Letter to the Editor: More than just cookies

To the Editor:

Since I was young, the start of a new year also meant the kickoff of Girl Scout cookie sales. As a girl, I would grab my clipboard and head out with my mom, who was also my troop leader. Now as a Girl Scout troop leader and mom, I enjoy cookie season even more because I get to share the experience with my daughter. Cookie season involves more than just selling cookies; the girls earn badges exploring financial literacy, being a smart consumer, and business skills. The skills they learn go beyond the cookie program.

This year, our troop chose to earn the marketing badge, where the girls explore the concept of brand identity in marketing the cookie program. I find myself asking — What does every box of Girl Scout cookies represent as part of the overall Girl Scout brand?

Every box of Girl Scout cookies gives girls an environment where they feel comfortable to express their opinions about issues big and small. I have seen this in our troop as the girls have grown into confident young women more willing to share their thoughts with each other and express themselves in the supportive environment Girl Scouts provides.

Every box creates effective female leaders with empathy and compassion who thoughtfully consider opposing views while still advocating for their own positions. In our troop, the girls have learned how to reach consensus decisions that reflect all of their ideas. This is an important leadership skill they have been able to practice in the girl-led Girl Scout approach.

Every box encourages girls to solve problems through collaboration. Last year, our troop earned their Bronze Award, the highest award a Girl Scout Junior can earn. The girls identified a problem, determined a solution, and worked collaboratively with each other, town officials, and other community groups to put their idea into action.

Every box provides girls with a safe place to try new things without fear; where growing from failures is celebrated as much as successes. Girl Scouts gave me the chance to try new things as a girl and that continues as an adult member, too. We try many things that are new, not only for the girls, but for me as well. As a result, they also have experienced me failing; most importantly, they saw me try in the first place.

Every box supports a program that fosters each girl to grow individually into her best self — and that is what Girl Scouts is all about. This year, when your neighborhood Girl Scout knocks on your door or a group of girls at a cookie booth asks if you would like to buy some cookies, keep in mind you are doing much more than buying cookies: You are playing a key role in helping these girls reach their goals and excel in the future. Thank you for supporting the success of our girls and everything each box of Girl Scout Cookies represents.

Tanya Lennon

Monroe Girl Scouts Co-Service Unit Manager

Troop Co-leader, Girl Scout Troop 34219

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