11 Inspiring Lessons Business Women Attribute to Being a Girl Scout

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Most Girl Scout alums have fond memories of their camping trips, experiences earning badges, selling cookies, and making lifelong friends. But what they often value most is their ability to carry the skills they learned as a Girl Scout into adulthood. In the last 110 years, former Girl Scouts have gone on to accomplish amazing things — from starting businesses to serving communities to raising daughters to be leaders to even becoming vice president of the United States. Here are 11 things Girl Scout alums say they have learned.

1You’re Still Earning ‘Badges’ as an Entrepreneur

“I remember the badges … getting the badges, sewing the badges on, but more importantly, figuring out how I was going to earn a particular badge. Which, in essence, is what entrepreneurs do every hour, every day … there is always another ‘badge’ to master.”

— Artemis Emslie, CEO and president of Cadence Rx

2You Might Use Your Camping Skills in Unexpected Ways

“If I hadn't been a Girl Scout, I would have never gotten a chance to go camping. If I hadn't done that, I wouldn't have been a Peace Corps volunteer.” 

— Robyn Michaels, retired dog groomer and trainer

3Selling Cookies Will Get You Halfway There

“I will often start a fundraising workshop asking, ‘How many of you sold Girl Scout Cookies?’ I have a long 25-year career in fundraising. As a consultant and coach working with both individuals and nonprofits, I often use the experience selling Girl Scout cookies to show my clients that while they may think fundraising is out of their comfort zone, it’s something they mastered a long time ago.” 

— Mary G. Connolly, founder, The Cause Coach

4Friendship Can Get You Through Almost Anything

“I was able to see my friends and fellow troop members at meetings every Sunday. Through the smiles shared and our teamwork, I made lifelong friends. Having such strong, lasting friendships has served me well into my adulthood. I’ve been able to lean on and maintain those relationships and always have someone to listen to me and be there for others who need an ear. Through the difficult times and unexpected moments, having the support of my friends has been such an important asset.” 

— Jordan O'Halloran, writer and nonprofit worker

5You’ll See That Feminism Knows No Bounds

“My research and teaching explores feminist ways of knowing and being in science. Girl Scouts is one of the first opportunities where I was unintentionally invited to explore feminist values and the complex work of education.”

— Dr. Maria Wallace, assistant professor of STEM Education

6Your Gold Award Experience Might Lead You To a Career

“After receiving my Gold Award in high school, I became a special education teacher. It was my Gold Award project of creating a day for youth with physical disabilities to connect with typical youth that helped me define my career choice. I began my teaching career in the Peace Corps at a school for the blind. It was the community service that I began in the Girl Scouts that I wished to continue. I served in Morocco from 1995 to 1997. Since then, I have been teaching at a public middle school in New York. “

— Beth Dounane, teacher

7Knowing Your Worth Can Get You Far

“As long as you’re nice and respectful, the worst anyone can ever say to you is ‘no.’ It might hurt at first, but at least you know that you put yourself out there and you tried, and you advocated for what you wanted. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want and know your worth. Hard work always pays off.” 

— Courtney Schmitt, Controls Engineer, Blue Origin

8You Can Explore Your Interests by ‘Choosing Your Own Adventure’

“As a goal-oriented individual, I constantly worked on badges, cookie selling, and other achievements. You should see my old vest! Today, I constantly use the planning, problem-solving, and leadership skills I developed in my Cadette and Senior years of Girl Scouts. I could define the topics I wanted to explore, which showed me how to self-initiate goals and make actionable plans to achieve them. The ‘choose your own adventure’ structure of Girl Scouts encouraged me to explore my interests and approaches to achieving my goals.”

—Kelley Kempel, Hidden Path Creative

9You’re Never Too Young To Take Action

“If you have the passion to make a difference, you are never too young. Just start somewhere and take action, because you never know where it can take you.”

— Sadhana Anantha, Girl Scouts of the USA's 2016 National Young Women of Distinction

10Don’t Hesitate To Call on Your Community

“I learned how to be independent and to not rely on anyone else. Even though I had to make new friends, I did not feel lost — I felt empowered. Today, I have the same mindset. When I am confronted with an obstacle and feel alone, I know that I am not. There are always people who want to help, if only you have the courage to reach out and ask. Girl Scouts taught me how to think for myself and speak up when I would normally be silent. As someone who was once afraid to speak my mind, I can say that today, I ask questions when I have them and am not scared to walk alone into a room.”

— Arianna Kaminski, poet, photographer, and podcaster

11Perseverance Will Help You Prevail

“I remember going door-to-door selling Girl Scout cookies. Some days, I would sell lots and lots of cookies. Other days, not so many. This taught me really early on to keep going out there because you never know the day you're going to have — it may be a really good day — when you sell lots of boxes of Girl Scout cookies.”

— Tracy Memoli, founder, FrutaPOP

The Bottom Line 

Girl Scout alums often find themselves applying the skills they learned in the organization to their adult lives. Thanks to the experiences and community they gained through the Girl Scouts, they have grown to be strong, confident, independent women. 

Tags: Girl Scout, girl scout cookies, Inspiration

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Written By

Katka Lapelosová

Katka is a writer from New York City, currently living in Belgrade, Serbia. See Full Bio

CircleAround is owned by One GS Media, a subsidiary of Girl Scouts of the USA, and we make financial distributions to benefit the next generation of Girl Scouts. We strive to make the world a better place by supporting each other today and emboldening the women leaders of tomorrow.

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