girl scout cookies

My Daughter's Girl Scout Cookie Monster Outfit Thanks to her Auntie

There were big obstacles in our way to getting my daughter involved in Girl Scouts. My daughter’s health hurdles and life threatening food allergies make it hard to be just another participant so it was best for her that I take a leadership role.

The reality is that expecting others to make the right and fair accommodations for your food allergic child is unrealistic. Sometimes you have to just get shit done yourself and that is how we roll…

In case you didn’t know… Being a Troop Leader is a crapton of work! However, it is very rewarding. Sure, there are a lot of headaches and stressful situations along the way but it balances out. I am able to ensure that there is no exclusion for my daughter within her own Troop and that all activities are safe for her. We, thankfully, have amazing families who totally get how unpredictable things become for us.

The other concern I had was product sales since it seemed cruel to ask her to sell something that could potentially kill her.

There was still the issue of fundraising by selling foods that can harm her. Not participating in sales means the Troop loses out on important funding for all the projects they want to tackle. It is also a wonderful introduction to business and what being an entrepreneur is like.

She always had the option to not participate in Fall Product Sales (Nuts and Magazines) and Cookie sales in the Spring. I explained the dialog to expect when selling and we discussed how it could make her feel. Most people will ask a Girl Scout what their favorite cookies are… but what if you can’t eat it? Is that question going to jab at her young heart?

She decided early on that she wanted to sell with her Troop because it would help. It was a huge hurdle for her and a very hard decision. She hasn’t been without painful moments and awkward times where she can’t relate to the people who love the cookies she sells. Those negatives are far outweighed by her determination and the happiness she gets from meeting her goals.

She works her butt off. She tries her hardest. She feels empowered and she finds her own ways of dealing with the obstacles in a positive way.

Last year her efforts paid off and she was able to get in to the 500 Club. She donated her incentives to the local Children’s Hospital since she saw the 500 Club Party and accomplishments as her reward. It was a fun day for her and I to spend with other Girl Scouts at a huge outdoor party.

She knows that by participating in Girl Scout Cookie sales that she is making a difference. She is driven not only by her goal setting but by the money raised funds our community service projects.

Her favorite thing to say to customers is “Thank you for helping me make a difference.”

I’m very proud of her and had expected some of this determination to lose it’s hype. It’s only intensified. This year her health is more challenging and she is more fatigued than usual with a lot of gastrointestinal issues but she is powering through it. She has her regular supporters that are happy to help her in her cause.

And while her determination creates a ton more work both as a Leader and a Mom I am happy to be right by her side and cheering her on.

Even if my living room looks like this during Cookie Season.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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If you follow my mindless babble on twitter you may know by now that I am an active Girl Scout Troop Leader or you assume I am totally obsessed with Thin Mints and wine. In my pre-Mommy years I never thought I’d be excited to see my friends at Girl Scout leader events. I never thought I would get chills and feel tears welling up when one of my girls tells me that she thinks I’m a great Girl Scout leader. I never expected to feel such pride when I see my girls take an extra step to proactively do something in our meetings because they were inspired by me.

I had a whole lot of preconceived notions about the Girl Scouting community and what Girl Scouts was about in general. However, I found my overachieving, extremely outgoing, slightly obnoxious, joking and totally sarcastic self meshing in quite nicely. I’ve also made some amazing friends. The best part of it is that my daughter has found the same positives as I have and it’s been a huge opportunity for both of us to have a “Mommy and Daughter” thing. Also, she looks stinkin cute in her Uniform!

Right now its cookie season in Girl Scouts and I encourage you all to support this cause. Even if it is as small as the change in your pocket to donate to a booth you pass or encouraging the Girl Scouts in your community to keep up the good work if you have nothing to spare. My troop is using our proceeds to fund community service projects as well as an end of year party. I am also able to teach them goal setting, business practices, marketing, sales and empowering them to be their own business women. A small percentage of the proceeds also go to Girl Scouts USA that helps continue to provide this organization.


Finally, this adventure has empowered my daughter a little more to accept her life threatening food allergies and sell products that she knows she cannot enjoy herself but her Troop benefits from her hard work. When I started researching Girl Scouts when she was in Kindergarten I assumed she had to sell cookies and I didn’t want her to be forced to sell something that could cause her any negativity. Instead, she decided that helping her Troop was more important. I’m really damn proud of her for that alone.

And… one last thing… support Girl Scout cookies because they are tasty as hell and some cookie Mom out there had to load up her vehicle, or more, unload them, sort them, count them, recount them and distribute them to the families selling them. Cookies are hard work so thank your local cookie Mom as well because I am sure her vehicle looked as crazy as mine did at some point or more!

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