Hauling cookies by the cases back and forth from school could be considered a sport, but a sport has popularity, and finding those Girl Scouts that carry those rare delicious, sweets is like looking for a needle in a haystack.
“I think it’s hard to find Girl Scouts because there is a lot of stigma towards Girl Scouts; that they’re do gooders, really happy and peppy,” sophomore and Girl Scout Megan Fitton said. “It’s all about assumption, which often leads to false truths people believe. It’s kind of sad.”
When girls are young, they might wear their decorated vests like diamond necklaces, but as they get older, and more girls quit the program, they might hide their badges in their pockets. This is not the case for Fitton.
“It’s never been embarrassing to call myself a ‘Girl Scout.’ Not at all. I’ve gotten used to it. My personal belief is that ‘this is who I am and I won’t let other people tell me otherwise,’” Fitton said. “A lot of girls don’t really like that idea. They don’t want to be seen as ‘the Girl Scout,’ especially when girls get older. There is social pressure and stereotypes become prevalent. People don’t really want to be attached to that stereotype, even though it’s not really true at all.”
Confidence is the main thing taught in Girl Scouts. Being ashamed of helping the community is something Girl Scout member and sophomore Mackenzie Clifton doesn’t understand.
“It’s not really embarrassing to call myself a Girl Scout. They still help the community in different ways. Why would anyone be embarrassed to admit that they help people and the community? I don’t feel ashamed of the good I have done,” Clifton said.“I guess because a lot of people join when they are younger and not a lot of older girls are in it anymore, it could be embarrassing. It becomes sort of a minority in high school. People want to be like everyone else and sometimes saying that you’re a Girl Scout isn’t like everyone else.”
Quitting the program could also be associated with the growing pressures of time management. As girls get older, they have less and less time to spare.
“I think that if girls had more time, they’d be more inclined to join the program. I can’t even make it to all the meetings and that’s pretty relaxed,” Clifton said.
People often don’t want to give up the free time that they have.
“My schedule is really busy, but if I had the time to spare, I think I would want to join again. I think it’d be really fun. I kind of miss it but I have no time with everything I do,” sophomore Sophia Miranda said.
Troops are also local to the area. Moving cities or counties makes girls have to start over in a new troop, unless they are willing to make the time to drive hours to get to meetings.
“I moved schools so I couldn’t really do it anymore,” Miranda said.
Cookies are not the only thing Girl Scouts offers. All the badges, community service, and awards can aid girls when they apply for college.
“My favorite part is all the opportunities that Girl Scouts offers, opportunities that I wouldn’t be able to have without it. We went to an automotive workshop and because of that I got interested in automotive. If I wasn’t in Girl Scouts, that wouldn’t have happened to me,” Fitton said.
All these aids and things to get one step closer to college, is often not considered in high school, when it was most needed. The Gold award is an award that is equivalent to the Eagle Scout award. These two awards assist in college acceptance.
“People have been surprised to find that I am a Girl Scout. My English teacher, when I asked her if she wanted Girl Scout cookies, she kind of gave me this look of surprise. It wasn’t bad surprise, just a thought of ‘oh. I never expected a Girl Scout in high school.’ There’s not that many. I’ve definitely gotten some surprise looks and shock when people find out. I guess it can be because, I’m not that stereotype at all,” Fitton said.
Stereotypes are a huge downfall to the program.
“I think if people didn’t have all these assumptions, Girl Scouts in high school could be more common. It’s kind of how people view Girl Scouts. I think the organization is doing fine with presenting them with a good view. It’s just that people need to get over the idea of this happy little girl who is always going volunteer things and always doing good things. They need to broaden their view of Girl Scouts. I think that could change a lot,” Fitton said.
Being more aware of the opportunities may cause more older girls to join the program, but for now, they are scarce on high school grounds, hidden in the crowd, not wearing the stereotype but truthfully admitting what they do with pride.
But one thing people love from Girl Scouts are the cookies. Cookie sales are a huge hit during the winter time, and people will do anything for the sugary sweets.
“I’ll join back for the cookies. I love girl scout cookies,” sophomore Zara Casas said.