‘Tis The Season For Girl Scout Cookies

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Every year, starting on February 11, Girl Scouts across the country gather outside grocery stores and wander through neighborhoods advertising their coveted Girl Scout cookies. The profits they make from selling their twelve diverse flavors go towards supporting the organization through efforts such as scholarships and STEM workshops.

The tradition of Girl Scout cookies began in the 1910s when troop members and their mothers would hand-bake cookies as a way to raise money for their respective Girl Scout troop. Then, in the 1930s, Girl Scouts of America began commercially baking and selling cookies. The population spike caused by the Baby Boomer generation increased membership, allowing for more young girls to sell cookies. An increase in sales and demand gradually expanded cookie production into the Girl Scout cookies we know today.

Many M-A students are current and former Girl Scouts. Junior Emiko Edmunds, a former Girl Scout, was a member of her troop from kindergarten through sophomore year and fondly looks back on cookie selling. “I remember selling cookies every summer and working towards a goal with my Girl Scout troop,” she said.

Edmunds, who is involved in M-A’s Service Learning Center and many of M-A’s service clubs, credits her love for philanthropy to her time selling Girl Scout cookies.

“I have always been an extrovert, but Girl Scouts was a great way to relate to people and learn how to get someone to support a cause, which translates to my work for the canned food drive and other services at M-A,” she explained.

“It’s great to have these skills to be able to encourage other people to donate to good causes. It helped me get out of my shell when I was younger and exposed me to marketing,” Edmunds said.

Sophomore Simran Patel, a current Girl Scout, has also learned valuable life skills from her time selling Girl Scout cookies. Patel recalled going door-to-door selling cookies as a young girl. “I’d be carrying around a cart full of cookies, and I’d have to work with cash and Venmo. The adults didn’t help because they wanted us to do it by ourselves.”

“Firefighters would come and they would always honk at us. They would stop the whole truck and buy entire cases of cookies,” she added.

Future M-A students advertise their delicious cookies.

Now, Patel uses the lessons she learned from Girl Scouts in her job at Menlo Park’s Fleet Feet. “It helped with how to manage different types of customers because some people can be really hard to deal with,” she said.

“Today, I have a better understanding of how the world works. I’ve learned a lot about the amount of time and preparation it takes to do certain things, so now I definitely have more patience,” Patel explained.

Like Patel, sophomore Bee Stone joined Girls Scouts in kindergarten and continues to be an active member of her troop. “I’ve just had a great time. When you’re young, you sell cookies, and when you get older, you focus more on service, so it’s very versatile at whatever age,” she said.

Stone as a Girl Scout with her cookies.

“One of the biggest things that selling cookies taught us is learning how to run a business. It promotes women in business by having girls run the whole thing,” Stone explained.

Stone also emphasized the impact of her time as a Girl Scout on her identity and values today. “I’ve done a bunch of service, and it’s made me more compassionate for my community. It’s shaped me as a person a lot,” she said.

For junior Leviathan Padwick, selling Girl Scout cookies was also a formative experience. “I was really timid as a kid, so having a troop where I felt comfortable talking to people and being encouraged to sell cookies helped me come out of my shell and be more confident in myself,” Padwick said.

Selling the cookies also has a larger impact on each troop as a whole. Stone explained, “Selling makes more money for your troop that you can use to fund service projects, which is a huge part of giving back.”

Edmunds, Patel, Stone, and Padwick all strongly encouraged younger girls to participate in Girl Scouts. “It was a lot of fun and honestly a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” Padwick said.

“I’m super grateful for the Girl Scouts. Without them, I would not be the woman I am today,” Edmunds said.

Gaby is a sophomore at M-A and is in her second year of journalism. This year, she is looking forward to writing about local and on campus issues. In her free time she likes to listen to music, run, and spend time with friends.

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