Man Enough to be a Girl Scout – Terry Seymour

Spotlighting SU 687 PSM Terry Seymour

Quality Controller at the rock quarry by day; Girl Scout Leader for #1727 and Service Unit Product Sales Manager (SUPSM) for 687 by night.

Eight years ago Terry Seymour declared himself “Man Enough to be a Girl Scout” when his daughter’s Daisy troop leader relocated. He didn’t know much about Girl Scouts at that point, but knew enough to make the decision to step up and co-lead this troop of young girls to ensure that his daughter Marissa and her Girl Scout sisters would continue growing through the program.

Over the course of eight years, Terry and his co-leader Angie Sutton have guided the 12 girls in Troop 1727 to practice leadership the Girl Scout way and to be G.I.R.L.s (Go-getters, Innovators, Risk-takers, Leaders)™.

“I love it. I love the girls. I love being a Girl Scout Dad,” Terry said.

While outsiders may view Troop 1727 as having a usual Girl Scout experience with an unusual leader, there’s nothing unusual about it to the girls or their parents. They see a very dedicated, resourceful and brave mentor in Terry.

In fact, you might say that Terry is Man Enough to be a G.I.R.L.

“Our girls have been with us so long, they don’t think it’s unusual to have a male leader,” Terry explained.

Terry and Angie have taken Troop 1727 to Airport Day at the Ottawa Airport, slept with the polar bears at the Kansas City Zoo, managed countless GS Cookie Booths, hosted car washes and bake sales, and so much more.

Left: Terry working Cookie Delivery and Pickup for SU 687. Right: Terry working with girls at Day Camp.

Through Girl Scouting, Terry has also discovered that he has a very special skill. He has knack for using Girl Scout Cookies wisely in the kitchen! A few years back, he decided to change up the crust of his famous homemade cheesecakes…using Lemonades!

“Not to brag, but I make a killer cheesecake!”

This little bake sale experiment helped his troop raise the necessary funds to take a trip to Eureka Springs, AR!

Now they’re working towards taking a trip to Europe in four years. For Terry and Angie they want the girls to know that as go-getters, innovators, risk-takers and leaders, anything is possible and they are there to support them.

Terry wants dads to know that there are various ways to be involved with their daughter’s Girl Scout troop – you don’t have to be the leader to contribute; think about what you are passionate about, and there’s a pretty good chance that it fits into Girl Scouts somewhere!

“I believe Girl Scouting has made Marissa and I closer,” Terry said.

And if leading a troop isn’t enough for him, he added the title of SUPSM to his Girl Scout resume your years ago and manages Cookie Program orders and delivery for all the troops in SU 687.

Had Terry’s wife Rosa not been working nights eight years ago, he likely wouldn’t be in the Girl Scout roles he is today and would have been what he refers to as “the typical Dad.”

“[Girl Scouts] is the best thing I’ve ever done with my life.”

Troop 1727 is so lucky to have you, Terry!

Do you know someone who is “Man Enough to be a Girl Scout?” Share this story with them and drop us a note in the comments below!

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 Cookies Power BIG Adventures for Girls

2017 B.I.G. Cookie Kick-Off a Skill-Building Success

Click the image to watch the video!

We love Girl Scout Cookies, yes we do! We love Girl Scout Cookies, how about YOU?

It was a BIG day filled with cookie cheers, skill-building and fun at our B.I.G. Cookie Kick-off at UMKC on Saturday!

More than 400 Girl Scouts came to conquer all the steps to earn their Girl Scout Cookie pin. They rotated through the interactive booths led by our awesome teen Girl Scouts. These booths included playing a game of cookie safety bingo, exploring the history of the 100 years of Girl Scout Cookies, writing thank you notes to soldiers, practicing the cookie ask, counting back change, taking a great cookie photo or two, adding a cookie goal to the wall and so much more.

What a day! Our Girl Scouts kicked things off with an opening pep rally that was 100% girl-led; including a visit from Juliette Gordon Low, troop leaders stacking those cookies as high as possible and the fantastic Taiko drummers, including some super talented Girl Scouts. Following the pep rally, our Girl Scouts were super pumped ready to tackle those interactive booths and meet & greet with our fantastic community partners and program experts. And, in between they voted for their favorite Bling Your Booth entry. A tough vote, for sure!

