Today I need to pay homage to a non-profit organization near and dear to my heart. In honor of Girl Scout Leader Day I thought I would share my story in the world of scouting. The Girl Scouts of America was formed by Juliette Gordon Lowe in 1912 and has been creating girls of Courage, Confidence, and Character for over 100 years. I was a terribly shy kid who normally had her nose in a book at all times. With the exception of family, I rarely spoke to an adult unless spoken to. Enter Girl Scouts. I’m not sure how I was lured in…probably a flyer sent home from school, but I was intrigued by this program where if you completed certain steps you earned a badge. I wanted those badges so badly, that I even worked on them at home on my own!
Then came cookie sales. As our leader explained the cookie sale program I sat there thinking “okay, I can sell a few boxes of cookies to my family.” But then the gauntlet was thrown. “Top cookie seller will get a special prize” announced my Girl Scout leader. I convinced my mom that I needed to look professional in the complete and official Girl Scout uniform. I slid on that stiff starched skirt, buttoned up the collared shirt, donned that badge filled sash with pride and marched out the door to make a sale. Living in two households I had double the neighborhoods to cover and I must have walked miles. Even after a dog chased me off his property and bit a hole right through my brand new skirt into my backside, I was not deterred. When time was running low I learned the art of telesales, calling friends and relatives that lived outside that one mile radius on the rotary telephone, pen poised in hand.
Fast forward 25 years and my daughter is a Girl Scout and I one of her leaders. She has earned many badges, taken many trips and performed hours upon hours of community service with her troop. And yes, we still sell cookies. They may be $5 a box now instead of the $2.50 when I was selling and let me tell you, did we get a lot of grief for that during cookie season this year! Let me propose though that you don’t look at it as a $5 box of cookies, but as an investment in a girl’s future.
According to the Girl Scouts USA website more than half of female business owners and entrepreneurs, 60% of the incoming female congress members and every single female to serve as Secretary of State was at one point in their life a Girl Scout. Even though I still quite often have my nose in a book, Girl Scouts, and particularly the cookie program, brought me out of my shell and has allowed me to make a career out of two things I love, managing money and most of all helping others. Please contact me today so that I may help you manage your money too!
Although I don’t wear a sash any longer I’m proud to wear my life time membership pin on my lapel. I send a very special thank you in heaven to my very first Girl Scout leader Cheri. She knew how to challenge me and gave me that courage and confidence. Also a very Happy Girl Scout Leaders Day to the ladies I have met through becoming leaders for our girls. Kelliann, Marie and Jolyn keep up the amazing work in leading our future leaders!
Oh yeah, and I earned that top cookie seller prize…3 years running.