More Than Just the Cookies

When you think of a Girl Scout, what comes to mind? Probably a girl dressed in her uniform selling your favorite Girl Scout cookies. But being a Girl Scout is more than that stereotype.

“The common stereotype is a little girl in pig tails selling cookies. Girl Scouts is so much more diverse than that though,” Girl Scout of eleven years Hana White (11) said.

The diversity of the organization is often overlooked. Girl Scouts actually brings together girls of different races, backgrounds, cultures, countries and ages.

Many assume that Girl Scouts are just elementary school girls, but younger scouts only represent a small portion of the girls that participate. Many girls continue in the organization to develop their leadership abilities through their middle and high school years.

“I used to do Girl Scouts because my grandmother was a leader, but in high school I realized that there were just so many life skills I learned that I just couldn’t give up. I’m sure there’s more I could still learn,” White said.

Girl Scouts participate in a wide variety of activities. Some troops take part in a program called Survivor, which is an extreme version of camping in which the girls build their own shelters and cook their own food. Other troops may learn life skills like caring for a car and managing money.

Additionally, Girl Scouts are often presented with the opportunity to travel. Troops may go to places within the United States to experience new outdoor adventures while developing tighter bonds with other girls. As Girl Scouts grow older, it is more likely for them to have the chance to travel abroad. Girls are often able to travel to Asia, South America, and other destinations. Travel provides them with a chance to do service projects and connect with other Girl Scouts across the globe.

“We’re currently raising money for some of us to go to Europe next summer,” White said.

Scouts in high school are usually given large amounts of responsibility and taught to be reliable. The older girls lead the younger ones in their activities and help them learn skills. Scouts are also involved in numerous service projects to benefit the communities around them.

Although the Thin Mints and Samoas are recognizable symbols for Girl Scouts, they are not all the organization has to offer. Girl Scouts of America provides girls with valuable skills, develops character and offers them new experiences.

“Girl Scouts pushes people out of their comfort zones. So with the wide variety of skills I’ve learned, I feel like I’ll be ready to handle just about anything for adulthood,” White said.