Ensuring Girl Entrepreneurs SHINE!

When it comes to cookie sales, a personalized sales pitch, customer follow-up and a successful delivery are all key to Girl Scout success. In fact, those same skills lead to a powerful sales person in any industry. Girl Scout cookie dad, Shawn Muller should know! He’s a real estate agent and has served as cookie dad for Troop 545 for the past 5 years. What makes Shawn such an awesome volunteer is his application of skills he uses in his job, combined with a passion for helping his daughter (and her Girl Scout sisters) succeed. Because of volunteers like Shawn, girls are becoming the CEOs and sales leaders of the future!

Shawn became his troop’s cookie dad about 5 years ago when they needed someone with financial experience. His daughter, Maya, was in kindergarten and this was his first experience with Girl Scouting. Though his first year was intimidating, he jumped in and found resources to make it a great experience.  “The cookie manager training [at GSKSMO] was definitely helpful in terms of getting my comfort up, but I learned a lot of lessons that first year,” Shawn said.

Despite having some of those hard lessons to learn, Shawn got 100% troop participation in the program that first year and continues to have amazing success. As a cookie dad, he finds being organized helps everyone. At the first cookie meeting, Shawn gives out a wall calendar with the cookie dates already marked and a quick reference guide to make it easier to understand and manage for busy parents.

“One of my big things was just making sure parents understood the information. The wall calendars came from my day job as a real estate agent, I always send out wall calendars in December, so it was an easy thing to do,” Shawn said.

Shawn loves being cookie dad because it allows him to spend time with his daughter in an activity she’s passionate about. “On the most basic level, [Girl Scouts] makes her happy. She’ll come home from a troop meeting or an extra activity and she’s always excited and feeling like she accomplished something,” Shawn said.

For Shawn and Maya, the cookie season especially has become a chance for them to work together and for him to teach her sales skills. “This year, someone made an online order, so I took the opportunity to teach her about follow-up. She recorded a short video message and sent it to them on Facebook Messenger and that got a really good response. Now she’s learning that showing appreciation is important,” Shawn said. What an awesome way for dad and daughter to bond while teaching Maya to be an awesome G.I.R.L.?!

After 5 years on the job, Shawn has learned a few things. One of his best tips for increasing sales and helping the community is Cookie Share. “When the girls are asking for someone’s business, it’s such an easy thing to also say ‘I’m raising money in support of the Veterans’ Hospital and Harvesters, would you like to donate some boxes?,’ most of the time, people will say ‘yes.’ That charity aspect is important and I try to help my troop remember that as they sell,” Shawn said.

This amazing cookie dad loves his role as a volunteer and to other Girl Scout dads, “I’d say, 100%, dads should get involved in Girl Scouts and not be afraid of it. It’s so important for the girls to see that dads are interested and involved,” Shawn said. Without our amazing volunteers – moms, dads, aunts, uncles, grandparents and friends – Girl Scouts would not exist. So thank you to Shawn and all the other amazing cookie parents who make this program a success!

Do you have some awesome cookie season tips to share? Comment below!

Stepping up for Girls


*This story originally published on June 30, 2016.

In loving memory of Jason Coppedge, 1979 – 2017. 

Jason Coppedge is Man Enough to be a Girl Scout!

When it came time to choose extra-curricular activities for their daughter and son, there was not much discussion between Jason and Shana Coppedge – Scouting was #1 on their list. Shana is a Girl Scout Alumna and Jason is a Boy Scout Alum with a lot on that resume. He is a former staff member of Camp Nash, attended National and World Boy Scout Jamborees, hiked Philmont and earned his Eagle Scout Award!

Jason and Shana registered their daughter Piper for Girl Scouts when she was in first grade and she joined an established Daisy Troop. At the end of that amazing year, Piper’s leader stepped down. However, Jason was there to step up. He eagerly took on the troop of seven year old Girl Scout Brownies and officially declared himself Man Enough to be a Girl Scout!

“Some of my fondest memories involved Scouting and I wanted her to be able to have that same experience and keep the girls together,” Jason said.