Before you knew it and after a little lunch, it was time to cheer on the UMKC Women’s Basketball team. Prior to tip-off, our Girl Scouts joined the UMKC cheerleaders to get the crowd ready. Our Girl Scouts love to dance and cheer. And, speaking of cheering… 100 Girl Scouts took the floor during halftime for a special Girl Scout Cookie Cheer. They were AWESOME!

Following the game, our Girl Scouts enjoyed (you guessed it!) more dancing and a little time with the UMKC basketball team.

We couldn’t tell who enjoyed the day more – our Girl Scout attendees, our energetic Teen Girl Scouts, our adults or the role model UMKC athletes who joined us throughout the day. OK, maybe it was Roo who you could find at the GS Cookie photo booth most of the day!

The B.I.G. (Believe in Girls) Cookie Kick-Off was an incredible event! There are so many to thank you who made this day possible. First, our event chair who brought this vision forward and championed it to a successful reality. Thank you, Amber Cannady! A huge shout-out to our entire event team who generously gave their time, talent and creativity to make this event come to life!

Our Teen Girl Scouts were awesome and embodied what it means to be a G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™!

All of our inspiring community partners and program staff showed girls how they can used their troop proceeds and Cookie Dough to have BIG adventures!

Thank you to all of our adult volunteers who helped our teens get ready  for their interactive booths and served throughout the event.

And last but certainly not least – thank you to our Super Skill-Building Girl Scouts and their parents / caregivers who joined us for the B.I.G. Cookie Kick-Off!

What was your favorite part of the day? Tell us in the comments below!

See all the photos from the B.I.G. Cookie Kickoff Here!

Cookie Dough Gives Girl Scouts an Opportunity to Choose their Next Big Adventure

Cookie season is officially here and what a special season it is – the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouts selling cookies! We’re sure you’re out and about working your business, collecting those pre-orders; But have you thought about what you’re going to do when Cookie Season comes to a close and you’re faced with the decision of choosing an item from the Girl Recognitions or Cookie Dough?!

What is Cookie Dough you ask?! Cookie Dough is credit that may be earned by Girl Scouts during the annual Cookie Program. Girls can choose to earn “Dough” in lieu of another recognition item! Cookie Dough can be redeemed in a variety of ways at Girl Scouts of NE Kansas & NW Missouri and may be redeemed through Sept. 30, 2017!

Girl Scout Shop – get your year-end recognition items, Girl Scout swag, or buy materials for your next Girl Scout year!

Travel – with a variety of council-sponsored trips coming up in the next few years, you can apply your Cookie Dough to your travel balance!

Outdoor Experiences – get outdoors and try something new! Cookie Dough can be redeemed for any outdoor program we offer – archery, tomahawks, zipline, low ropes and resident camp. And, it also can be redeemed for service unit day camp.

While cookies have long been an aspect of Girl Scouting, so has camping! What better way to celebrate being a Girl Scout than by using your cookie proceeds to go to resident camp?!

Girl Scout Junior Alexis Wolfgang chose Cookie Dough last year, and doesn’t regret that decision!

When she began setting her goals for last year’s program, she had her eyes on item at the 1,250 level – a Chromebook! Alexis put on her entrepreneur hat and turned her business into a family affair! It only seemed appropriate since she helps her dad, Brett with his home remodeling business and her brother, Drake in his Boy Scout fundraising efforts!

From the day the Wolfgang family received their cookies, they were setting up their little shop out of the back of Brett’s truck. Alexis would make the signs and handle the customers and Drake would fashion a costume out of the cardboard cases!

“I like to watch her succeed, set the goal and see it through.” Brett explained. “Every year that comes she works more and more on her own.”

When GS Cookie Season concluded, it was no surprise that Alexis had reached that coved 1,250 goal and earned herself that Chromebook, however she also earned every level leading up to that. Recognition levels are cumulative, so Alexis went through and chose where she wanted to receive Cookie Dough over the item. When it was all said and done, she had earned $150 in Dough!

