I don’t like Girl Scout cookies. Call me crazy, but they’ve always seemed small and tasteless.
I do, however, like the Girls Scouts. They’re a strong, values-driven organization that does lots of good for lots of children. And, to celebrate Girl Scout Week, here’s a shout-out to two special Scouts.
Staples seniors Michelle Finan and Bonnie Heller have been Girl Scouts in Westport since kindergarten. In a country whose attention span is measured in micro-seconds — and a town where Scouting is decidedly uncool — Michelle and Bonnie worked their way up, from Daisy and Brownie through to Ambassador.
Now they’re about to earn their Gold award. Similar to Boy Scouts’ Eagle rank, it includes a huge community service project. Like you, I’d never heard of the Gold until today. But that just adds luster to the honor. Michelle and Bonnie are not in this for the ink.
By 5th grade lots of girls drop out of Scouts, says Marguerite Rossi, a leader for her daughters’ Green’s Farms School troop. In middle school some Scouts don’t tell their friends what they do, fearing ridicule.
The Gold awardees may have the last laugh. As Bonnie applies to college, admissions officers love her involvement in Scouting — and her commitment to a cause.
Marguerite calls Bonnie and Michelle “great role models for Girl Scout leaders.” But she worries not enough women and girls are following their lead. The number of troops and troop leaders is dwindling. “We meet right after school,” she says. “That’s tough for some moms — or dads.”
So this week, if you see a Scout or leader, thank her (or him). Give special praise to Michelle, Bonnie and Marguerite.
While you’re at it, have a Thin Mint on me. Really, I insist.