Girl Scout Cookie Superheroes

Celebrating Our Longest-Serving Product Sales Managers – Part 2

 Earlier this week, we learned about our first five amazing, longest-serving Service Unit Product Sales Managers (SU PSMs) who have served our council for many years. Today, you’ll meet 5 more who have served as SU PSM for 11 to 35+ years. Wow. That’s some serious commitment to G.I.R.L.s (Go-getters, Innovators, Risk-takers, Leaders)TM.

These volunteers have seen it all. From taking cookie orders on paper to moving to SNAP to increased recognitions for girls, they’ve been critical to improving the program year after year. Not only have they been vital in providing feedback for our council, they’re an invaluable resource for new cookie moms/dads trying to help their troops succeed. Without them, girls wouldn’t have the opportunity to learn these important business skills. We cannot begin to thank them enough for their incredible work and dedication!

Check out Part 1 of this blog here!

Mary Lang with volunteers at cookie deliver; Diana Nolan; Carmellya Anderson at the 2016 Volunteer Celebration and Lesma Whalon with her daughters’ troop.

 

Mary Lang – SU 635 – Prairie Village

“I am so proud to be part of this amazing organization that focuses on “Building girls [and adults] of courage, confidence, and character.”  I hope that my role as PSM helps other girls achieve these characteristics and, hopefully, enjoy their own treasured memories as a Girl Scout as I cherish mine.”

Years as a PSM: 11 years

Proud Girl Scout Mom & Alumna:

  • Daughter, Emily (Alumna)
  • Sister, Bev (Girl Scout & troop leader, leading her daughter’s troop through Bronze, Silver & Gold awards); Sister, Cindy (Alumna); Niece, Becca (Bev’s daughter, active Highest Award Alumna)
  • Mother, Gloria (Camp name was “M&M,” and a Girl Scout in the 1940s. Active volunteer even after graduating, including becoming Day Camp Director)

Her Girl Scout Story:

“Cookie Monster” – that’s the affectionate name passed from SU PSM to SU PSM in SU635! Mary became “Cookie Monster” after being asked by the Service Unit Manager.  Mary was eager to jump on board. With such an extensive GS family background – it’s no wonder! The thing she loves about the Cookie Program specifically is the skills that girls learn and her hope that she’s inspiring future “Cookie Monsters.” With all the changes she’s seen, the willingness of people to help and the inspiring stories of the girls are what keep her motivated. It’s really all about empowering G.I.R.L.s!

 

Diana Nolan – SU 611 – Liberty

“Girl Scouts is a great organization that helps to develop girls into tomorrow’s leaders.  I truly believe that Girl Scouts builds girls courage, confidence and character.  It’s an organization where girls have to opportunity to try new things that they may not have otherwise been able to do.”

Years as a PSM: 11 years

Proud Girl Scout Mom & Alumna:

  • Amanda, Shannon & Peyton (All 3 Girl Scouts K-12, now a Lifetime Girl Scouts)

Her Girl Scout Story:

Diana has never been the type of volunteer to pass up an opportunity to serve! After serving as Service Unit Registrar, Teen Manager, Day Camp Business Manager and various roles on Northland Owl Prowl committee, she wanted something that was consistent. “With Service Unit PSM position, everything is black and white, and as long as you follow the guidelines, it’s a piece of cake (at least for me).” When she began, everything was on paper, so she’s seen the growth of the program into a digital platform that eliminates manual math and double checking. Diana keeps up with this role because she believes in the power of the program and what it teaches girls about business and confidence. Her favorite thing about being a PSM, aside from watching the girls, is the friendships she’s developed in her community. Diana Nolan is awesome! She is stepping away from serving as a PSM to take on other GS volunteer positions.  We know Diana won’t be too far away and available for a cookie question or two from time to time. Thanks, Diana!

 

Carmellya Anderson; Mary Lang with mom, Gloria (Alumna) and GS daughter, Emily; Lesma Whalon

Carmellya Anderson – SU 641 (current) & SU 620 (part of her 18 years) – Kansas City

“I love the learning and program opportunities that cookies  provides to the Girl Scouts in our community. I especially love to see shy girls blossom into confident business women.”