With that $150 in Cookie Dough, Alexis decided to go to resident camp at Camp Daisy Hindman! While there she rode horses, did STEM activities and went canoeing for the first time ever! In her short three days there she made friends and memories to last a lifetime!

“Selling cookies and hanging out with my friends is my favorite part of Girl Scouts,” Alexis said. “When I look over the recognitions, I like being able to choose cookie dough!”

“She likes it because she can choose to buy things she needs or pay for things she wants to do like camp,” Brett said.

Alexis totally agreed!

So while you’re out and about taking those pre-orders think about increasing your goal to earn some more Dough to Camp Like a Girl Scout! Programs can be found at www.gsksmo.org/camp  and registration officially opens at 9:00 am, today! The first 400 girls who register for any camp program (You & Me, S’mores & More, Mini or Resident Camp) will receive a limited edition Camp Daisy Bandana! Camp balances aren’t due until 3 weeks prior to the program, so you have plenty of time to earn and then redeem that Cookie Dough!

5 Tips & Tricks for a Successful Cookie Program

From Girl Scout Senior, Kimma Edwards

It’s official – we are celebrating a BIG milestone!  Well before Girl Scout Cookies were produced by licensed bakers to sell nationally, Girl Scouts baked and sold cookies on their own. Our girls were entrepreneurs going as far back as 1917! In 2017, we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first known instance of Girl Scouts selling cookies and learning the basic skills and acumen they need to be leaders in business and sales, manage their personal and family finances, and gain self-sufficiency and confidence handling money.

Girl Scout Senior, Kimma Edwards from Olathe, Kansas has nearly mastered those skills. In the 10 years of her cookie business, she has sold over 7,500 boxes! Last year alone she sold 2,000, earning a coveted spot in a suite at Girl Scout Day at the K and being one of our council’s top cookie sellers!

“Selling Girl Scout cookies in general is just so much fun for me. I love seeing my accomplishments at the end of the season,” Kimma said!

We caught up with Kimma to see what tips and tricks she has for Girl Scouts of all ages to be as successful as her with their own businesses in this historic year!

  1. Set a Goal
    “The most important thing to sell is having a goal,” Kimma said.
    Kimma looks at the recognition sheet and sets her goal passed on the items and amount of Cookie Dough she wants to earn. Last year it was suite tickets for Girl Scout Day at the K (2,000 boxes), this year she has her eyes on the luggage set (1,250 boxes).
  1. Use the phrase “Would you like to support my Girl Scout Troop?”
    “You don’t necessarily have to buy cookies to support our troop,” Kimma explains. She says that using the phrase ‘Would you like to support my Girl Scout Troop’ is more polite and that it gets the attention of those who have it in their minds that they don’t want to buy her product for various reasons. It opens the door for her to have a conversation about her goals, how the Cookie Program powers great adventures and Cookie Share.
  2. Work as many Cookie Booths as possible.
    When she was a Daisy, Troop Leader and Mom, Misty Edwards would create a schedule for girls to work in 30 minute shifts at Cookie Booths. Throughout the 10 years, the shifts have expanded and they have been more strategic with their booth setup. Her advice is to cover all the entry and exit points of the location and use the magic phrase above!
  3. Talk to EVERYONE.
    When cookies arrive in February, you will find Kimma carrying a Girl Scout Cookie duffle bag stocked with cookies everywhere she goes and asking everyone she encounters if they would like to support her troop!
  1. Work with your Girl Scout sisters.
    This coincides with #1 – Set a Goal. The girls in Troop 431 know each other’s Cookie Program goals and they work together to achieve them. This past year Kimma was working toward her biggest goal yet, as was her Girl Scout sister Desi, however their goals were different. On the last weekend of Cookie Booths, Kimma and Desi set up their shop at a local Wal-Mart and utilized all the tips above. At the end of the day, instead of splitting the work 50/50, Desi only wanted credit for enough boxes to get her to her goal, giving Kimma the remaining number which just barely pushed her over the 2,000 mark. That’s Girl Scout teamwork right there!

