Portland, OR.

Now, the two official bakers are Little Brownie Bakers in Louisville, KY and ABC Bakery in Brownsburg, IL. Little Brownie Baker makes 450 million Thin Mints a day! Each year, we look forward to a new flavor to try, along with the must have Thin Mints, Trefoils, and Samoas.  On anniversaries such as the 100th and 75th, commemorative sampler tins and special boxes were sold. These, too, are collected and often donated to the History Center.

Recently, this image of a Burry’s case for DUTCH’N SUCH cookies and newspaper clipping were sent to us via Susan Kabat, GSCO volunteer support specialist. After a bit of searching on the internet, we determined that it was a cookie offered in the early 1980’s and had the windmill on it. According to Wikipedia, Burry Biscuit Company dates to 1888.  In 1938, it moved to Elizabeth, NJ from Chicago, IL and manufactured Girl Scout Cookies, which it called Plantation cookies. The cookies were packed in a sealed cardboard cylinder, and later the cookies were packed in cans. In 1962, Burry’s was the largest producer of Girl Scout Cookies in the nation and in 1980 changed its name to Burry-Lu.  For more than 50 years, Burry Lu supplied cookies to Girl Scout troops and in 1989, ABC Bakery purchased Burry’s Girl Scout cookie division.

GSCO History Center volunteers are busy year ‘round receiving, sometimes repairing, cataloging, lending, displaying, and preserving ALL types of Girl Scout memorabilia. Much of it is like a treasure hunt, tracking down first date of issue of national and international items, their catalog numbers, or originating council events. Then, we are challenged with safely storing them along with appropriate number of duplicates, when available. Rarely, do we save actual cookies from year to year, as they are too tasty to have around, but packages, cases, tins, and incentives are filed away. Remember, buying Girl Scout Cookies is a yummy way to support the girls, troops, and local Girl Scout council programs.

Our committee works hard to preserve and protect our Girl Scout history. We look forward to 2021, gathering again in person, and sharing our passion for Girl Scout History with you and your girls. If you have Girl Scout stories and memories, please share here as well.

Contact the GSCO History Center at gscohistory@gmail.com.

We want to hear how your girl is using her Girl Scout skills by taking initiative, caring for the community, and Girl Scouting at home. She can send in her story here.

My visit to the GSCO History Center

Submitted by John Silver, GSCO Guest Blogger

Metro Denver


Hello Girl Scouts,

Earlier this year, I wrote a blog about my visit to the GSCO History Center in Loveland. There were so many exciting things to talk about that I couldn’t include everything in one post, so I am adding to it today!

The History Center has more than 600 vintage Girl Scout uniforms, sashes, vests, and other accessories.  If a troop is planning to participate in a parade, memorial, or similar event, girls can borrow uniforms and accessories to be worn by the Girl Scouts who will be participating.

Begin the process by giving the center a description and date of the event. The History Center will need to know the number of Girl Scouts who will be participating and their approximate clothing sizes as soon as possible. The volunteers at the center will gather uniforms and accessories matching the occasion. For example, for a Veterans Day parade honoring World War II veterans, uniforms from that era were lent to the troop participating in the parade. The center makes uniforms and accessories available for about 20 events each year, although this number is not an upper limit so check it out.  The lending is done on requests from individual troops.

For other occasions, the volunteers at the center will put together display tables containing Girl Scout artifacts or photos that are “themed” to the occasion.  Examples are Highest Award ceremonies, World Thinking Days, Women of Distinction events, local gatherings, memorials, or anywhere Girl Scout history is of interest.  Display tables can also be prepared for local libraries and for Girl Scout properties around the state.

To learn more or to request uniforms for an event, contact the GSCO History Center at 2004 West 15th Street, Loveland 80538 or email gscohistory@gmail.com.

If your troop plans to participate in a parade, ceremony, or other event, contact the center to see about borrowing uniforms and accessories, or about arranging for a themed display table!

John Silver of Metro Denver is proud to be an adult volunteer for Girl Scouts of Colorado. As the brother and son of Girl Scouts, John is now an adult seeing Girl Scouts through new eyes. John will be reporting on things he learns– that you might not know either! He will also be researching badge earning and other opportunities for Girl Scouts today.

Historical Girl Scout Collection

Former Girl Scout troop leader and passionate collector Jacklyn Beard donated her extensive collection of Girl Scout memorabilia to the Grand Junction Leadership Center. The collection includes antique dolls, books, bandanas, pins, towels, and more. Girl Scouts of Colorado is grateful she chose to share these unique finds with us. The bulk of the dolls will be on display in Grand Junction before heading to the Girl Scout History Center in Loveland. Historical donations can be made in your local Girl Scout office or by contacting Heidi Books at heidi.books@gscolorado.org.

A visit to the GSCO History Center

Submitted by John Silver, GSCO Guest Blogger

Northern & Northeastern CO


Where in Colorado can you see these Girl Scout things from years and years ago:  More than 600 Girl Scout vintage uniforms (including sashes and vests and other accessories), and books, and camping equipment and jewelry and cameras?

