I Am More Than A Cookie

I Am More Than A Cookie

Stop defining Girl Scouts as camps, crafts, and cookies.
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When someone hears the words “Girl Scout” the first thing that comes to mind nine times out of ten is “cookies.” When someone hears the words “Boy Scout” the first thing that comes to mind is “Eagle Scout.” I would bet that most people do not even know that the Boy Scouts sell popcorn. I have been a Girl Scout for thirteen years, and I love being one. What I do not love is the stigma associated with it and the lack of knowledge people have about our accomplishments.

When I was in middle school and even into high school I had to keep Girl Scouts on the down low. Girl Scouts was not cool. That was what everyone did in second grade when we worked on crafts and had fun sleepovers. No one was interested in the research I was doing for my different badges and accomplishments I was seeking.

I learned how to ski and how to avoid frost bite. I learned about theatre and different Broadway shows. I learned how to balance a checkbook and keep a budget. I learned how to stay fit and active. I learned how to cook and not be afraid to try new flavors. I learned about entrepreneurship and how to build business. I learned how to plan for my future and figure out what I wanted to do. But outside of my Thursday night meetings, I told no one what I learned.

Because Girl Scouts wasn’t cool. It wasn’t seen for the amazing program that it is. One that inspires young girls, teaches them to look for their dreams, and how to achieve them. Girl Scouts does build courage, confidence and character, but did not build enough in me to overcome the stigma then.

Somewhere around high school people stopped caring and actually thought it was somewhat cool that I was in Girl Scouts. It wasn’t like I walked around publicizing it, but when we reviewed resumes made in English class no one joked about it. I was excited because I could finally start sharing the amazing opportunities Girl Scouts had given me. That was only halfway true.

I remember being in a recent interview and someone asked me what I was most proud of on my resume and I responded with “My Girl Scout Gold Award.” If I could read their mind I know they were thinking, “I wonder how many boxes of cookies you have to sell for that” but they responded with “and what do you have to do for that?”

I explained my project, Mision Posible, which brought two truckloads full of clothing collected from local area churches to the impoverished Hispanic community in Siler City, North Carolina. Seeing the people come to the distribution day and pick out the clothing warmed my heart. Especially Maria, who had tears in her eyes as she tried a beautiful purple dress over her tattered clothing.

The problem is, no one knows what the Gold Award is. If I had been a boy and asked the same interview question and answered with “my Eagle Scout” people would immediately know what I was referring to and hold the respect that comes along with the prestige of the position. There are amazing girls who are working hard every day, building houses for bats, implementing domestic violence education in schools, starting mobile libraries and more who are not given the attention for their accomplishments they deserve.

Next time someone says “Girl Scouts,” think more about the amazing work of the organization and less about the tasty treats they are known for. Cookie season is only a few short months. Don’t forget to remember us by the ten other months we work to make the world a better place.

Cover Image Credit: Clip Art Kid

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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To The High School Graduating Seniors

I know you're ready, but be ready.

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Seniors,

I am not going to say anything about senioritis because I was ready to get out of there and I'm sure you are too; however, in your last months living at home you should take advantage of the luxuries you will not have in a college dorm. The part of college seen in movies is great, the rest of it is incredibly inconvenient. It is better to come to terms with this While you still have plenty of time to prepare and enjoy yourself.

Perhaps one of the most annoying examples is the shower. Enjoy your hot, barefoot showers now because soon enough you will have no water pressure and a drain clogged with other people's hair. Enjoy touching your feet to the floor in the shower and the bathroom because though it seems weird, it's a small thing taken away from you in college when you have to wear shoes everywhere.

Enjoy your last summer with your friends. After this summer, any free time you take is a sacrifice. For example, if you want to go home for the summer after your freshman year and be with your friends, you have to sacrifice an internship. If you sacrifice an internship, you risk falling behind on your resume, and so on. I'm not saying you can't do that, but it is not an easy choice anymore.

Get organized. If you're like me you probably got good grades in high school by relying on your own mind. You think I can remember what I have to do for tomorrow. In college, it is much more difficult to live by memory. There are classes that only meet once or twice a week and meeting and appointments in between that are impossible to mentally keep straight. If you do not yet have an organizational system that works for you, get one.

I do not mean to sound pessimistic about school. College is great and you will meet a lot of people and make a lot of memories that will stick with you for most of your life. I'm just saying be ready.

-A freshman drowning in work

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