The contest sought to highlight creative selling methods. Carson's photo received nearly 2,000 votes, and she beat out 88 other girls to win the prize, an iPod Nano. The winning photograph was taken on a cold and rainy day, when Schumacher was too ill to help Carson sell cookies outdoors. Instead, Carson and her father, Bob, set up a pop-up tent and lemonade-type stand, fully decorated, to sell cookies.
This is Carson's third year as a Girl Scout in the troop. A student at Judson and Brown Elementary School, she meets with 12 other girls who have mental and/or physical disabilities. Carson, 13, has cognitive delays, mild cerebral palsy, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and a growth delay, causing her to look younger than she is. Her sister, Sydney, 11, is also disabled, and cannot walk or talk. Girl Scouts serves as a way for Carson to spend time with her mother, who cares for Sydney full time.
Schumacher describes Carson's involvement in the troop as a "family affair," explaining that her husband and even their son, Westin, 9, pitched in and helped with cookie sales. Since she met her goal of selling 2,000 boxes of cookies, Carson is looking forward to other prizes, including an iPad, and trips to Disneyland and Catalina Island with some of her other troop members. "All the girls have made such good (progress)," Schumacher said, explaining that last year, the troop sold about 1,600 boxes total. This year, they've sold close to 6,000, earning Carson and three other girls the Disneyland trip. Like other Girl Scout troops, Troop 340 sold cookies outside grocery stores and other venues to help each girl achieve their goals.