And he’s done just that. Over the past five years Jason and his co-leaders have led Troop 3145 on some amazing experiences and adventures. They are a troop that absolutely loves camping, building fires, learning survival skills and generally experiencing the outdoors.

One of Jason’s favorite memories is from one of the first troop campouts. After the girls helped cook dinner and cleaned everything up, they found themselves with some extra time on their hands.  Jason challenged them to find something to do. Before he knew it the girls were playing Zombie Tag, a game they came up with all on their own.

“Scouting teaches a lot of values that are sometimes missed with today’s technology. It gets you back to the basics in life like camping, how to start a fire and fix things.”

The only difference the girls of Troop 3145 see in having Jason as a troop leader is that his craft skills aren’t quite up those of some of his co-leaders…

“It’s definitely entertaining to see him try to do the crafts,” Piper said!

“I know when to ask for help!” Jason said!

To close out their final year as Girl Scout Juniors, the girls headed down to Jason’s “office,” South Metro Fire Department in Raymore, MO to work on their Take Action Project – a video on gender stereotypes in male-dominated professions. On Jason’s shift is a female firefighter and paramedic who graciously answered all their questions on camera and led them through some training drills!


As Troop 3145 bridges up, Jason sees himself and his co-leaders stepping back more. “Next year the girls are leading –it’ll be a different boat. They’ll work together and we will help them organize.”

In fact, Piper already has her eyes set on earning her Gold Award in the future. It’s easy to tell that she looks up to Jason as her dad AND as her troop leader.

“I can definitely confide in him if I have problems. I don’t get my word heard first; he makes it fair so everyone gets their word heard,” Piper explained.

In addition to leading Troop 3145, Jason is also involved in Boy Scouts as Advancement Chair, Trainer and Assistant Den Leader for his son’s Boy Scout troop.

Jason describes being Piper’s troop leader as “total enjoyment,” and something that he encourages every dad to think about.

Jason overseeing Troop 3145 build garden beds at Camp Daisy Hindman for their Bronze Award Take Action Project!

Jason overseeing Troop 3145 build garden beds at Camp Daisy Hindman for their Bronze Award Take Action Project!

“I don’t think [being her troop leader] should be that big of a deal. Dads shouldn’t be afraid to step up for their daughters and help them out.”

Thanks for all you do for girls, Jason! Do you know a man that has declared himself Man Enough to be a Girl Scout?! Let us know in the comments below!

Girl Scouting for Girls

Boy Scouts of America officially announced its plan to bring girls into its organization.  Girls can enter as Cub Scouts in 2018, and then by 2019 at other grade levels including high school girls who will be allowed to earn the Eagle Scout Award.  Girls and boys are not the same. Therefore, we do not agree that the Boy Scout Program meets the unique and specific needs of a girl’s leadership journey.

Girl Scouts has 105 years of experience in supporting girls to develop leadership skills in a girl-only supportive environment.  A girl’s life is primarily experienced in a coed environment.  Significant data and research suggests that girls thrive in an environment where they can experiment, take risks, succeed, fail and learn in the company of other girls.  Girl Scouts offers that in an outside the classroom experience. This extensive research guides our programs delivered in the unique way girls learn. Our focus on leadership skills development and preparing girls to meet future workplace demands offers progressive girl led opportunities throughout her Girl Scout experience.

We are incredibly proud to offer our more than 23,000 Girl Scouts opportunities for adventure, inspiration, and valuable mentoring. We offer hands-on, girl-centered learning in STEM, the outdoors, and entrepreneurship, and abundant opportunities to develop invaluable life skills. Girl Scouts helps all girls take the lead early and often.  Our highly valued volunteers and community leaders serve as role models and mentors for guiding girls in these experiences.

Our girls need even more opportunities to take the lead. Our girls need a girl-only safe space where they can grow their courage, confidence and character. Our girls need adult role models; women and men who will support them every step of the way.

A Girl Scout Dad Perspective

Jared Bixby, Education Professional from Manhattan, KS

Jared with his Girl Scout daughter fishing.