It’s evident that Kimma has learned The 5 Skills (Business Ethics, People Skills, Decision-Making, and Goal Setting) that the Cookie Program has been teaching for 100 years and those are skills that will stay with her for a lifetime.

“I don’t know what it is about it, but selling Girl Scout Cookies is just so much fun. It’s my favorite part of Girl Scouts!” She explained. “It’s even helped me think about what I want to do. I think I want to be a business owner, maybe own a toy store or candy shop because I really love children.”

What tips and tricks do you have? Share them below in the comments section.

Super Girl Scout Cookie Dad

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Helping girls build their entrepreneurial skills one box at a time

When you buy a box of Girl Scout cookies (or 10…let’s be honest here), you directly influence a girl’s business skills. What most people don’t see are the awesome volunteers who work long hours behind the scenes to make this program possible. These volunteers are known as “Product Sales Managers” or “PSM’s” and they coordinate, organize, educate and calculate thousands of boxes of cookies each year.

One of these PSM’s is Girl Scout dad, Craig Lybarger supporting Service Unit 642 in Olathe, KS! Craig and his family found that supporting cookie sales has been a wonderful way for them to be together. His oldest daughter, Samantha, is a Brownie and their second daughter, Katarina, is in Kindergarten and a brand new Girl Scout Daisy this year! Both love the cookie program and the pride they have showing off their cookie dad.

cookiescollage

In Craig’s words, the job of a PSM is: “to have a discussion with the parents in the troop to support fall product sales or cookie sales, talk about recognition levels, provide dates when things are due and walk them through the program and how it works. We also talk about the girls and their goals. For the Service Unit Manager, I do that training with the troop PSMs, who then talk to the parents in the troop.”

Becoming a cookie dad was at the top of Craig’s list when Samantha’s troop was first forming. It has always been important to Craig to find a way to be involved with his children as much as possible, even with a difficult work schedule. “I have an on-call schedule, so I knew I couldn’t commit to doing something right after school. I volunteered to support the Cookie Program because I knew I could make [Samantha] proud to know that I was trying to help and be involved with her in Scouts even if I couldn’t be the troop leader,” Craig said. As a Boy Scout, son of an Eagle Scout and a Girl Scout, Craig was raised to value the Scouting experience.

For Samantha’s first year, Craig served as the troop cookie manager and after talking with the former Service Unit Product Sales Manager, he found out she was stepping down and was looking for a replacement. It stuck with him through the cookie season and at the end, he asked if he could shadow her during the final turn-in. The next year, he became the Service Unit 642 PSM.

It takes a lot of work to lead an entire service unit’s cookie program – but the impact it has had on Samantha makes it worth it. One story Craig shared captures the real power of the Girl Scout Cookie Program and the skills girls can learn in just one day of selling.

“The first year of cookie sales, in one day, one 12-hour period, my daughter changed before my eyes. The first house we went to, she rang the doorbell, her head was buried in her chest and quietly said ‘would you like to buy some cookies?’ and that was all she said. 12 hours later, at the last house, she rang the doorbell and full of energy said ‘Hi! My name is Samantha from Troop 3506 and I’m selling Girl Scout cookies! Do you like peanut butter?’ and talked to the customer about options. She changed how she conducted herself, stood up straight, shoulders back, and made eye contact with the customer, having a good conversation…in one day. To see her blossom in that 12-hour day made me so excited. She would not have done that and know how to handle herself like that if not for Girl Scouts,” Craig said.

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The passion and energy for the job, because of the power he sees in the program, is infectious. He recently inspired a woman from Overland Park to become a troop cookie manager for her troop after just one conversation. As the PSM for the entire service unit, the excitement and energy he has for the Cookie Program is being spread to all the troops in SU 642!

Beyond cookies, the opportunities Samantha has had speak for themselves in his eyes. “Samantha is learning to be nice in a safe environment and she gets to do things she wouldn’t normally get to do, like canoeing and kayaking. This summer she got to do archery for the first time, nature hikes, all those things she gets to do by being part of Girl Scouting,” Craig said.