Where can you try on vintage Girl Scout uniforms (choosing from dozens and dozens of different types) or get help with the “Playing the Past” badge and the “Girl Scout Way” badge by participating in a scavenger hunt to find special items of Girl Scout history?

Where can you borrow Girl Scout uniforms for local events or parades or memorials?

Where can you get help with your own fashion show of vintage Girl Scout uniforms? Where can you borrow the uniforms for the show and a script for the show that includes anecdotes and historical details about the uniforms?

I visited this very special place, the Girl Scouts of Colorado History Center in Loveland.

Here are the things at the center I liked the best:

  • The oldest uniform, dating from 1914
  • Blue uniforms for Girls Scouts who were Mariner Girl Scouts in troops focused on boating and sailing activities
  • A song book from the 1950’s which included my mother’s and sisters’ favorite Girl Scout songs, Make New Friends and The Chalet Song
  • A collection of “SWAPS,” which are small (often hand-made or personalized) mementos “swapped” (that is, traded) between Girl Scouts and Girl Scout alums at camps or conventions

The center obtains items mostly from Girl Scout alums, but sometimes from garage sales, thrift shops, and estate sales.  It also participates in a sharing program with more than 50 similar centers across the country.  Here’s how the sharing program works: If a history center in Tennessee comes across a historical item with ties to Girl Scouts in Colorado, it might offer the item to the GSCO History Center, and the GSCO History Center does the same with items it finds that have ties to other states, or with duplicate items.

A group of knowledgeable and dedicated volunteers runs the center, which is open between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. every Tuesday and by appointment on the second and fourth Saturdays of the month.  Troops can contact the center to schedule appointment outside regular hours.

Contact the History Center at: GSCO History Center, 2004 West 15th Street. Loveland, CO, 80538 or gscohistory@gmail.com.

Check this place out!

John Silver of Metro Denver is proud to be an adult volunteer for Girl Scouts of Colorado. As the brother and son of Girl Scouts, John is now an adult seeing Girl Scouts through new eyes. John will be reporting on things he learns– that you might not know either! He will also be researching badge earning and other opportunities for Girl Scouts today.


Girl Scout fashion show

Submitted by Mike Werner

Northern & Northeastern CO

GSCO History Center in Loveland

Girl Scout Troop 01410 from F. E. Warren AFB, WY recently held a Girl Scout fashion show using vintage Girl Scout uniforms provided by the Girl Scouts of Colorado History Center. These Girl Scout Daisies thru Cadettes learned about uniforms over the past 107 years and what Girl Scouts did during those periods and shared what they learned with their families and community.

Your troop or service unit can also check out parade or fashion show tubs from the GSCO History Center by e-mailing  gscohistory@gmail.com.

For more information, contact troop leader Amy Jo Martinson at starletajm@gmail.com or Mike Werner, GSCO History Center, at wernermj@comcast.net.

This story was submitted using the Share Your Stories form. You can share your Girl Scout moments, too.

Experience the GSCO History Center

Submitted by Linda Robinson

Northern & Northeastern CO


The GSCO History Center is located in Loveland. We have a dedicated group of volunteers who meet every Tuesday and give tours by appointment. Due to the popularity of troop visits, we have decided to dedicate the 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month starting January 13, 2018 for troops to set up appointments for a visit. We are also available by appointment during the week while school is out.

We have several programs for troops, including working on the “Playing the Past” badge, “Girl Scout Way” badge, and GSCO Centennial patch. Each program can also include trying on vintage uniforms, as well as a scavenger hunt to find items in the unique areas of the center.

Whichever activity troops choose, please plan on a one and half to two-hour visits. We will be scheduling one visit in the morning and one in the afternoon. Common start times are 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., but we are flexible with start and end times as we understand that some troops travel from around the state.

At the History Center, girls and adults will get to see many different vintage items ranging from uniforms and books to camping equipment, jewelry, and cameras. We have more than 600 uniforms and at least that many books dating back to the early days of Girl Scouting. All the items at the History Center belong to Girl Scouts of Colorado. Many have been donated by individuals around the state over the course of many decades.

Our committee works hard to preserve and protect our Girl Scout history as well as making sure that today’s Girl Scouts have a place to experience what Girl Scouting in the past was all about.
We offer out-based programs and loan uniforms for local parades and events. We only ask that we get pictures of your group in uniform and that they get back to us in a timely manner. Out-based programs include Books in a Bag. These bags are specific to grade level or topic and include vintage books and a program for their use. Contact us for more information.  We also have a vintage fashion show complete with uniforms and a script. Please contact us at gscohistory@gmail.com to set up an appointment or arrange for an out based program or uniforms to be sent to your area.

Don’t have a troop, but would still like to visit? Please send us an email and come join us on a Tuesday work day. There’s always something to do and we can provide on-site training if you’d like to help out for a bit.

This story was submitted using the Share Your Stories form. You can share your Girl Scout moments too.