In 1972, I sold my first box of Girl Scout cookies, Thin Mints, for $1.
A lot has changed since then, such as the names of the cookies. Samoas are now called Caramel deLites. Do-si-dos are now called Peanut Butter Sandwich. Savannah Smiles have changed both in name and design, and are now called Lemonades. Thin Mints ... well, nothing has changed because you can't improve on the name or the design as it remains the top-selling Girl Scout cookie variety.
The way cookies are sold has also morphed over the years, going from the strictly door-to-door technique to "boothing" in front of grocery stores and even social media. With the fine-tuning of strategic planning and the internet comes a greater number of cookies sold.
Such is the case with two of Tehachapi's top-selling Girl Scouts.
Abagail Tapia, 11, is a Cadet with Troop 3161. She started at the youngest level of Girl Scouts as a Daisy six years ago.
"Last year I sold over 700 boxes," Tapia said. "My strategy was walking around the neighborhood and going into businesses because a lot of the time, businesses will buy a lot of cookies."
In addition to pounding the pavement, Tapia said she sold cookies in front of stores on the weekends during the day and during early evening hours on weekdays.
Amelia Austin, 10, is a Junior with Troop 345. She, too, started at the youngest level of Girl Scouts as a Daisy five years ago.
"I sold about 900 boxes last year," said Austin. "I normally go to Bakersfield, and I have a lot of friends. I also sell to my teachers, and my entire family buys some."
Austin said she also put in a good amount of time "boothing" at local grocery stores. Her efforts paid off as she was the top seller of her troop of about 12 girls.
"My favorite kind is Peanut Butter Patties and Thin Mints," said Amelia's brother, Ronnie, who helps his sister sell cookies.
Both girls said their goal this year was to beat last year's totals.
Said Tapia, "This year I want to sell 1,000 boxes."
This is not as easy as it sounds because the girls only have about one and a half months to sell cookies, and both are full-time students of Golden Hills Elementary.
Abagail's mother, Shea Tapia, resigned as her daughter's troop leader last year, but her home continues to be the drop-off site of all Girl Scout cookies sold in Tehachapi. So far this year, 260 cases have been delivered, with 12 boxes per case, with another delivery coming Friday. It is up to her to distribute all the cookies to the six local troop leaders.
"She does it all on her own," said Shea of her daughter's selling efforts. "She fills up her wagon, walks around, takes orders and fills up her orders every night."
For their efforts, Girl Scouts receive a badge for every 100 boxes sold and a selection of prizes are available. In addition, a portion of the proceeds of each box sold goes back to the troop to fund activities and field trips.
Said Abagail, "I think the best part about being a Girl Scout is being able to do community service and helping out others in the community."
Today, Girl Scout cookies cost $5 a box, which isn't bad considering the price has only increased by $1 per box for each of the four passing decades.
Girl Scouts also spend a portion of their proceeds on charitable causes.
According to Shea, one year the girls donated 78 care packages to local "foster" families and have been past donors to Marley's Mutts.
But you better get your boxes of cookies while the getting is still good because cookie sales will end mid-March.