“As a father of a girl and a boy, I stand with Girl Scouts!

As a parent, my daughter does not come second.

As a parent, my son does not come second.

As a parent, I make sacrifices for the development of my kids because I want them to grow up to be strong, caring, successful individuals.

It’s not about convenience, Boy Scouts of America.

Let me repeat, it’s not about convenience, parents.

Our family is involved in soccer, 4-H, gymnastics, etc. These are things that our kids want to do and we make them happen for them. We take the interest of our kids and we find activities that match their interest and make them work. That’s what parents do.

It’s what’s best for your girl. I will not provide even the glimmer of thought that my daughter is second to my son because of convenience, Boy Scouts of America. My daughter deserves the best I can provide, and I trust in Girl Scouts and the 100+ years of research that guides their girl leadership development approach to do just that. That’s what I want for my daughter.

I challenge all dads of girls: Are you #ManEnoughToBeAGirlScout?


My family strongly believes in the importance of the all-girl, girl-led, and girl-friendly environment that Girl Scouts provides, which creates a space for girls to learn and thrive. Girl Scouts works and we’re committed to preparing our daughter as a next generation woman leader with Girl Scouts.”

Want more information? Check out:

Girl Scouts is the Girl Leadership Expert

The Girl Scout Difference

The Case for Girl Scouts: Research & Data

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!

An Everyday Hero Standing with Girls

Man Enough to be a Girl Scout: Mark Jeffrey

It takes a special person to be a hero. Police officers, firefighters and EMTs risk their lives to protect us. Meet Mark Jeffrey from Grain Valley, MO, a dad to two amazing Girl Scouts, a police officer, former firefighter and EMT. Talk about a hero among! Most importantly, Mark is a proud Girl Scout dad and volunteer, making the world better for girls. He’s certainly Man Enough to be a Girl Scout!

Mark Jeffrey loves his community.  And, his decades of public service prove it. He served as an EMT and firefighter for 13 years before becoming a community officer then a police officer for Lake Latawana, where he’s served for 16 years. This devoted protector loves being out in his community and getting to know people. When he became a dad, he knew he wanted to have his children involved in organizations that would expose them to their community. “It’s important to be involved with your kids in activities that help us bond and make them into great people,” Mark said.

Mark and his wife, Erin, have three children – all involved in Scouting. Son, Chase (12) and daughters Alexis (9) and Elizabeth (5) have been in Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts since kindergarten. Mark has recently become an assistant leader for Alexis and Elizabeth – helping with shirt designs, cookie sales and general troop support. “I was in Cub Scouts for one year and it really stuck with me, so when my kids were born, I saw it as an opportunity to get back involved with Scouting,” Mark said.

Scouting is important to the family because it lets the Jeffrey kids explore and do things outside the house. “Scouting provides life skills that help you become a good member of society. It teaches girls they can go as far as they want. Kids get the opportunity to explore, learn and discover their interests, so they grow up to be great men and women of society,” Mark said.

Alexis is part of Girl Scout Junior Troop 716 and volunteers with Girl Scout Daisy Troop 1854, Elizabeth’s troop (PS – Michelle Twyman, leader for Troop 879, has a daughter in this troop too!). Elizabeth was inspired to join Girl Scouts because of Alexis. The two have a very close relationship and as Mark says, they’re almost like twins. Having an older Girl Scout participate means the world to the new Daisies who are working hard on their first year selling cookies.

“Elizabeth’s troop is crazy about cookies. She’ll ask anyone she sees to buy them. She went to one of Chase’s Boy Scout meetings and started asking them to buy cookies,” Mark said. What a go-getter!

The Jeffrey family is active in PTA for Matthews Elementary, supported Service Unit 646’s Holly Jolly Jamboree and participates in Grain Valley’s Police Explorers. The Police Explorers is a program introduces kids to law enforcement careers through interactive activities like learning to use handcuffs and touring the police station. While his daughters are too young to officially join, they’ve participated in many activities.