Years as a PSM: 18 years

Proud Girl Scout Mom & Silver Award Alumna:

  • Daughter, Alana (Current Girl Scout Cadette)

Her Girl Scout Story:

Carmellya became a SU PSM after moving to Kansas City from Kentucky when she was looking for ways to meet new people. She tried serving as assistant leader, the scheduling for SU PSM worked much better for her. Fast forward 18 years and she’s still a dedicated volunteer. When she first started she “used to receive four pallets full of material to eye level. A whole lot of paper, paper, paper.” Luckily, technology has caught up to the growing needs of girls and now it’s mostly digital. What kept her motivated through mountains of paper work and years of serving was seeing girls reach their goals and establish skills that will last a lifetime. Between her volunteers and Girl Scouts, she’s found a community through serving and helping to empower G.I.R.L.s.

 

Lesma Whalon – SU 645 – Lee’s Summit/Raytown

“I love helping troop leaders order cookies and when I’m out at the stores, seeing girls selling cookies and the girls see me and go ‘yeah, I’m the cookie lady.’”

Years as a PSM: 20 years

Proud Girl Scout Mom & First Class Alumna:

  • Dacia (Girl Scout K-5th), Shyra (Girl Scout K-12, earned Silver Award), Alyssa (Girl Scout K-12, was featured on cookie boxes from 3rd grade to 12th grade)

Her Girl Scout Story:

When it comes to working hard for girls, Lesma certainly has the years of experience to show she’s dedicated! She became SU PSM after a council staff member asked her to step in. Unlike many PSMs, Lesma had never served as a Troop Cookie Manager, but she was the Leader for her daughters’ troops. Still, she accepted the role like a true Go-getter.  As someone that works in technology, Lesma has watched the change from excel spreadsheets to SNAP and tries to integrate new technology often. When it comes to moving Girl Scouts forward, Lesma is right there to help new troop leaders and support girls. She even attends service unit meetings just to be there for advice! Even though she’s retiring this year, Lesma knows she won’t go far. This First Class Girl Scout is a prime example of leading like a Girl Scout! Thank you, Lesma for your incredible commitment to girls!!

 

Suzan – SU 701 – Topeka

“Over the years of being a SU PSM, I have watched girls go from Daisies to Ambassadors and troops go through the program saving for trips and then listening to their experiences after.”

Years as a PSM: 35+ years

Proud Girl Scout Mom

Her Girl Scout Story:

What started as her daughter raising her hand and volunteering her mother for a job has become over three decades of service to girls. Suzan began serving in Topeka and has made incredible contributions to the program over the years. She gained the nickname “Cookie Lady” after a Brownie stopped her in the store and said “You’re the Cookie Lady, right?” and since then, the name has stuck. With her knowledge, empathy and understanding, she’s able to connect with the long time cookie volunteers just as well as the brand new cookie parent who feels overwhelmed. As she says “I truly understand the first year cookie mom or dad who is overwhelmed by the program. I was there also.” Topeka’s “Cookie Lady,” has been making a positive impact on the lives of Girl Scouts for decades and inspiring generations of girls.

 

Thank you to the 10 awesome volunteers we’ve highlighted in this two-part blog and to everyone who makes the Cookie Program a reality. Thousands of hours of work, countless sleepless nights and lots of heavy lifting go into every cookie season and it’s all because of volunteers who believe in girls. Thank you for supporting our Girl Scouts with their cookie business!

If you want to share a special memory or shout out to any of these volunteers, please leave a comment below.

Girl Scout Cookie Superheroes

             

Celebrating Our Longest-Serving Product Sales Managers – Part 1

Who can carry 1000 boxes of cookies in a single delivery? Who can inspire and support thousands of troop cookie managers and leaders through every obstacle the season presents?  Who has the heart of a champion ensuring the groundwork is set for girls to have a fantastic cookie business. Service Unit Product Sales Managers (SU PSMs) of course! These volunteers are the superheroes behind every box of Girl Scout Cookies we buy to support young business leaders. This week, we’re celebrating amazing SU PSMs who have served GSKSMO for anywhere from 7 years to 35+ years! Talk about dedication. These ladies essentially work a second job during cookie season organizing orders, checking troop sales, helping new cookie moms/dads and inspiring their service unit along the way with their belief in the power of G.I.R.L.s (Go-getters, Innovators, Risk-takers, Leaders)TM.

Today we introduce our 7 – 10 year SU PSMs and celebrate their dedication to the Cookie Program. You’ll meet Gail Alvarez (SU 640), Beth McCreight (SU 678), Linda Christensen (SU 805), Lisa Simmons (SU 716) and Regina McCullum (SU 661).

