Joining Girl Scouts seemed like a fun extra curricular option for our daughter. As the middle child, in a house filled with siblings, she needed something that was her own.
Cookie sales are a known part of the Girl Scout commitment. You try to prepare yourself. You hear all about how it teaches girls to run their “own” business, girl empowerment, confidence building, yada-yada-yada.
If you are like me, you might be silently thinking, “😐…ummm, YA. Ok. Enough schmoozing. It’s a damn fundraiser.”
Don’t get me wrong, I wholeheartedly appreciate the need for fundraisers. It turns out, however, that I had terribly oversimplified this experience.
It’s amazing what can unfold in a few short weeks of time. Selling cookies contained more lessons than I could have ever imagined. For that, I feel drawn to (publicly) say my thanks.
So, THANK YOU, Girl Scout Cookies!
Thank you for the much needed one-on-one time with my sweet daughter.
Thank you for the freezing cold nights that turned into silly dance parties to keep us warm.
Thank you for the countless teachable moments that I didn’t realize we were missing.
Thank you to my friend who sat on our kitchen floor and talked our daughter through every flavor of cookie before she ever knocked on a door. You taught her about the value of time and attention.
Thank you to the people who bought way more boxes than they needed. You taught her about kindness.
Thank you to the people who didn’t want cookies but donated instead. You taught her about generosity.
Thank you to the woman, with the warm nostalgic glow, for kneeling down to share your own memories of being a Girl Scout. You taught her about pride and the treasure of fond memories.
Thank you to the man who pointed out, he would not have bought from her if she had not asked him personally. The time you spent taught her about constructive criticism and the power of assertiveness.
Thank you to the people who simply said, “no thank-you.” You taught her that rejection, while disappointing, is ok. It’s a part of life that can be navigated kindly and it is not a reason to give up.
Thank you to the people who diverted their eyes and pretended not to hear her tiny voice. You taught her that when she isn’t heard, she should (and can) try again. —And that sometimes she needs to lift that little voice up (above the fear) and simply speak louder.
Thank you to the people who were NOT so kind in saying no. You taught her that being brave can start with little things, like trying again after you feel discouraged or embarrassed.
Thank you to our friends, family, coworkers, and neighbors for buying cookies, simply because it was her asking. You taught her about affection, loyalty and love.
Thank you to our awesome orthodontist who opened her office doors and bought 10 cookie boxes from ANY selling girl who showed up in uniform. You taught her about empowerment and paying things forward.
Thank you to our wonderful troop leader (and her darling daughter), who managed, scheduled, supported and encouraged all of us in making this selling season possible. You taught her about commitment, selflessness and the (Girl Scout) sisterhood.
When our daughter finally met her goal, instead of folding up our table cloth for the season, she decided to raise the bar. In the end, her final count was TRIPLE her original mark!
Throughout this process, she learned about practical things like inventorying, cash counting and record keeping. She learned about the fear and excitement that comes with setting a goal. She learned that goal-setting can also involve pushing far beyond expectations. She learned about perseverance, when bone-chilling (snowy-icy-windy-rainy) days made her question quitting. As she danced through the shivering, she even tapped her creativity and made-up verses to her own song.
As each day passed, her voice got a little louder, her shoulders stood a little taller and my little introvert chased her goal with a bit more determination. The words she needed to say and (proper) eye contact came more naturally. She was (rightfully) proud of herself and it was reflecting in her self-esteem.
So again, I want to thank you, Girl Scout Cookies.
Thank you for allowing me to watch as my daughter discovered herself. And for reminding me to slow down and pay attention because sometimes the tiniest moments can be filled with the most meaningful potential.
Until next year. ❤️