Each year in the PTA, Mark is a driving force behind the annual carnival fundraiser for the school. He builds activities, helps organize and is very hands on with the event. For Mark, it’s all about getting to spend more time with his kids and make their life better. “As a dad, my kids are my world. To see my kids having fun and being part of that, I get to be a dad and having fun with them, be part of their life,” Mark said.

Girl Scouts in particular allows Mark to be a male role model and watch his daughters become G.I.R.L.s (Go-getters, Innovators, Risk-takers, Leaders)TM.  “It’s important for girls to have good, male role models in their lives and a girl’s father should be the first one she sees,” Mark said.

Thank you to Mark, Erin and all the amazing supporters of Girl Scout Troops 716 and 1854 in Grain Valley, MO! Your hard work helps girls shine every day! THANK YOU! If you know of another amazing Girl Scout volunteer, share their story in the comments below.

An Officer and a Gentleman


Troop Leader, Police Chief Tom Alber is Man Enough to be a Girl Scout

When it comes to leadership, there’s no bigger advocate than new Girl Scout troop leader, Chief Tom Alber. As a proud Eagle Scout, leadership guru and police chief, there’s no wonder why Tom and his wife have their girls in the best female leadership program around – Girl Scouts! Talk about “Man Enough to be a Girl Scout!” Chief Tom knows that along with co-leader Monica, they can help the girls in Troop 1346 in Kansas City, MO find their voice and become the leaders of tomorrow.

When we say Chief Tom Alber’s leadership resume is impressive…we mean it. He’s the Police Chief for Garden City, 1st VP of the FBI LEEDA Executive Board of Directors (he helps pick teens for FBI leadership training), and a retired U.S. Army Officer – just to name a few! “Our young women need to develop leadership skills, and that’s what Girl Scouting does. I’m a military retiree and in my service I could see a real difference between those who had been in scouting programs and those who had not,” Tom said.


Scouting is important to both Tom and his wife, Kathleen, who’s also a police officer. Tom’s family was involved in Scouting and Kathleen is a Girl Scout alumna. “Scouting has always been important in my family and we had active troops that kept us involved. When my girls expressed interest, it was a no-brainer. Of course you’re going to be a Girl Scout,” Tom said.

Troop 1346 is a multi-level troop of Daisies through Cadettes. Tom’s daughter, Emma, is a proud Cadette who already has a multi-page list of activities she wants to do. A goal Tom has for the troop is for them to lead each other. “The #1 thing that keeps people form leading is public speaking. That’s why I want our Cadettes to lead the Juniors, the Juniors to lead the Brownies and so on,” Tom said.

Every day, the Albers go to work serving the community and they want to instill that sense of service in their girls. At their first troop meeting, Troop 1346 was asked by their school principal to participate in a hygiene bag drive. Of course, the Girl Scouts were eager to jump on board.


Troop 1346; Right: Emma leading the Promise at their first troop meeting.

Pulling from Tom’s own experience as a Boy Scout, the troop is working to increase membership with a recruiting technique that’s also a public speaking exercise. The girls are encouraged to wear their uniforms to school the day of the meetings and leaders are helping them learn how to talk to people who ask about Girl Scouts. Not only will this help the troop, it’ll help the girls learn to be an advocate.

In addition to their volunteerism, leadership and advocacy, the Albers family supports the ambitions of their daughters. Their youngest, Samantha (GS Junior), is an aspiring Vlogger (video blogging), so the Albers family let her participate in a PSA they created. This gave her experience using video to create a message. Tom was proud to say “I’m a Girl Scout leader…I really am a Girl Scout leader!” in the video.

What do Emma and Samantha think about their dad being her leader? Samantha said: “I hope he doesn’t embarrass me, but I’m really excited!” Emma was excited not only because it’s her dad, but because she likes his leadership style. “I wanted him to be a troop leader so bad. I like things structured, and he’s good at that… he’ll do meetings that are structured where we can get things done,” Emma said.


As Chief Tom says, leadership is vital to the long term success of girls. “We always think about leadership development of the boys, but not always about the girls. It’s important to me that my girls develop those skills because that might be the next president, congresswoman, CEO or police chief [sitting in my troop meeting] and they need that development just like the boys.”