These are the volunteers who spend their weekends stopping by booth sales to cheer on troops. These are the volunteers who advocate for enhancements to the program. These are the volunteers who care about every girl they watch grow from Daisy to Ambassador and transform from girl to businesswoman. These are the volunteers who make a life changing difference by supporting a program that empowers the women of tomorrow. Doesn’t that make each bite of Girl Scout Cookie just a little bit sweeter?

 

Gail Alvarez, Beth McCreight, Lisa Simmons and Regina McCullum

 

Gail Alvarez – SU 640 – Lee’s Summit/Raytown

“I love the Cookie Program because I love seeing the troops grow their business and finding out what they’re doing with their money.”

Years as a PSM: 7 years (3yrs in Lee’s Summit, 4yrs in Raytown)

Proud Girl Scout Mom:

  • Two Girl Scout daughters (Girl Scouts K-12, now Alumnae)

Her Girl Scout Story:

Gail served as Troop PSM and was recruited by the retiring SU PSM to step into the role. She has loved being a volunteer so much she even offered to move over to Raytown’s service unit to help fill a need there. Her favorite part of the experience is getting to know the troops. “I enjoy working with my troops – both the newbies and the oldies!” She has also served on committees that evaluate the program each year and work on ways to improve. One piece of advice she gives to younger troops is to take advantage of Candy, Nuts and Magazine Program, because it gives them a financial bump right away to start doing great things. Gail loves being involved with Girl Scouts and can’t wait to see what the future holds.

 

Beth McCreight – SU 678 – Spring Hill / Olathe

“I love seeing girls accomplish things that they’ve never done before.”

Years as a PSM: 7 years

Proud Girl Scout Mom:

  • Daughter, Rebecca (Girl Scout Cadette)

Her Girl Scout Story:

Serving as troop leader AND SU PSM? That takes a special kind of volunteer. Meet Beth McCreight, Troop 0027 leader and SU PSM! This awesome Girl Scout mom loves leading her daughter, Rebecca, and the rest of the troop through the adventures of being teens while learning how to be G.I.R.L.s. When she was asked to be SU PSM, she stepped up to the plate and has enjoyed watching changes like the increase in recognition for sales. She says the best thing about being involved with Girl Scouts is “seeing my troop doing things that they probably would not do otherwise and watching friendships develop.”

 

Linda Christensen – SU 805 – Maryville

“I have enjoyed seeing my girls go from Daisies now to Senior and Cadettes and they know how to budget. I am very proud of these girls and this process of teaching.”

Years as a PSM: 7 years

Proud Girl Scout Mom:

  • Daughter, Errin (Alumna) & Zoey (GS Cadette)
  • Granddaughters, Alli (College Girl Scout), Bridget (GS Senior) & Taylor (Girl Scout)

Her Girl Scout Story:

Watching girls go from children to young women – that’s one of the best things about being a Girl Scout volunteer. Linda Christensen knows firsthand, having 2 daughters and 3 granddaughters who are all proud Girl Scouts! She accepted the role of SU PSM when there was a need for someone to fill the position and has stayed with it ever since. For her, change is constant in the Cookie Program, but as she says “As a Girl Scout, change is good.” Her absolute favorite thing about being SU PSM? Watching the girls grow into young businesswomen. Most importantly, she believes in the power of the program and the way it inspires leaders.

 

SU 716 cookie delivery; Regina McCullum with daughter and Girl Scout Daisy granddaughter, Dalaina; Lisa Simmons at camp.

Lisa Simmons – SU 716 – Lawrence / Eudora

“[Girl Scout volunteers] have a common belief or goal in helping girls and these other volunteers are such good people!  I’m blessed to know them!  Every year there are new leaders…New friends!”

Years as a PSM: 8 years

Proud Girl Scout Mom & Alumna:

  • Daughters, Sydney (Alumna & Lifetime Girl Scout) and Skyler (Girl Scout K-8th)

Her Girl Scout Story:

Girl Scout volunteer life doesn’t end after a Girl Scout daughter graduates. That’s definitely the case for Lisa Simmons, who didn’t want to stop giving back after her daughter graduated high school. Lisa noticed that the previous SU PSM was getting promoted at work and under increasing stress, so she offered to take over because she really enjoyed the job – especially the other volunteers. In 8 years, she’s gone from taking bundles of checks and cash to the bank over her lunch hour (imagine depositing money from 80 troops over your lunch hour!) to not handling any money, allowing her more time to focus on organization. Aside from loving the people, she loves the business skills that girls are learning and that moment when Girl Scouts make a sale and see a smile on the face of a customer. She knows that’s when girls see how businesses can positively impact customers.

