Empowered: How One Girl Scout Nearly Destroyed the World’s Economy is a play that tells the story of a Girl Scout who seeks advice from her friend’s mom when she struggles to sell her troop’s iconic cookies. “You think you’re selling cookies? You’re not selling cookies,” Ellen tells Amaryllis in an inspiring monologue. “You’re selling empowerment. You’re selling the glorious struggle to overcome your simple origins and empower yourself to conquer the world.”
This might be a slight dramatization, but it begs only one question: Where is the lie?
Girl Scouts have been proving for years that girls are future leaders. Thanks to them, the future is feminist. “Everything a Girl Scout does centers around STEM, the outdoors, development of life skills and entrepreneurship,” the organization’s website points out, “and is designed to meet her where she is now and to grow along with her.”
With Girl Scout cookie season upon us, we wanted to spotlight five reasons we support the critical and empowering work those cookie purchases fuel all year long.
Valuing diversity and inclusion
The Girl Scouts Instagram account has posted for Hispanic Heritage Month, Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month and Black History Month. During the holidays, they celebrated Hanukkah, Christmas and the festive season in general. Girl Scouts have participated in projects helping the LGBTQ+ community, and the organization welcomes transgender youth to join their local troops. Girl Scouts have consistently proven that their feminism is intersectional, fighting for all types of young femmes equally.
Leaving room for imperfection
While Girl Scouts often highlights girls who excel and prosper in their fields, the company also acknowledges nobody is perfect. Everyone needs a break; everyone makes mistakes. Often, lessons in leadership fail to remind individuals that they cannot expect themselves to be perfect all the time. This nuanced messaging allows girls to recognize their power as well as their need to take time and care for themselves.
Participating in social and political activism
From fighting for ocean conservation to getting involved in their local communities, Girl Scouts participate in social and political activism at young ages. With the scouts starting advocacy work so early, activism can become a habit that grows with them—transforming them into an accountable, active citizen of their city, state, country and world. No wonder so many Girl Scout alumni have held political positions.
Addressing an array of professional fields
Politics is far from the only field that Girl Scouts have gone into. Alumni hold professional positions as astronauts, journalists and artists and entertainers. The organization uplifts girls in STEM, the arts and humanities and everything in between. Girl Scouts do not force one definition of being a leader or successful upon their members, but rather encourage them to follow what they love and make a difference in the fields of their choosing. This helps girls realize that their options are endless—and that their gender shouldn’t hold them back from any of their dreams.
Working as a team of young women
Girl Scouts normalizes and encourages girls to work together, teaching them both to be a team-player and to expect to see other girls in leadership positions. Receiving this exposure at a young age allows girls to understand the importance and necessity of having women take part in making decisions.