Friday, October 5, 2012

Girl Business: Bringing Meaning to the Girl Scout Cookie Box

For the first time in thirteen years, the Girl Scouts of the USA has changed it's iconic cookie box! The boxes sport not only a new look, but a new purpose: to showcase the five lifelong financial literacy and entrepreneurial skills that Girl Scout Cookie Program teaches. To celebrate the launch of the new cookie packaging, Girl Scouts of the USA teamed up with Advertising Week to host "Thinking Outside the Cookie Box: Keeping Youthful Innovation Throughout Your Career," a panel hosted by financial journalist, Jean Chatzky. Panelists included: Kate Zillio, Director of Client Sales at Anthem; Stefanie Manning, Associate Publisher at Hearst Magazines; Tessa Tinney, Partner/Creative Director at Monaco Lange; Lisa Belkin, Senior Columnist at Huffington Post and Amy Wilkins, Senior Vice President of Publishing at Martha Stewart Weddings.

Hosted at the very cool looking B.B. King Restaurant, the panel spent forty minutes musing on their time in Girl Scouting and its impact on their adult lives.Writer Lisa Belkin recalled that during her time as a Girl Scout "there were writing badges and I distinctly remember getting them" but felt she got more out of her time than badges for things she was already good at. She followed up with a story of joining a Girl Scouts bake-off...despite not knowing how to bake. With a laugh she explained that the experience taught her that:
"[...]there are thing that I haven't seen yet. There are paths that I never knew I could do! [T]he idea that there are so many directions to go in. I do believe it started with that first [Girl Scout] cheesecake."
Similarly, Jean Chatzky chatted about her mother's insistence that she join Girl Scouts, since she believed that it taught girls "how to get where they want to go." Since goal setting is one of the five key skills girls learn from the Cookie Program, it's safe to say that mom was right on that one!

As the panel wrapped up, Belkin contemplated why the Cookie Program made girls so self-assured and ambitious. "Maybe [because] it was designed in an era where you assumed that kids were self-sufficient." While that's not entirely the answer GSUSA is proud to be a part of a tradition that celebrates every girls' inner business owner.

You can watch the full panel here.