Monday, January 8, 2018

Gold Award Girl Scout Shares How Her Council Dunked Their Way Into a Guinness World Record

It’s that time of year again! Cookie season is finally upon us, and I can think of no better way to kick it off than with my council’s 2018 Cookie Rally! Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana’s cookie rally was jam-packed with so much to do and see. Walking around Allstate Arena, attendees were able to stop and check out the different booths before the main event. These booths ranged from different sponsors to representatives from the different Girl Scout grade levels to the amazingly talented singers Carly and Martina (both Girl Scouts!) to my booth highlighting the 2017 Cookie CEOs (the top five cookie sellers from my council).

While signing autographs with the other CEOs, we heard and saw the excitement that was brewing for the rally—the attempt to break the Guinness World Record to dunk the most cookies in milk! One of my fellow CEOs and lifetime Girl Scout member Nina G. said, “I cannot wait till the rally starts! It is so cool that we all came together today to try and break this world record! This is all so crazy, and I am so excited!”

After everyone took their seats, Carly and Martina sang some of their original songs from their new album and some covers of pop songs to get the crowd going and hyped up for the big dunk. The donated milk from Fairlife was passed out to everyone in the stadium along with cups and the cookies! The milk was poured, the rules were announced, and the cookies were ready in everyone’s hands. Then we heard “three, two, one, DUNK!” from the Guinness World Record official and everyone dunked their cookies as the siren went off. Contestants also had to take a bite of each cookie for the dunk to count. Because everyone brought their dunking A game, we broke the Guinness World Record! This definitely was the best way to start cookie season!

Speaking of cookies, as a Girl Scout for more than 13 years, I have benefited from the Girl Scout Cookie Program immensely. I have learned so much. Different skills like fast math and socializing became second nature as soon as I put that uniform on and set up my booth. Throughout the cookie seasons, I have learned sales skills, which I use when people are hesitant to buy cookies. Putting on my biggest Girl Scout smile and being able to talk about all the benefits of purchasing cookies has helped me a ton. Thanks to the cookie program and the earnings my troop has received, we have been able to travel to a vast number of places and give back to so many people. I was also able to use some of my own cookie earnings to give back through my Girl Scout Gold Award project—the highest achievement in Girl Scouts.

I received my Gold Award in February 2017. It started as a small idea that came from watching the daily news one morning in August 2016. I learned about the devastating floods in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Due to the storms, hundreds of families lost their homes, and children were being sent to temporary schools. I wanted to help, so I contacted the local Archdiocese and asked what I could do for the affected school children. I then ran several fundraisers, met with community leaders, and enlisted the help of some neighborhood parishes. With all this help, I was able to collect and bring 6,000 school supplies to the families of St. John the Evangelist Parish. This parish had to push back the start of school due to the damages left from the flooding. In October 2016, I was granted the opportunity to deliver the supplies myself. After meeting some of the flood victims and seeing the conditions that they had to endure, I was overcome with emotions, and the experience helped me appreciate all that I had. My time in Baton Rouge was one I will never forget, and it has also helped me see that with determination and passion, anything I do has the power to change someone's life.

My advice to girls pursuing their Gold Awards is that no dream or idea is too big. The craziest and most unique ideas can turn into something so amazing. It may seem so overwhelming right now, but trust me, you got this! You all have the power to change the world and are truly making a difference right now.

Good luck this cookie season, Girl Scouts!

Guest blog by Mairead S., a Gold Award Girl Scout from Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana