More Than Girl Scout Cookies by Jane Fessenden
Though many girls begin scouting in elementary school, few continue into middle school, and fewer participate in high school. The large drop out of girls in the organization is largely impacted by the misconception that Girl Scouts is a child-oriented program.Â Like many others across the nation, Lily, a student at Campolindo High School, claims that she stopped participating in Girl Scouts because she was too old.
“When I tell people I’m still in Girl Scouts, they give me this weird look and say, ‘really?'” says Linden B., a Girl Scout at Campolindo.
Often Girl Scouts is mislabeled as an organization purely for young elementary school girls, consumed only by arts, crafts, and selling cookies. The most public activity is the springtime cookie sales, when Girl Scouts seemingly line every grocery store entrance and street to sell their cookies. “People just seem to know us for our cookies. I’m always asked when cookie sales will begin, if there are any new flavors, and why they are so expensive,” Girl Scout Emma P. laments. In reality, Girl Scouts strives to prepare girls for success by exposing them to different experiences and adventures.
Since the beginning of the organization, Juliette “Daisy” Low believed that all young ladies should be provided with an opportunity to develop mentally and physically, hoping to bring girls out of their isolated home environments into the fresh air while encouraging them to become involved in community service. Girl Scouts hiked, camped, marched, played basketball, and participated in numerous other activities considered “groundbreaking for girls” in the early 1900s.
Today, Low’s dream has manifested into a reality with Girl Scouts numbering over 3.2 million girls and adults across America; it is a dedicated community of young girls striving to make a difference in the world for the betterment of society. This goal is met by troops of young ladies across the nation completing their Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards. The rigorous process of completing these awards is challenging and those who do complete the requirements represent the best objectives of the Girl Scout community.
Having witnessed his female friends go through the award process, Jonathan M., a student at Miramonte High School, says that his perspectives of Girl Scouts has changed. “It’s an outstanding organization that instills great life skills in young women.”
Margot Odell, a Girl Scout at Miramonte, admits that there were crafts in the earlier years, but insists that the organization stands for more robust ideals. “Girl Scouts grows with age, it does not simply remain stagnant. My troop participates in food drives and helps out at homeless shelters. For teens, Girl Scouts is no longer about arts, crafts, and singing but expands its mission to help where needed in the greater community.”
Although little girls still sell cookies, Girl Scouts benefits female teens, giving us a head start to being successful adult women.
Jane Fessenden, a senior at Miramonte High School is a reporter on Express Yourself!(tm) Teen Radio. She is a soccer player for the Lamorinda Soccer Club and a Gold Award winning Girl Scout in a local Orinda troop.Â Read this same article on Lamorinda Weekly
As the editor and teen coach for Teen Scene for the newspaper, Cynthia Brian has had the opportunity to work with talented teens with attitude and opinions. She shares selected published works. To read numerous articles shepherded by Cynthia, visit BeÂ The Star You Are.Â Cynthia Brian also produces Express Yourself!â¢ on VoiceAmerica Kids Network heard Tuesdays NOON PT atÂ or for photos, descriptions, links at Express Yourself Teen Radio.
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