We can’t wait to see all the amazing things Troop 1346 is going to do in the coming years. With Chief Tom, co-leader Monica and the other parents and volunteers, we know they’re destined for greatness. You can follow Chief Tom on Twitter @ChiefTomAlber! If you have a great story about a guy who’s “Man Enough to be a Girl Scout,” share in the comments below!

Raising girls to be G.I.R.Ls (Go-Getters, Innovators, Risk-Takers and Leaders)


Nazario Wilcock is Man Enough to be a Girl Scout

There’s nothing quite like dedicated Girl Scout parents. Meet Nazario Wilcock, a Girl Scout dad from Sabetha, KS dedicated to raising his daughters in a world of courage, confidence and character! The Wilcock’s family knows what it means to be gold standard Girl Scouts! The family has helped lead two daughters and 5 other Girl Scouts to be Gold Award recipients. It’s amazing to see what great mentors can do for girls!

Nazario (“Naz”) is definitely “Man Enough to be a Girl Scout.” When his daughters Hanna and Elisha became Girl Scouts, he knew he wanted to be involved in the Girl Scout world. Troop life became an important part of the life because of the lessons on basic respect and self-worth that Naz and his wife, Joy, wanted the girls to learn. “Girl Scouts teaches girls about respect, The Golden Rule – ‘do unto others and you would do unto yourself,’ – and promotes self-worth,” Naz said.

Hanna started in Girl Scouts as a Daisy and from the beginning, Naz and Joy saw how impactful achieving success was to their daughters. “The day [Hanna] got her first petal, she was jumping up and down, just so excited. It got me excited as well,” Naz said. When she was old enough, Elisha joined and the troop split into two. Joy led a troop and Naz continued to help as “Troop Dad” with another dad named Jeff.

Left: Troop 7200 having fun; Troop 7200’s annual Murder Mystery Party with alumnae

Left: Troop 7200 having fun; Troop 7200’s annual Murder Mystery Party with alumnae

Throughout their girl years the “Troop Dads” would help with transportation, show the girls how to set-up camp, and support the troop. During elementary school, some girls almost had to drop because they couldn’t get to troop meetings. The Wilcock family sprang into action. Naz arranged a van and they provided free transportation to any girls who couldn’t make it to the meetings. What an inspiration!

Naz sees his involvement in Girl Scouts as a way to be part of his daughters’ lives. “If dads don’t get involved, all they will have is regret.  There’s so much I would have missed. I would have listened to them talk about ‘oh, we did this and that,’ but instead I get to say ‘I saw them do this, I saw them do that’ because I was there and I got to be part of it,” Naz said.

 Once the girls reached high school they were back in the same troop, Troop 7200 and continued to do amazing things. Recently they were awarded “Troop of Distinction” at the 2016 West Region Volunteer Appreciation Event!

Troop 7200 at the 2016 West Region Volunteer Celebration

Troop 7200 at the 2016 West Region Volunteer Celebration

The Wilcock daughters received their Gold Awards in 2015 and 2016. Hanna used her talents as an artist to create the “Santa Comes To Town” project, painting a winter backdrop and building a sleigh for Santa. Elisha developed the “Offline Project,” a PSA about Cyber/Internet addiction. Naz and Joy were by their sides the entire way – inspiring them to achieve their goals and feel the same pride they felt as Daisies earning their first petals. “Once my girls got [their Gold Awards], the pride they held and sense of accomplishment they had…we realized how powerful those projects really were,” Naz said.

Troop 7200 has 5 Gold Awardees, including Madison Williams who received her Gold Award for raising awareness about the bee population and Dayna Williams for her project, “The Butterfly Effect.” Two more girls are working their Gold Award projects now.

The real power of Girl Scouts is the lasting impact it has on the confidence of the girls – and that’s why the Wilcock family believes it was so important to make a priority. “[Girl Scouts] shows my girls, in so many different ways, just how important they are. By working with them in Girl Scouts, I’m telling them ‘you are important and there’s a full organization showing you that,’” Naz said.

