Photo by G. Till
With Women’s History Month just around the corner, it is only appropriate that Girl Scouts emerge during the months of February and March selling their beloved cookies. People of all generations seem to savor the unique tastes of Thin Mints, Caramel deLites and Lemonades.
Carson Kneisley (12) purchases Girl Scout cookies while also feeling like a supportive community member.
“My favorite cookies would have to be Lemonades or Thin Mints. I like buying from Girl Scouts because I feel like I’m helping young girls in their efforts to become stronger women,” Kneisley said.
The Girl Scouts foundation began during the Progressive Era in 1912 when Juliette Gordon Low imagined a club unifying girls and preparing them for the world by strengthening their “individuality, strength, and intellect,” according to girlscouts.org. Because women lacked the right to vote and held little social power, Low’s dream was transformative.
Low, who was nearly deaf, gathered girls to go on adventures such as stargazing, hiking and swimming. With a common bond through adventuring, the club grew and attracted the interest of girls all over the country. Girl Scouts printed information in different languages to cater to the influx of immigrants at this time. Since its beginning, the club has supported numerous charities, including making supplies for the Korean War, counteracting illiteracy, and standing up for environmental issues.
French teacher Nancy Jacobs is a Girl Scout mother and enjoys seeing her daughter grow through the organization’s charities and events.
“Just this fall, my daughter’s troop…sewed bags and filled them with toiletry items which they donated to the Hope Center for Children,” Jacobs said. “Volunteering is at the heart of being a Girl Scout, and the girls love knowing they can help others.”
Similar to Boy Scouts, the girls work to earn badges in different areas of community service and learning. Badges range from engineering to outdoor adventuring to starting a business. All of these awards are symbolic of Low’s original plan to unite girls across the country and better the community.
“Badges are not medals to wear on your sleeve to show what a smart girl you are,” Low said. “A badge is a symbol that you have done the thing it stands for often enough, thoroughly enough, and well enough to be prepared to give service in it.”
For those interested in joining Girl Scouts, they can visit the Mountains to Midlands council’s website at www.gssc-mm.org.