Out of the 3.2 million active Girl Scouts worldwide, there are about 22,000 scouts in Los Angeles, and about ten of them are students at Marlborough. Upper School students still involved in the Girl Scouts are selling Girl Scout Cookies and designing community service projects to help those in need and achieve the most prestigious award in Girl Scouts: the Gold Award.
Girl Scouts have been selling cookies to raise funds since 1917, and each year it is estimated that over 200 million Girl Scout Cookies are sold across the United States. Because the selling season occurs only once a year in early spring, some say the novelty of the cookies improves their taste.
“Thin Mints frozen with vanilla ice cream is the best combination in the world. I always look forward to Girl Scout Cookie season. I wish it was more than once a year, and I think everyone here [at Marlborough] would agree,” Alana ’12 said.
For Girl Scouts at Marlborough, however, cookie sales have a different meaning. The money from cookie sales is divided among The National Girl Scouts of the USA, the regional councils and finally the local troops. Revenues at all levels are used to pay for activities and events for the troops such as self-defense classes and camping trips. For each $4 box of cookies sold, the local troop earns about 50 cents, all of which is put towards community service projects.
While each girl is attempting to raise money for her own troop, many scouts said there is no competition between the students on campus.
“It’s an individual achievement,” said Natalie ’12, who finds that there is nothing but camaraderie between the Girl Scouts on campus despite coming from different troops. “Girl Scouts teaches us about what the individual can do for the community.”
Chehrazi, along with other veteran scouts Ariella ’11, Edith ’12, Rebecca ’12, and Joyce ’12, have all been members of Girl Scout Troop 4435 since Middle School and use their cookie sales to organize service projects addressing a community need.
“We’re working for our last awards, to become the highest rank ambassadors,” Natalie said, “and for our last award, we have to each do a non-profit fundraiser for the community, and we can only use the funds in our Girl Scout reservoirs.”
Each girl is developing a service project to win the Gold Award, which is the highest achievement for scouts aged 14-18 and the equivalent of the Eagle Scouts for Boy Scouts. The girls have to propose an idea to the Girl Scout Council and get it approved before beginning their project, which must be self-sustaining.
Ariella ’11 has been the only Marlborough Girl Scout in the troop to get her project, entitled “Arts and Education,” approved by the council, and had to complete over 60 hours of prerequisites before she was even able to propose an idea.
Ariella chose to address the lack of arts education in her local community, and just two weeks ago, she was approved to begin her own art program for kindergartners and first graders at Para Los Ninos School in Downtown LA. Over the course of three months, Ariella will teach creative writing, drawing and dance to the students after school.
“If we all put even a little effort into it, we can have a big impact on the community,” Joyce ’12 said, “and that’s the most important thing.”