The most important thing is to just be part of the lives of girls. “I want to say one thing to any dad who ever thought about [getting involved]: quit thinking about it and get involved. It’s worth it,” said Naz. This is why Naz really is “Man Enough to be a Girl Scout” – he had the courage to be involved.

We thank Naz and the entire Wilcock family for their dedication to service and empowering girls to make a difference. If you know of an awesome “Man Enough to be a Girl Scout” – leave a comment below!

Super Girl Scout Cookie Dad


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.


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.


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.


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!

A Girl Scout Hiro


Man Enough to be a Girl Scout – Jerry O’Keefe

When you think of a Girl Scout volunteer, the words “dedicated,” “generous,” and “committed” probably come to mind. Those are great words to describe the awesome Girl Scout dad and volunteer, Jerry O’Keefe! This Scout dad is dedicated to making an amazing troop experience not only for his own daughter, but for the entire Troop 1237 family. Known as “Hiro” at camp, Jerry O’Keefe is a dad who’s showing what it means to be “Man Enough to be a Girl Scout.”

When daughter Hayley was born in 2003, Christine (“Chris”) and Jerry O’Keefe knew they wanted to do their best to raise their only daughter with all the skills she’d need to become a thriving adult. Naturally, they got Hayley involved in Girl Scouts as a Daisy and the rest, as they say, is history. Chris (“Gogo” at camp) leads Troop 1237 with 9 girls currently in the troop with Jerry actively involved at her side. The girls attend Mill Creek Middle School and together have come up with innovative service projects that get them involved and more importantly, doing things as a family.


Spending time together is at the core of what Chris and Jerry want for their family. Because of Girl Scouts, this family has grown from three to a small community that is Troop 1237. “I enjoy being with my family. Not only with my wife and daughter, but the other girls in your troop, being together from kindergarten on, they’re like your adopted daughters in a way or at least a couple times a month when Girl Scouts meets,” Jerry said. The troop actively involves parents through campouts, overnights at the Omaha Zoo, group activities and service projects.

Jerry has been involved in everything he can with Girl Scouts and loves watching his daughter grow. At day camp he helps run stations, plan activities and assist the teens. One of his favorite things is watching Hayley grow into a young leader that other girls look up to. “I love watching them develop and go from being the one who idolizes to the one being idolized,” Jerry said. There’s something extra special for him watching his daughter be the one that girls jump into the arms of when they’re leaving day camp.

The family is incredibly proud of the fact that Troop 1237 has completed their Bronze Award, is working on their Silver Award and at least 2/3 of the girls are planning to go for Gold! Their Bronze Award project was a Frozen Party for younger troops that Jerry loved getting to help with. In addition to Highest Award projects, the troop does service projects for their former elementary school serving as photographers for school events and performed a flag ceremony for a local veterans’ ceremony.


Jerry and the other awesome parents in the troop can’t wait to see where their girls go and they’re noticing increasing parent involvement across the Service Unit. At the 2016 day camp, Jerry said he noticed more dads getting involved than ever before and it’s great to not feel like the only guy around anymore. “There’s no reason dads can’t be involved just because it’s Girl Scouts. It lets your daughters know that you think they’re worth your time,” said Jerry. His biggest advice: “Don’t be afraid to go,” Jerry said. We love Jerry’s advice!

We thank Jerry O’Keefe and all the other awesome Girl Scout families that work hard to give girls absolutely amazing experiences. From day camps to service projects to camping, Jerry O’Keefe is there for it all and a great example of someone who’s “Man Enough to be a Girl Scout!”

If you know of an awesome dad or male caregiver, share his story in the comments below!