Regina McCullum – SU 661 – Leavenworth / Fort Leavenworth / Lansing

“This program helps build confidence, character, and courage and in the end will develop confident, kind, and courageous women. The world could use more of that.”

Years as a PSM: 10 years

Proud Girl Scout Mom & Alumna:

  • Daughters, Daneen & Deondra (Girl Scouts K-12, now Alumnae)
  • Granddaughter, Dalaina (1st grade Daisy in SU 661)

Her Girl Scout Story:

Regina is an incredible advocate for Girl Scouts. After 10 years as SU PSM, it’s no wonder! After being a Junior troop leader, she answered the call when the service unit was looking for an SU PSM and as she says, “I never looked back.” Her passion? BOOTH SALES! She absolutely loves watching the excitement on the faces of girls as they make sales to customers at booth sales. On weekends, she makes the rounds to check on the troops and see how sales are going. Talk about dedication! We thank Regina for her years of dedication, experiences and friendships with volunteers and council staff.

What incredible stories of dedication to G.I.R.L.s! Thank you to all these incredible volunteers for their years of service. Check out Part 2 of this blog (11 – 35+years) on Thursday! If you want to share a special memory or shout out to any of these volunteers, please leave a comment below.

4th Annual Kappa Delta Cookie Challenge

One Sweet Partnership

Talk about role model G.I.R.L.s (Go-getters, Innovators, Risk-takers, Leaders)™! The women at Kappa Delta always come through for our Girl Scouts, whether it’s a badge workshop, campus tour, self-confidence class or our annual Kappa Delta Girl Scout Cookie Challenge! This was the fourth year for this awesome event where we pair a Girl Scout troop with the women of Kappa Delta at the University of Kansas and Kansas State University for an all-in-good-fun challenge!

Each year the Kappa Delta’s go above and beyond to provide an awesome environment for the largest girl-led business in the world! They help promote on their respective campuses prior to the booth sale, open the doors of their sorority houses and work the girls to make sales happen – at a record pace!

In the four years that this challenge has been taking place, the impact it has on the troops who are selected via a booth lottery has grown! In 2013, the inaugural year the sale was just two hours long and the chapters sold about 700 boxes of cookies combined, but K-State sold the most and won the coveted Golden Thin Mint to proudly display in their house!

The second year we increased the booth time to three hours and KU channeled their disappointment and they won the Golden Thin Mint! They also retained the trophy in 2016!

School: 2015: 2016:
KU 1,187 1,462
K-State 624 768

But 2017 was different. The K-State Kappa Delta Chapter wouldn’t be defeated three years in a row! Both schools were go-getters, innovators, risk-takers and leaders in their strategies to promote for their troop! In the end, KU Kappa Delta sold 1,364 boxes sold and K-State won, selling 1,579!

However, we know that the real winners in the Kappa Delta Girl Scout Cookie Challenge are our Girl Scouts. In just three hours each Girl Scout in Troop 7189 and Troop 7112 earned multiple recognition levels and troop proceeds to spend on service projects, trips, outdoor activities and travel and this is just the beginning of their Cookie Program!

Vice-President of Community Service (VP-CS) is the position in Kappa Delta that coordinates this event every year. “I love the Challenge because I was a Girl Scout. All the proceeds that these girls earn in their time here go right back to the troop – I know how important that is for them!” Kalyn Kunschke, VP-CS at KU said.

Among the hundreds of customers at both schools were a couple of celebrities! Girl Scouts were star struck when Devonte Graham, KU basketball player and DJ Johnston, K-State basketball player bought Girl Scout Cookies!

“To me, the Kappa Delta/Girl Scout partnership is an opportunity to mold the future of our community. So often we, as Kappa Delta’s stress the importance of instilling confidence in others, but few know the confidence the Girl Scouts instill in us,” Macy Burke, VP-CS at K-State said.

Thank you so much to the members of Kappa Delta for helping our Girl Scouts be go-getters, asking school celebrities to buy cookies, innovators with new sale tactics, risk-takers by expanding their customer base and leaders in their very own business!

