Friday, April 19, 2019

Just a Cookie? You Decide.

Guest Post from Delea Patterson, Girl Scout parent from Girl Scouts of the Southern Appalachians. This post was originally published by Girl Scouts of the Southern Appalachians.

“Girl Scouts just sell cookies and do crafts!”

Really? This statement—and I’ve heard it many times—always strikes a nerve in me. I realize that this is the experience of some, but I always want them to know this is not the norm and that we have leaders with adventurous spirits who want to see girls flourish! Our troop started out small and we continue to grow each year. Sometimes we lose girls to other activities or sports, but overall they keep coming, and they do so because of those adventurous leaders. When girls ask if they can do something, we find a way.

We do sell cookies, lots of cookies because cookie sales help our girls go camping, complete community service projects, clean up trash in national parks, start little libraries in our community, and participate in feeding those less privileged.

Our girls have completed engineering and robotics projects. They have had fun fly fishing and painting and doing archery, pottery, and glass art projects. How did we pay for these? Cookies. Girl Scout Cookies.

And, yes, sometimes we make crafts. We created paper poppies and presented them to veterans at our local Veterans Day program. The girls learned the history behind the poppy and saw the pride in those veteran’s eyes when they asked if they would like one.

Over the years of being involved in Girl Scouts, I have watched girls find their voices and become sisters for life. I have watched shy, quiet Daisies and Brownies blossom in front of my eyes and ask questions, many questions. I have seen them sing and dance and laugh. I have watched girls show respect as we retired our nation’s flag by a campfire. I have watched as some broke down in tears at the memorials on our National Mall in Washington, DC. This year I am looking forward to seeing them fly as we travel to Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama.

When you buy a box of Girl Scout Cookies, you are really showing girls they can be entrepreneurs and, by doing so, they can stand proud. They are learning that by working hard they can go anywhere and be anything.