Nonprofit Spotlight: Girl Scout cookie lessons last a lifetime

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Farm Forum

Laura Ann Mount is the membership specialist for Girl Scouts-Dakota Horizons, Aberdeen.

Girl Scout cookies are here!

The 2013 Girl Scout cookie sale kicked off Saturday. You have until March 9 to get your fill of Girl Scouts cookies for the year.

Did you know that while the Girl Scout cookie sale is a fundraiser for Girl Scouts, it is also the largest girl-led business in the world? By participating in the cookie sale, girls learn five primary skills that will help them throughout their lives both in and out of Girl Scouts. The five skills are:

• Goal setting.

• Decision making.

• Money management.

• People skills.

• Business ethics.

By setting goals for herself and her team, together they create a plan to reach them. She develops cooperation and team-building skills all along the way. By helping to decide how her team will spend their cookie money, she is furthering critical thinking and problem-solving skills that will continue to help her for the rest of her life. Of course, selling all those boxes of cookies and collecting money, making change and tracking sales help her gain valuable practical life skills for financial literacy the rest of her life.

While she learns to talk, listen and work with all kinds of people while selling cookies, she develops healthy relationship and conflict-resolution skills. And being honest and responsible at every step of the cookie sale helps to reinforce the positive values she is developing as a Girl Scout. This is just what she learns by participating in the Girl Scout cookie sale in addition to all the fun she has selling cookies.

These skills are going to benefit her in her career as well, because employers look for the same things when interviewing a job candidate. Employers want someone who can set goals and meet deadlines, work well with others, understand customers and influence others, and they want someone who is honest, trustworthy and reliable on their team.

It is never too late to get your daughter involved in learning these skills and having fun in Girl Scouts. Any girl in kindergarten through 12th grade can register at anytime during the year and immediately get involved with what is going on in Girl Scouts right in her community. You can visit our website for even more information at gsdakotahorizons.org and even register online to get started the very next day.

We also want to take this time to thank the many local businesses who allow troops and individual girls to come and set up a cookie shop at their business. Their support helps teach the girls that working together can benefit both sides. Please check out the following businesses throughout the sale during the weekends to find troops selling cookies: Kessler’s, Wal-Mart, Big Kmart, ShopKo, Centsable Fashions, Runnings Fleet and Farm, Ken’s Superfair Foods, and Dakota Discount Furniture on Sixth Avenue.

If you would like more information about Girl Scouts, contact membership specialist Laura Ann Mount at 605-553-0100 or lamount@gsdakotahorizons.org.