For the Love of the Girl Scout Cookie

There is one love that we can all celebrate this Valentine’s Day – the love for those scrumptious Girl Scout Cookies! And this year celebrates 100 years of loving those cookies – 2017 is the 100th anniversary of the first known sale of Girl Scout Cookies.

As of today, all troops in our area will have received their initial order and should be starting to deliver cookies to customers who pre-ordered! If you didn’t pre-order, don’t worry – Girl Scouts have plenty of cookies to go around!

So, how exactly does that box of Girl Scout Cookies get to you? What all is involved?! Well, it’s a labor of love that all starts and ends with a Girl Scout!

  1. Girl Scouts in our council begin taking orders on January 1.
  2. The Troop Cookie Manager (TCM) collects the orders and enters them into an online system.
    {Fun Fact: There are 2,700 TCMs with 1,867 troops in our council!}
  3. The Service Unit Product Sales Manager (SU PSM) reviews every troop’s order and submits to GSKSMO.
    {Fun Fact: We have 63 SU PSMs working with those 2,700 TCMs!}
  4. GSKSMO submits the final order to ABC Bakers.
    {Fun Fact: There are 2 bakers of Girl Scout Cookies in the United States! This is why some Girl Scout Cookies have a different name in other parts of the country!}
  5. ABC Bakers packs all the orders at their facility in South Dakota and ships them to a warehouse in Lenexa, KS!
    {Fun Fact: 173,000 cases were shipped in our initial order this year – that’s 2,076,000 BOXES!}
  6. Our Delivery Agent, Fry Wagner, spends 9 days delivering cookies to the 61 service units in our council!
  7. The SUPSM, along with many volunteers, accepts the delivery at a location where trucks and semis can comfortably navigate – these locations vary and include Fire Stations, Schools, Churches, Community Building and even SU PSM’s homes!
    {Fun Fact: Service Unit 701 placed the largest initial order, receiving 10,700 cases or 120,084 boxes!}
  8. TCMs pick up their troop’s order at the delivery location, then sorts by Girl Scout
  9. Girl Scout receives her order then begins delivery and cash & carry sales!

The first Girl Scout Cookie Sale was done in 1917 to raise money for Girl Scouts to purchase items for care packages to send to soldiers during World War I. Today, 100 years later, Girl Scouts are still using their cookie proceeds to give back – making toys and treats for animals at Wayside Waifs and building gardens at their schools. So while the cookie itself has changed over the past 100 years, its impact has not.

Thank you to the SU PSMs, TCMs and Community Volunteers who support the largest girl-led business in the world!

So when you buy that next box (and the one after that, and the one after that) this season, know that you’re supporting the largest girl-led business in the world, run with the most love to give in the world!

5 Yummy Ways to Enjoy Girl Scout Cookies (other than eating them right out of the box)

THEY’RE BAAAACK! Girl Scout Cookies are back to make everyone smile and teach girls to be entrepreneurs. With so many great reasons to buy cookies, we know everyone will want to stock up and try some new things. We’ve put together a list of ways to use Girl Scout cookies in yummy new ways. Did you try one?? Post in the comments below!

  1. Thin Mint Brownies – Recipe Here!

The most popular Girl Scout cookie deserves the first spot. These Thin Mint brownies are made from scratch and give a new level of chocolately deliciousness to your Thin Mint eating experience.

Photo & recipe from Country Cleaver

  1. Peanut Butter Banana Pudding (using Shortbreads!) – Recipe Here!

This yummy treat combines peanut butter and bananas with Girl Scout Shortbread cookies. Whip up a few of these and it’d be a great way to show off the Girl Scout logo with your treats. Maybe a good treat for a Girl Scout parents’ night celebration?

Photo & recipe from The Chic Site

 

  1. Caramel DeLite Cupcakes (or substitute your favorite cookie) – Recipe Here!

Talk about delicious. If you want a portable, super yummy way to eat some Caramel DeLites – check out these cupcakes. The great thing about these cupcakes is that you really could use any cookies you’d like…but we think the Caramel DeLites sound the best.

Photo & recipe from The Rainy Day Gal

 

  1. Shortbread Toffee & Chocolate Bark (with toasted almonds) – Recipe Here!

This was such a unique way to use cookies, we just had to share. Turning the Shortbread cookie into chocolate bark?! YES! These treats would surely wow anyone you’re cooking them for.

