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This Friday, March 12th, is the official Girl Scout birthday, commemorating the day in 1912 when Juliette Gordon Low registered the organization’s first 18 girl members in Savannah, Georgia.

If you’re like me, you’ve been showing your appreciation by eating as many Thin Mints and Samoas as possible. However, if you’re looking for a more calorie-light way to honor the Girl Scouts, let’s take a look at their classic trefoil symbol and cookie design.


Most often found in Gothic architecture, a trefoil is a graphic composed of three overlapping rings; basically it looks like the top of a three-leaf clover. Historically, it symbolizes the Holy Trinity for Christians, which is why you’ll usually find the symbol on cathedrals and cemeteries across Europe.

trefoil-architecture-saint-hubert-chapelChapelle de St-Hubert in Amboise, France

Via Ontario Architecture

trefoil-cemetary-flicker-monceauPere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris

Via Monceau’s Flickr stream

Now, trefoils show up on everything from wallpaper to furniture.

ribbed_arch_bed_trefoilVia Gothic Furniture

arundale-wallpapers-trefoilVia Designers Guild

clover-and-spade-armchairsVia Spurlock Antiques


Decorating Guides

19 Responses

  1. moi says:

    Who knew a cookie had so much inspiration behind them.

  2. Ms T says:

    Look closely — It looks like the outline of three woman's faces.

  3. Michele with 1 L says:

    Happy Birthday Girl Scouts of America! In the 50's and 60's I was a Brownie, Girl Scout and Cadette. I still have my pin and sash with all my patches. Now my granddaughter is a Brownie and she just sold 500 boxes of cookies which earned her 2nd place and receiving a $30 gift card of which she will use at the American Girl store. Plus, she earned enough to get a free Girl Scout Hoodie and gets to go to Girl Scout camp free plus some GS store credit. WOW! I don't remember all them benefits when I was in. They have sure come along way. It is cool about the Christian Heritage emblem of which I did not know.

  4. Part of the girl scout pledge has honoring God too. My daughter is a girl scout…our council didn't give as many things to the high sellers, but they did get to go to Disney on Ice if they reached 500 cookies. My daughter only sold 300 boxes (which is still a lot) as we were fairly new to the area and our troops are restricted to selling on base…a lot of scouts with a small selling area and originally no booth sales. She earned a stuffed animal and a journal. I'm a leader for her troop and we both get t-shirts for the overall number of cookies sold by our troop.

  5. It is also officially Girl Scout Week.

  6. Kelly says:

    As an asst. troop leader, I have to thank everyone, from all over the world, who supports Girl Scouts. My daughter has been in since she was a Daisy (in 1st grade), and is now on her way to becoming a Cadette. She's gotten to meet so many people, learn so many things and go to some incredibly awesome places … all because of this organization and what it represents. Our family lives a simple life; and with the help of Girl Scouts, the doors to my daughter's future open wider and wider with every year she's involved. Thanks again … and please stop to remember all the amazing opportunities you're offering a girl and/or her troop when you support Girl Scouts!

  7. duh says:

    It doesn't just look like the outline of three women's faces, that is what it is.

  8. Gloria says:

    Fifteen years ago when I was a software consultant in the Midwest, I used to buy $300 worth of cookies each year to give to my clients. (That was a LOT of cookies back then.) When I was working at a client site, I would put a few open boxes at each coffee station in the department every few weeks. Some clients wouldn't let us give employees gifts, but we could always bring food to share.

    The employees loved them. They were a business expense to me. And, the sales helped a wonderful organization for girls. It was a win-win-win situation.

    Troop leaders, next year, look for small software consulting firms in your area and ask if they might be interested in buying some cookies for their consultants to put out when they are working at a client's site. Look in the phone book or online for a software company that has a residential address in your area and it is probably just a one or two person shop working out of the owner's home office.

  9. Sara says:

    Actually, it's a quatrefoil.

  10. Carole Ann says:

    I just finished my third box of Thin Mints!

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