Girl Scouts aren’t just little and cute |

Girl Scouts aren’t just little and cute

Dear Editor:Last year some very unfortunate comments were made by a few people, directed towards our valley’s older Girl Scouts. During the Girl Scout cookie sale, some people hurt some feelings by saying, “Aren’t you too big to sell Girl Scout Cookies?” and “What are you, the ‘Amazon’ Girl Scout troop?”For those persons who feel the need to say such things, and can’t think their way past their next box of Thin Mints, here is a little insight into Girl Scouting that goes beyond little and cute!Girl Scouts is a worldwide organization that provides quality programming for girls 5 to 17 years old. The program is designed to help all girls achieve their full potential by developing character, leadership, self-esteem and skills for success in the real world. As girls get older, they are encouraged toward these achievements through badge work, career exploration, travel, social consciousness, developing strong values and setting high goals for themselves, like earning the most prestigious award a Girl Scout can earn: the Gold Award – which is the equivalent to the Boy Scout Eagle Award. Aspen, Carbondale and Glenwood all have older Girl Scout troops and Basalt has three troops with girls ages 13 and older. My daughter’s Senior Girl Scout Troop 265 has been together since kindergarten, which has been a 10-year commitment for most of them. These girls are not hanging at the mall; they are attending national Girl Scout conferences, climbing Mount Sopris and becoming scuba certified. They are not getting into trouble; they are earning the Girl Scout Silver Award by applying, designing and placing a permanent symbol of world peace in the Basalt Town Hall park. They are not drinking or doing drugs; they are planning and running programs for younger girls, contributing to their community through food drives and clothing drives, cleaning the highway, supporting teacher appreciation days, spending time with senior citizens and sending funds they personally raised to tsunami and Katrina survivors. The Girl Scout cookie sale is not just an American tradition; it is a way for Girl Scouts of all ages to fund their activities, programs and community service projects. For the older girls with higher and more costly aspirations, this method of fundraising is even more imperative. Troop 265 is raising funds to attend the Girl Scout World Center in London, England, this coming August.I am not asking that you give these older girls a break during this year’s cookie sale. If you are approached by an older Girl Scout, test their product knowledge while you evaluate their sales presentation and people skills. Ask about their goals and their plans for their cookie proceeds. You might be pleasantly surprised to find that these girls who were little and cute are now motivated, ambitious, responsible and mature. Cindy ZajacBasalt Girl Scouts volunteerEl Jebel

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