Contributing Writer – Diane Peltz
Troop 12692, has been busy selling cookies at Walmart. During a four week span, the troop had a cookie booth set up at Walmart every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and one Sunday. Girls participated by taking turns manning the cookie booth for a couple of hours. They also went door to door, with a parent, to sell to friends and neighbors and they participated in online cookie sales promotions. Troop 12692 surpassed expectations by selling a whopping 9093 boxes of cookies doubling their sales from last year.
Here in Franklin, there are two Girl Scout Troops. Troop 12693 and troop 12692 are led by Kimberly Pressley. In addition to Pressley, Troop 12692 consists of six other leaders. Catherine Clemmons is the Daisy Leader with Minty Crisp as her assistant leader; Lacey Martinez is the Brownie leader with Bridgette Troxler as the co- leader; Rachael Bishop heads the Juniors and Tiffany Shirley leads the Cadettes.
Troop 12692 includes 15 Daisys who range in age from 5-7 years old or are in kindergarten or first grade; seven Brownies, ages 7-9; eight Juniors ages 8-12; and five Cadettes ages 12-14.
Several parent volunteers help out with weekly activities. Troop leaders are volunteers and are not paid a salary. Troops also rely on donations.
The two top sellers from troop 12692 were Jessica Crisp, a Daisy, selling 1,053 boxes and Gracie Norris, a Cadette, who also sold 1,053 boxes of cookies. Each girl will be awarded a prize for their efforts. Other prizes will be awarded to girls based on the level and number of cookies sold.
When a Girl Scout sells you cookies, she’s building a lifetime of skills and confidence. She learns goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills, and business ethics-skills essential to leadership, success, and life.
Steve Piazza, manager of the Franklin Walmart observed the skill set of troop 12692 last month as they manned the cookie booth in front of the store. He was very impressed with their entrepreneurship skills and how polite and organized they were. Piazza has been the Franklin Walmart store manager for about 18 months. He feels that having the Girl Scouts sell cookies at Walmart created a sense of community and he is all about community. He stated “the girls represented themselves and Walmart very well,” and he has offered to have them back again next cookie season.
Girl Scout History
The Girl Scouts concept was started in 1912 by Juliette Gordon Low, at a time when women could not yet vote. Low, a nearly deaf 51-year-old, sparked a world wide movement inspiring girls to embrace, together, their individuality, strength, and intellect. She gathered 18 girls together, in her home in Savannah, Ga., to share what she had learned abroad about a new outdoor educational program for youth, thus, the Girl Scout Movement was born. Today there are 2.6 million girl and adult members-1.8 million girl members and 800,000 adult volunteers. Katie Couric, Barbara Walters and Robin Roberts, all talk show hosts, were Girl Scouts. Successful business women who were Girl Scouts include, Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube, and Virginia Rometty, CEO of IBM. Hillary Clinton, Madeleine Albright and Condoleeza Rice are all famous politicians who were Girl Scouts. Seventy-three percent of women serving in the U.S. Senate are Girl Scout alums and 51 percent of women in the U.S. House of Representatives. The sale of cookies started in 1917, as a way to finance troop activities. The original price of cookies was 25-30 cents per dozen. Today a box of cookies sells for $4.
Profits from cookie sales are kept within the council
Of the net revenue raised through the Girl Scout Cookie Program, 100 percent of it stays with the local council and troops. The money is divided, with 75% going to local council while 25% goes to bakeries. Troops may use money to fund projects that will improve their community.
Pressley is planning to use the proceeds from her troop’s cookie sales for a camping trip in May, a visit to the paper factory in Canton, and an annual ice cream party. Badges that the girls earn are also paid for with sales proceeds. Pressley said that water, sleeping bags, snacks and food are always needed for their camping trips and for weekly meetings. To donate, call Pressley at (828)421-9214 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Jessica Keefer, a junior, is striving to obtain a special badge, before bridging up to become a Cadette next year, that can go toward a college scholarship.
“I am super excited to be able to earn a badge that will help me with college,” she said.
“I wanted to be a Girl Scout because her sister is one and she saw just how much fun she has, and her favorite thing is doing fun stuff with other girls,” said Daisy Alyssa Webb.
Girl Scouts and STEM
Although cookie sales are a vital part of the Girl Scouts, many other aspects of scouting are equally important. Everything the scout does centers around STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) the outdoors, development of life skills, and entrepreneurship, and is designed to meet where she is now and to grow along with her. Girl Scouts unleash the G.I.R.L. (Go-Getter, Innovator, Risk Taker, Leader) in every girl preparing her for a lifetime of leadership.
Girl Scouts is proven to help girls thrive in five key ways.
- Develop a strong sense of self
- Seek challenges and learn from setbacks
- Display positive values
- Form and maintain healthy relationships
- Identify and solve problems in the community
Research shows that girls learn best in an all girl-led and girl friendly environment. It is a place where she will practice different skills, explore her potential, take on leadership position-and even feel allowed to fail, dust herself off, get up and try again.
Certain types of awards earned by girls who participate in the scouting program offer scholarships for college. The Girl Scout Gold Award is the highest award a Girl Scout can earn. Once achieved, it shows colleges, employers, and the community that you’re out there changing the world. Girls pursuing this award are required to complete a community project and submit a portfolio of their work to the council.
Gracie Norris who is a Cadette says of her scouting experience, “I started Girl Scouts to follow in my mom’s steps and to have that bonding experience. The older I got the more I have learnt that Girl Scouts will help you in more ways then one. I’m a 7th grader and trying hard now in Girl Scouts to work toward scholarships.”