Photo & recipe from Hungry Enough to Eat Six

 

  1. Thin Mint Ice Cream Cups (the easiest treat) – Recipe Here!

Need something quick, delicious and different? These Thin Mint Ice Cream Cups are the easiest to make on this list – you just need Thin Mints, mint ice cream and cupcake liners (that won’t get soggy – try the foil type). Cookie on the bottom, spoon soft ice cream, top with crushed Thin Mints, refreeze – DONE! But you’ll probably want a second box close by to snack while everything freezes.

Photo & recipe from Confessions of a Cookbook Queen

 

Did you create your own unique way to enjoy Girl Scout cookies? Share in the comments below! If you need to grab some cookies to make these yummy treats, check out our booth finder here! Thank you for supporting the world’s largest girl-led business!

The sweet success of being a Girl Scout

Gold Award Alumna Spotlight – Heather Magee

When Girl Scouts runs in the family, girls know they are destined for greatness. Meet Heather Magee, a 3rd generation Girl Scout, Gold Award Alumna and volunteer who is passionate about the leadership and business programs Girl Scouts offers. She’s also the artist behind the floral arrangements at the 2016 Inspire a Girl event that made the room beautiful. A dedicated Product Sales Manager, Heather Magee shows that when Girl Scouts is in your blood, you never grow out of it.

Heather grew up in Stewartsville, MO where she joined as a Brownie and was one of the first Girl Scouts in her town. Of the original troop, three of the girls continued through high school and completed their Gold Award, setting the bar high for any girls who followed in their footsteps. The troop camped at Camp Woodland in Albany, MO and were in charge of the “work and play weekend” where they helped get the camp ready for the spring and helped close the camp in late fall. It was one of her early introductions to a life of service that she fondly remembers.

Heather Magee - 4 Generations

4 Generations: Sheryl (Mother), Heather, Twila (Grandmother), Kinley (Niece), Erin (Sister) & Allie (Niece)

As a Scouting family, Heather’s siblings often accompanied her at day camp and other events. Her sister, Erin, is also a 3rd generation Girl Scout (her daughter  Allie is a 4th generation Girl Scout) and brother, Adam, is a 3rd generation Boy Scout (2nd generation Eagle Scout) and his sons, AJ & Ryan, are following in his footsteps to start the next generation of Eagle Scouts. “My sister and brother were always tagalongs at events and camping. We have [Scouting] in our blood. My grandma was even our cookie manager at the time, which I do in Oak Grove now,” Heather said. Both Erin and Heather earned their Gold Award and their mother earned her First Class Award. Talk about a family of achievers!

For her Gold Award project, Heather did improvements to the softball field at her high school. Her project entailed building stairs and a railing to help fans get to the field safely as well as planting flowers and doing general improvements. While the Gold Award project wasn’t easy, she feels like she learned a lot. “It’s one of the hardest things you’ll ever do that you’ll also have the most appreciation for. It’s hard, it’s stressful, but you learn a lot of things you wouldn’t otherwise. When you’re a shy person, having to get out and talk to people, it drew things out of me,” Heather said.

Gold-Award-Collage

The process of completing a Gold Award can be daunting, and Heather knows how scary it can be to look at all the work that has to go into it. However, as someone who completed the project, she knows just how valuable completing the project was to her life. “I think what scares a lot of people is that it is a lot of work and some people take that the wrong way. But just doing all that work and going through the process, it’s so rewarding at the end and you don’t see it until you get there,” Heather said.  Completing the project helped her have the courage to face her next big life step – attending Graceland University in Iowa to study Commercial Design.

Heather Magee - Cookies

Today, Heather loves getting to be involved as a Girl Scout volunteer and watching her nieces embark on their Girl Scout journey. Her main volunteer role is as serving as Product Sales Manager for Service Unit 644. “I like everything about Girl Scouts and I call cookie season ‘Cookietopia’ because I just love it so much. The organization, the colors and the program, I love it all. I think I got it from my grandmother because she served as cookie manager for 15 years,” Heather said.

At the end of the day, it’s all about the personal benefits that service has for Heather. “Giving back, volunteering, that changes a person. I think that helps you, just in general, become a better person by giving back to the community,” Heather said. This dedication is exactly what Girl Scouts learn by being in a program focused on service.

The Cookie Program is an incredible experience for girls but takes a lot of work for our volunteers, so we can’t thank Heather enough for her service. In addition to her gift of time, Heather gives financial gifts through Daisy’s Circle, the monthly giving program through GSKSMO. She’s even a Founding Member of the program! In addition, Heather is also a Lifetime Member of Girl Scouts. Thank you, Heather for inspiring the next generation and for living a life of service.

