Many years ago, I was shorter, cuter and I could eat a lot more cookies than I can today!
Before the days of Daisies, I joined Girl Scouts as a Brownie. Yes that’s me to the right, check out my smile. I loved being a Girl Scout. Looking back there are many reasons why I enjoyed the experience and why I recommend Girl Scouts today.
Girl Scouts is fun! I joined Troop #305, in Palm City, Florida initially because my mom’s friends’ daughters were all in the troop and I wanted to hang out with them. We had a blast camping out, volunteering in local beach clean ups and dressing up in our uniforms to walk in the town’s annual holiday parade (complete with orange flag sock garters!) Who doesn’t want to be in a parade?
Girl Scouts gets you outside. A big reason for joining Scouts was the outdoor activities. I enjoyed horseback riding, camping, and wildlife rehabilitation. Scouting encouraged a great love of the natural world and it’s a value that has stayed with me to this day.
Girl Scouts gives you “prizes” and a sense of accomplishment. Earning badges was one of my favorite parts of being a Girl Scout. Every meeting, our troop leader would organize a fun activity which would get us closer to our target. I have a competitive spirit and I relished the opportunity to have a good time and achieve something purposeful. I had so many badges, I had to get vest instead of a sash. My poor mom couldn’t keep up with sewing them on! I still crave accomplishments and rarely rest on my laurels for long.
Girl Scouts teaches you how to be an entrepreneur. Call it Cookie Capitalism. I learned “cold call” selling to strangers outside the grocery store and how to soft sell to my dad’s golfing buddies between the third green and the fourth tee. Back then, the only way to refuse me was to claim you had no cash. Of course, with today’s mobile payment options, and ATMs on every corner, you probably can’t get away with that excuse anymore. Selling cookies is a cornerstone of Girl Scout fundraising that instills an entrepreneurial spirit in young people—another Girl Scout trait I still carry today. I have supported myself as a freelancer and I am currently helping my husband Charles to build his coffee business on the side. I have many an office colleague hooked on custom roasted coffee.
Girl Scouts empowers you to be the best you can be and to help others in turn. Service to others is a key part of the Girl Scouts experience. You learn to be your better self by helping others and giving back to your community. You also learn you are unstoppable and that really all you need in life are your friends, a pocket knife, flashlight and a box of cookies
For over a 100 years Girl Scouts has been developing girls and helping them grow into women. Not too many organizations in this world have lasted as long. I am so happy that I am getting to attend the 2011 National Girl Scout Council in Houston, Texas this week. It is a chance to reconnect with fellow alumni, engage in Girl Scout leadership activities, and check out the captivating speakers. I’m looking forward to being a part of this unforgettable event. I will also be live tweeting from the event, follow the festivities on Twitter @stacydyer or the hash tag #GirlScouts100