Behind the cookie


Carter Bryant

While girl scout cookies are well-known for their tastiness, the sale of the brightly-colored boxes also teaches business and communication skills.

Anna Stockton, Staff Reporter

Girl Scout cookies. All it takes is those three little words for that mouth-watering Pavlovian response to set in. One cookie becomes two, two becomes three, and suddenly, almost like magic, a whole sleeve has disappeared. While the yearly selling of Girl Scout cookies is a well-known event, the stories of the girls who sell them are often overshadowed.

“[Cookie sales] teaches girls five important skills,” service unit manager Jenny Carroll said. “Goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and business ethics. It’s the largest girl-led business in the world for the last 100 years.”

Girl Scout cookies are just one more way in which the Girl Scout program offers a place for girls not only as children, but as they grow up through high school. The program allows many opportunities for its members to grow and advance as they get older.

“I initially joined because a lot of other girls in kindergarten were joining,” senior Elizabeth Howell said. “I’ve stuck with it because I really enjoyed it as a kid and as I’ve gotten older it has helped me become closer to some of my dearest friends as well as have fun experiences with them while also learning valuable lessons. Girl Scouts has shaped me as a person.”

While the average perception of a Girl Scout is a little girl, the reality is that most of the kids who get involved continue until they finish the program. Because of this, throughout the years, Girl Scouts has shifted and molded to fit the progression of growth that the members go through.

“Many girls continue through high school to complete their Gold Award, which is our highest honor and requires a great deal of work,” Carroll said. “Our Girl Scout program is progressive, so it builds as the girls move through the different years. There’s always something to look forward to as you get older. The high school-aged Girl Scouts have so many opportunities to explore new things, even globally.”

Howell, who has been a Girl Scout for 13 years, testifies to the impact Girl Scouts can have on its members.

“I’ve stuck with it because I really enjoyed it as a kid and as I’ve gotten older,” Howell said. “Without Girl Scouts, so many parts of my life would be different. I probably wouldn’t have my best friend. I wouldn’t be a seamstress, because I got involved in sewing to complete a badge. I would be without so many treasured memories, and so much charity work would have gone undone.”

Director of Girl Scouts Marketing and Communications Kim Lyle was involved with the program for her whole life; first as a Junior Girl Scout, then as a graphic designer for the company, and now with her current position. With a lifetime of experience within the Girl Scouts, Lyle speaks to the impact it has on its members.

“Girl Scouts is building girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place,” Lyle said. “When you buy delicious Girl Scout Cookies, you’re helping to power new, unique, and amazing experiences for girls—experiences that broaden their worlds, help them learn essential life skills, and prepare them to practice a lifetime of leadership. It’s more than campouts and crafts.”