What Can a Cookie Do?
Submitted by: Troop Leader Shannon Wilson, Troop 21086
What can a cookie do? That question was the theme of our cookie sale last year. Here’s the story of what our cookies did. Our troop of nine girls sold about about 7,000 boxes of cookies. We sold to everyone we knew and a lot of people we didn’t. We worked every cookie booth we possibly could, even when it rained and snowed and was freezing cold (and we were tired and grumpy). And we did it. We reached our fundraising goal…and then we spent every penny we made.
Part of the money went toward community service projects for our local humane society and Children’s Advocacy Center. The animals got lots of toys, blankets, and supplies. Our local libraries got a brochure that taught kids about how to choose and care for a new pet. The Children’s Center got some new planters and flowers for outside to help “cheer it up” a little bit. We learned about how the humane society and the Children’s Center help our community, and we learned that we feel great when we help others!
The rest of the money was spent in Washington, D.C., where we joined the largest gathering of Girl Scouts in history to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouting. Every girl from our troop went, and we spent five days and four nights in our nation’s capital. The girls planned it all. We looked at guide books and chose what we wanted to see. When we wanted to see everything, we voted and narrowed down the list to one that we could actually complete in five days. We wrote to a congresswoman from west Tennessee and asked if we could meet her while we were there, and came up with questions to ask her. We talked about what to eat and where to stay, and how to do it all for less money. We figured out how to do it for $250 per person! The Girl Scouts didn’t have to pay anything, though, because the proceeds from the cookie sale covered all of our costs.
We rode the MegaBus to get there and back, and stayed in a hotel with kitchens so we could cook our own meals. We packed lunches and had picnics every day, and we drank a lot of water (it was healthier and saved money). We went to the White House, the Washington Monument, the Vietnam Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery, the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, and the National Zoo. We went to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and watched the Changing of the Guard Ceremony. We rode the Metro everywhere and took a bus once, too. We got really good at reading the maps. We met Girl Scouts from 27 other states and even some from another country! We learned a bunch of new Girl Scout songs. We took a dinner cruise around the edge of Washington to see the city from the water. There was a dance party on the ship and some really great food!
We all got to meet with Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, too. We saw her office – and from there – walked through an underground tunnel to another building where we got to see the room where the Energy Committee meets and makes decisions for our country. We got to interview Congresswoman Blackburn and ask her all of our questions. She went to college on a 4-H scholarship! While we were there, we also got to meet a Capitol Police Department female officer, who talked with us about her job and about how important it is to stay in school and out of trouble.
A lot of us had never been outside of Tennessee before. Or ridden on a bus. Or stayed in a hotel. Or been on a boat. None of us had ever seen anything like what we saw in the museums or at the monuments. A lot of our parents came on our trip, too – they said they probably would never have the chance to go again for just $250. Without Girl Scouting and the cookie sale, we’re pretty sure none of us would have been able to go!
During our trip, we earned the Inside Government Badge, the Digital Photography Badge, the Savvy Shopper Badge and parts of several others. Even more importantly, though, we learned about our country and its history. We got to see our nation’s capital. We got to talk to women who are incredible role models for us. We learned that, as Girl Scouts, we are part of something powerful and important and global. We learned that women and girls can – and do – make a difference in our world. We learned about how to make a budget, and how to use financial resources wisely. We learned how to set a goal, and how to work for that goal until we achieve it. We learned that it’s worth it to stick with something, even when it’s hard and we’re tired, because in the end the reward is worth the effort.
Girl Scout Cookies did that for us. That’s a pretty powerful cookie…..