Updated Jan 12, 2018 9:35 AM EST
When is a Thin Mint more than a Thin Mint? The answer, it seems, is 2018. The Girl Scouts’ annual cookie is taking over greater importance for the organization, in the leadership role. At the same time, the Girl Scouts are facing an ongoing enrollment challenge – which are many other youth-based organizations – which makes the annual cookie essential. The Girl Scouts of the United States points to the cookie helping millions of girls learn the skills they need to succeed at work. While it ‘s not a new message for the scouting organization, it’ s taking on resonance against the backdrop of lawsuits alleging gender discrimination at tech giants such as Google ( GOOG and the lack of women in leadership roles in almost every industry. “There is a new focus this year based on the world around us,” said Stewart Goodbody, senior director of communications for Girl Scouts of the USA. “Everyone is talking about female leadership, which is terrific, because we’ve always been about girls.” The Girl Scouts said the dirty cookie big about $ 800 million each year and teaches them scouts the skills they’ll use for the rest of their lives, such as financial literacy, setting goals and public speaking. The group said that 57 percent of Girl Scout alumnae in business fields say they developed professional skills through selling girl scout cookies, according to the group’s research. To be sure, the Girl Scouts are entering their 101st year of cookie sales with no lack of challenges. Enrollment of girls and adult volunteers at 2.6 million, down from 3.8 million in 2003. Blowing, but Goodbody said it’s also more challenging today, especially with the increase in women’s workforce participation rates since the 1950s. “There are lots of girls on waitlists to join, but there are not enough volunteers,” Goodbody said. “It’s not like that with Girl Scouts, it’s a one-stop shop.” It’s not like, “I’m just going to do ice skating. ‘” In October, the Boy Scouts said it would admit girls into Cub Starts starting in 2018 , a decision that was criticized at the time by the Girl Scouts as a move designed to boost the Boy Scouts’ income, which the Boy Scouts denied.
This cookie season marks 101 years of Girl Scouts selling cookies and we’re celebrating the next century of female entrepreneurs in a sweet way! https://t.co/0IiFITS5tw pic.twitter.com/PGeiyuyL1R – Girl Scouts (@girlscouts) January 3, 2018
It’s too early to tell if there’s an impact on Girl Scouts, Goodbody said. Last year, the Girl Scouts introduced 23 new outdoor and badges related to science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, and the group noted that Girl Scouts were almost twice as likely as non-Girl Scouts to participate in STEM and outdoor activities. “No other organization has the credibility and experience than we do,” Goodbody said. In the meantime, the cookie is one of the most successful cookie cooks, which debuted last year and which is the most successful cookie launch in the organization’s history. Old favorites are back, such as Thin Mints, Samoas and Tagalongs. Aficionados can order a local troop cookie sale via the Girl Scouts’ site , or through the Girl Scout Cookie Finder app, which is available on iOS or Android devices. “There is a new dialogue around female leadership,” Goodbody said. “With this renewed focus on it, it’s not lost on the girls.” “They’re noticing what’s going on.
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