Bringing Up Brownies Through Outdoor Adventures & Leadership Experiences

Man Enough to be a Girl Scout – Dylan Smith

Wrangling a group of 2nd graders (21 of them!) around Kansas City is not for the faint of heart. Especially when you have little leaders like Girl Scouts! Dylan Smith is a Girl Scout dad and troop leader in Kansas City, MO who is dedicated to providing an exceptional Girl Scout experience for the Brownie troop at Academie Lafayette (a French immersion charter school in KCMO). This special troop has the added advantage of being part of a school that teaches in French, so all the girls are learning to be bilingual. To keep up with these vivacious, intelligent young women, Dylan Smith, his family and parents in the troop work hard to create memorable experiences that are focused on fun.

The Smith family is all about art and experiencing life in the outdoors. As a senior Art Director at VML, Dylan spends much of his day creating eye-catching campaigns to help companies get their message across to consumers. On top of that, the Smith family just welcomed baby Zephyr into the family three months ago! As you can imagine, the job can be demanding and with a new baby, time is precious, but that doesn’t stop Dylan from taking the lead twice a month at the Plaza Branch of the Plaza Library for Girl Scouts.

The Smith family’s Girl Scout adventure started in the fall of 2014 when their daughter, Phoenix (age 5 at the time), wanted to join the Daisy troop at her school. There was already an older troop in existence, but the school needed someone to lead the younger girls. As with many troop leaders, Dylan stepped up when no other alternatives became available. As a dad, he wants girls to see women in leadership roles – especially in organizations like Girl Scouts. However, with the risk of the troop not coming together, he took the lead. “I really like the principals of teaching girls to be leaders, […] the business aspects, girls leading meetings when they are older, all of that teaches girls to succeed. So for me, a big part of that is having female troop leaders that lead by example. To show girls that women can be in these positions of authority,” Dylan said.

Since Dylan is such a strong believer in developing young leaders, he helps the girls figure out what they want to do as a troop. While some badges he selects based on his skillset to teach because of the ages of the girls, he gives them a voice whenever possible. That’s why the girls have done events like overnights at the KC Zoo with the penguins, outings around Kansas City and of course, camping!


Troop 842 loves the outdoors and the girls get to really cut loose when out in nature. In March and August of 2015 the troop visited Camp Prairie Schooner and Camp Tongawood for some time in the outdoors. For Dylan, he loves getting to see how engaged they get with nature. “The most captivated our girls have ever been was when my wife was showing them a deer bone when camping. They were almost drooling! And a frog became a little bit of an issue because everyone wanted to hold the frog…so we had to tell them to take turns to not hurt this frog,” Dylan said.

For this young troop, the Smith family is finding a community in their Girl Scouting experience with the parents and families that work together to give girls a great experience. While running a troop is time consuming, having a community makes it possible – even with a busy schedule like Dylan’s. “You need to have parents who are willing to help…it’s a team effort. But [you’ll find] that the people who get involved are the best people. It’s really rewarding in that sense. You get to know these people, establish friendships and share these experiences,” Dylan said.

By sharing his love of nature, art and leadership with girls, Dylan hopes to lead his girls to discovering leadership and confidence in their own time by exposing them to new experiences. Because so many girls don’t spend a lot of time outside, that’s become a main focus of what Dylan wants to show his troop. “I’m not actively teaching them to be a leader, I’m hoping it’ll come naturally from meetings, going out and being in new situations. My main goal is to get these girls in tune with the environment and nature. Get them to be more athletic and engaged with the outdoors,” Dylan said.

For Dylan and Phoenix, Girl Scouts is another great way for them to spend time together. This dad and daughter duo have their own video blog, go to soccer together (Dylan coaches) and work on her homework together because Dylan knows some French. It’s amazing to see a father so engaged in helping his daughter excel, while still putting a premium on having Lindsey (his wife) show Phoenix great female leadership.

We love what Dylan, his family, and the Girl Scouts families of Academie Lafayette are doing for girls! Thank you for all the hard work, dedication, and leadership you’re showing girls. If you’re “Man Enough to be a Girl Scout” and looking for camping opportunities with your Girl Scout this summer, check out our “You & Me: He” camping sessions! These are BRAND NEW camping sessions created  just for male caregivers and Girl Scouts!

If you know of an awesome dad who’s “Man Enough to be a Girl Scout” – share the story in the comments!