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As a dad, he knows that his involvement in Girl Scouts is something a little extra, because not all dads want to volunteer. “Samantha got a special badge that she wore like a badge of honor that said ‘my dad is a cookie dad’ and she loved telling everyone ‘my dad’s in charge of cookies!’ To see how proud it made her, how happy it made her, that’s why I did it,” Craig said.

When it comes to being Man Enough to be a Girl Scout, Craig says: “Don’t be afraid to volunteer, don’t think it’s just for females to be involved with or what you might think about volunteering, it’s all about the child that you’re doing it for and how proud it will make them feel that you want to be involved with them, spend time with them and make memories for them,”

We know Service Unit 642 is on to great things and we can’t wait to see what their cookie sales look like this year. With thousands of girls to inspire to be business leaders, the hard work of PSM’s really makes a difference. We thank all our awesome volunteers who work behind the scenes to make sure girls have the power to be tomorrow’s leaders.

If you have an inspiring cookie story, share in the comments below!

Operation Sweet Treat – GSKSMO Cookie Program Partners with the USO for Cookie Share

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What Can a Cookie Do: Spotlighting GSKSMO Volunteer Jessica Shalita

Middle school can be a time of awkward transition for young girls. For most it means changing schools and maybe even changing friends. We’ve all been there and for many of us, it’s not an easy time in our lives.

Jessica Shalita, lifetime Girl Scout member, remembers that feeling all too well. She promised herself in high school that when she became an adult she would come back to Girl Scouts in order to volunteer with older girls going through the teenage stage of life.

Jessica kept that promise and is now a co-leader for Cadette Troop #5289 in Knob Noster, Missouri. As a leader she’s a bit atypical as she’s not a mom of a Girl Scout. But that didn’t stop her from volunteering the first chance she got!

“I always knew I wanted to be a troop leader,” Jessica said. “As soon as I got settled after graduation in 2013 I called the council and told them I wanted to volunteer.”

And she didn’t stop there. Jessica specifically requested to be placed with a troop of older girls because she knows what an important and challenging time the teenage years can be.

“I wanted to work with older girls because I had a great Girl Scout experience as an older girl myself,” Jessica said. “I went on a GS Destinations trip to Mexico and also earned my Gold Award in 2007.”

With a Girl Scout success story like hers, it’s no surprise that Jessica is still impacting the world in BIG ways. Jessica is an Air Force Captain in the United States Air Force. She is currently an Active Duty 509th Medical Support Squadron pharmacist and is stationed at Whiteman Air Force Base. That’s right – Jessica is rocking a military STEM career!

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Keenan Berry

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Keenan Berry

“I joined the military because I wanted to serve my country and protect our freedoms,” Jessica said. “I also wanted to broaden my leadership capabilities.”

ostFBGirl Scouts has always been passionate about supporting our troops. That’s why we’re so excited about this weekend’s Operation Sweet Treat! We have partnered with the USO and local malls to create a Cookie Share initiative that lets girls ask customers if they would like to buy a box or more to be donated back to the three military bases located in our council (Whiteman AFB, Ft. Riley an Ft. Leavenworth).

Jessica thinks Operation Sweet Treat is an easy way to say “thank you” to those in uniform.

“Receiving a box of your favorite Girl Scout cookies really makes you feel like you’re remembered,” Jessica said. “You know you’re in the thoughts of your community.”

She also adds a great selling point for troops asking customers to buy an extra box – it’s like a box of calorie-free cookies when you donate! Can’t beat zero calories 😉

While Jessica leads a busy life with career and other activities, she feels making time to be a Girl Scout volunteer is one of her best decisions.

“I want to set a good example for these girls and be the moral, responsible woman they can look up to,” Jessica said. “I often joke that even though I’m not a mom I’m so busy being a part of these girls’ lives! It always brightens my week.”

We’re sure you brighten their week as well, Jessica! Thank you for all you do to serve our country and make the world a better place for teenage girls!

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Operation Sweet Treat (Feb. 27 – March 1) is a special weekend to honor our Cookie Share partnership with the USO through community booth sales. This year’s Operation Sweet Treat Weekend coincides with National Cookie Days. We invite you to buy a box or more for a soldier by visiting one of the booth locations below or any of the booth locations across our 47 counties.

Find out more about Operation Sweet Treat.