At only 5 years old, band senior Jessica Dennis spent her summer camping, with the goal of earning an achievement badge, one memory in a myriad of her experiences as a Girl Scout. Now, she has turned in her camping gear and bug spray for a more familiar item: Girl Scout cookies.
“Being in Girl Scouts has been great because I have known and been friends with most of the girls in my troop since the beginning,” Dennis said. “We get to hang out and work together with [whatever] we do, whether it be community service or cookie selling.”
Girl Scouts sell cookies with their troops annually, many of them being Dreyfoos’ own students. They will be selling a range of flavors of cookies from Jan. 2 to March 3.
“I sell eight types of cookies: Trefoils, Do-Si-Dos, Savannah Smiles, Tagalongs, Thin Mints, Samoas, Toffee-Tastics, and S’mores,” visual senior Nina Zaremba said.
The cookies sell for $4, with the exception of Toffee-Tastics and S’mores at $5, which are premium cookies. Students are generally the first in line to shop for the snacks from their peers.
“As soon as one person buys [a box of cookies] in a room, 10 more are waiting in line,” Zaremba said. “It’s great to see how excited people get when they see and eat them, and I love that I can source them that happiness.”
Though many students buy enough cookies to last an entire year, few purchase them with the knowledge of where the profits go.
“The proceeds stay local and are invested into each Girl Scout community,” visual junior Isabella Evansen said. “It allows the Girl Scouts organization to give more opportunities to young girl entrepreneurs.”
Dennis’ Girl Scout troop went on a trip in summer of 2018, which could not have been possible without the money obtained from cookie sales. For each $4 box of cookies, Girl Scouts get a commission of about $0.65-$0.80. The Girl Scout organization encourages entrepreneurship from a young age.
“Girls who attended troop or group meetings about selling cookies, practiced how to sell Girl Scout cookies with their friends and family, worked toward the Cookie Business and Financial Literacy badges, and developed more goal setting, decision making, money management, people, and business ethics skills than girls who had fewer or none of those experiences,” written in a report by the Girl Scout organization regarding The Girl Scout Cookie Program.
Many Girl Scouts reflect these same skill sets in their own sales, including gaining confidence.
“In middle school, I was more self conscious about [selling cookies] because I thought it was ‘uncool’ to be a Girl Scout,” Dennis said. “As I got into high school, a lot of people got excited if they found out I was selling cookies. Some people that I’ve never met before would come up to me and ask if I was selling them.”
Selling cookies is only a small portion of what Girl Scouts do. Many start at a young age, working themselves up in rank from Daisies to Ambassadors.
“My sister and I started in first and second grade,” Dennis said. “Every year that a girl moves from one level to the next, the girls of that area go to a bridging ceremony where there will be a presentation. The girls go over a little bridge and ‘bridge’ to the next level. My troop and I will bridge to adults this year, like a graduation.”
The bridging ceremony is bittersweet for many, as they have built up such a strong relationship with girls in their troop.
“My favorite part of being a Girl Scout is growing up with a close-knit group of people that essentially have the same goal as you: to bring something good to the community,” Evansen said. “It’s a beautiful thing to be able to go on trips and do team-building activities.
Through these activities, the impact that Girl Scouts make on their community is one they hope transcends past their high school career.
“It feels empowering to be a part of Girl Scouts,” Zaremba said. “It feels like I’ve made an impactful change in my community by working so much with local organizations. It also gives me the confidence to pursue my goals since I have all the resources I could ask for in front of me.”
If you want to buy cookies before the end of the season, find:
Jessica Dennis, band senior
Nina Zaremba, visual senior
Isabella Evansen, visual junior
Carleigh Dickinson, communications senior