If you know of another amazing Girl Scout Highest Award Alumna, share her story in the comments below!

 

Building a Lifetime of Skills and Confidence

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As Girl Scouts gear up for the start of Cookie Season, troop leaders are talking about the 5 skills in troop meetings and girls are starting  to sales goals for themselves! For many Girl Scouts, their goals are often based on the different recognition levels and prizes that they can earn! And why wouldn’t they be?! There are some pretty neat things girls can earn – like two tickets to Girl Scout Day at the K suite tickets for four to this special day, passes to Worlds of Fun and tons of Cookie Dough!

Those material recognitions are all great for Girl Scout Cadette Abby L. from Lawrence, Kansas; but, they’re not why she sells Cookies each year. She’s driven to sell Girl Scout Cookies so her troop can invest and make an impact in their community.

As Juniors, Troop 1550 collectively sold 2,215 packages in 2015 and decided to use their earnings to build a garden at Prairie Park Elementary school as their Take Action Project for the Bronze Award.

“Selling cookies might be hard sometimes, but what you can do at the end to help your community with the money you earn is worth it,” Abby said.

Now that Troop 1550 is in middle school, the Lawrence School board has taken over the project to ensure sustainability. There are plans to plant and maintain organic produce in the garden this summer and the new Daisy troop at Prairie Park is even growing earthworms for the project!

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Abby on the far left, with her troop and their garden boxes!

As Cadettes this year, Troop1550 will be reinvesting their GS Cookie earnings at their service unit Brownie Play Date in the Spring where they will introduce their Girl Scout Brownie sisters to camping and all that outdoor adventure and learning has to offer! The girls are still brainstorming activities, but you can count on a station about the art of s’more making (because no campout is complete without a good ol’ s’more) and dump cakes!

The Cookie Program is teaching Abby and the other girls in Troop 1550 the 5 Skills – Business Ethics, People Skills, Decision-Making , Money Management,  Goal Setting.

“You learn communicating and how profit works – you have to do a lot of math!” Abby explained. “If you want to sell more cookies you should get out there. Always ask an adult to help you spread the word like using a social media site or going to others’ homes in your neighborhood!”

What is your troop planning to do with their GS Cookie earnings this year?! Tell us in the comments below! Wishing all of our troops an awesome cookie season!

Girl Scout Cookies Bring a Smile

Our Cookie Share Program Supports the USO

While our Cookie Season has wrapped up, it’s just beginning for deployed, returning and active military personnel at Fort Riley, Whiteman Air Force Base, and Fort Leavenworth!

The USO was selected as the beneficiary of the Cookie Share Program this year! On May 14, Girl Scouts, volunteers and staff members made a very special delivery of more than 40,800 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies to the USO at Ft. Riley.

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40,800 boxes is no small feat! That’s approximately $163,200 in product that our generous cookie customers gave back to support the USO!

Girl Scouts and their troops brainstormed various methods that they would use to build donations for Cookie Share. Girl Scouts invited customers to buy a box or more and used extra change received to purchase even more boxes. Clearly their hard work and determination paid off!

The cookies will be housed at Fort Riley, but service men, women and their families’ at all three bases will benefit from the generosity of Girl Scouts and their customers.

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Since 2003 the USO has distributed more than 1.5 million care packages to troops deploying to Afghanistan, Iraq and other overseas locations, as well as R&R flights. The USO Fort Riley includes a box of Girl Scout Cookies in each of these deployment packages as well as prepaid int’l phone cards, snacks, games, reading materials, sunscreen, and toiletries. The USO also issues care packages to individual soldiers returning from deployment in which they also receive a box of Girl Scouts Cookies!

The USO’s most important mission is to support military families. From programs that help kids cope with issues unique to military life, to No Dough Dinners (which include Girl Scout Cookies for dessert!) that offer meals to families just before payday, the USO offers programs that meet the needs of all ages and families.

“It is fantastic to see that there are so many people who care about supporting our service men and women,” USO Director, Jill Iwen said. They are honored to be selected as the cookie share partner and are excited that some many people donated to support the USO!

So, THANK YOU Girl Scouts, volunteers and cookie customers! Together we are providing a little bit of familiarity and comfort to those who need it!

Check out the blog post from the USO at Fort Riley about being the Cookie Share partner!