Z and I are in the midst of our third Girl Scout cookie season together, and that has me feeling both nostalgic and inspired.
Most of the iconic Girl Scout cookies haven’t changed much in the 40 odd years since I peddled them as a Scout myself. Good old Samoas, Tagalongs, shortbread Trefoils, Do-si-dos and Thin Mints are just as I have always remembered them. I think that’s why many people buy them – they are a blast from the past.
The Girl Scouts do add new cookie creations from time to time. The recent S’mores variations (one for the East half of the country, one for the West) are both delicious, although I have a slight preference for the chocolate-dipped version we can’t get our hands on locally.
But the cookie that actually inspired this post is the new Girl Scouts lemon cookie. Again, there two versions of lemon cookies in the 2020 Girl Scouts line-up. From our local Ohio Girl Scouts, you can purchase the Lemon-up, a delicious, crisp shortbread cookie with tart lemon icing and delightful motivational slogans.
For West coasters, there’s an even tastier version called the Lemonade which replaces the inspirational words with a simple lemon pattern on top. We know this because one of Z’s besties moved to Iowa and introduced us to the varieties they carry which we can’t get here. I like to buy a couple of boxes from her each year in Girl Scout solidarity – and because they’re delicious!
The uplifting messages on our new Lemon-ups are lovely: I am bold. I am creative. I am strong. I am gutsy. I am a risk-taker. I am a leader. I am an innovator.
These messages remind me why we love Girl Scouts in the first place, cookies aside. It’s a great place to learn, grow and celebrate girls – and girl power – in all their wonderful forms.
Selling Girl Scout cookies, although an annual pain for the moms in charge of organizing it all, is such a great way to teach and reinforce leadership, finances, entrepreneurship, goal setting and many other skills with our girls.
Although going door to door may be a thing of the past – most Girl Scout cookie sales these days happen online or through word of mouth, rather than through pounding the pavement – I do love the modern addition of cookie booth sales.
Cookie booths are the Girl Scout cookie tables you see outside grocery stores, Wal-Mart and other high-traffic areas in your community. When our girls work these cookie booths, they have to use their best people skills, manners and quick math abilities. There are always moms on hand to help out, but for the most part we let the girls run the show.
Working a cookie booth this past weekend with Z and a few of her fellow Scouts reminded me of all the years I’ve worked at sales and marketing booths at conferences and trade shows as part of my career. The same skills apply – so Girl Scouts really is doing a good job setting these girls up for success in those scenarios.
Will Z end up in a job that has her going to conferences or trade shows and working a sales booth? Who knows – but if she does, I love that she had these early Girl Scout cookie booth experiences to teach her good booth etiquette (talk to the customers, not each other), professional decorum (no sitting down while working the booth!) and how to feel confident striking up polite conversations with strangers.
It’s still Girl Scout cookie season for a few more weeks, so if you see girls out tabling in your local community, please stop and buy a few boxes – or at least say hi and tell them they are doing a fine job. You can donate money or cookies to our American troops serving overseas, too – so there are ways to support the Girl Scouts even if you don’t want to take cookies home with you.
But trust me – you should try the new lemon Girl Scout cookie varieties if you haven’t yet. Whichever type you can find in your area, those lemon cookies are extremely tasty.
Were you a Girl Scout as a youngster – or have you guided your own girl through the Scouts program? I’d love to hear your stories (and favorite Girl Scout cookie flavors!) in the comments below or over on Facebook.