Archive for Cookies

My Girl Scout Story: Carla Corkern

Carla Corkern, CEO of Talyst and Girl Scouts of Western Washington board member, has a compelling Girl Scout story, and we’re so excited she is sharing it with us!

carla-corken“Girl Scouts of Western Washington is investing in our communities to build girls of courage, confidence and character, and I watch Girl Scouts every day who are paying it forward by giving back to the communities in which they live. As a transplant to this region, I am amazed at the resources and opportunities this beautiful state has to offer – and amazed at the commitment to girls from those in our community.

I grew up in a time and an area where the resources for girls were much different. A few years ago, when I would meet people and they would ask, ‘Girl, where are you from?’ I would say, ‘Lou-ee-see-ana,’ pronouncing it like I knew they expected to hear it, not Lou-see-ana like every true native knows is right. And, always people would say, ‘Oh, I love New Orleans!’ Well, I grew up about as far from New Orleans as you can get in Louisiana and still be inside the boot. Luckily, or unluckily, now I can tell people where I am actually from – and most of them – although they hate to admit it, have seen my hometown on reality TV. Yes, I grew up in the land of Duck Dynasty. So, if you’ve seen the show, you know the men are all grungy and outdoorsy and for some odd reason the women are all beautifully made up and ready to go to town all the time (and trust me, there isn’t much there to actually go do in the town that you need to get dressed up for except church on  Sundays).

Anyway, I tell you this story to give you a backdrop of a place and a time for my Girl Scout journey. My mama was (and still is) a woman like those duck dynasty women, a beautiful, poised, well-dressed woman who earned her beauty school license to help put my Dad through college. When I was born, she was overjoyed to have a life-sized doll to dress and mold into her image.  Unfortunately for her, by the time I’d started school, it was pretty clear – that wasn’t gonna be the way it was going to go. Every chance I could get I was sneaking out of the house to catch bugs in a jar or trap crawfish in the ditch or crawl around the construction sites in our neighborhood picking up coke bottles (for money, not environmental reasons).

However, my mama held out hope for me. She signed me up for all kinds of things to make me a lady. First up was baton twirling! After I had blackened my eye and broken several treasured knick knacks in the living room, I came home one day to find my baton had mysteriously been run over in the driveway, although I distinctly remember leaving it in the laundry room when I left for school that day. Next up was ballet, then acrobatics and tap dancing.  All of these required dressing up and going to town which I fought tooth and nail. After school, I  just wanted to run wild outside in the woods.

Finally my mother (probably because it was an after-school activity and didn’t require a trip to town) signed me up for Brownies. She even got excited when she saw the cute little dress and beanie that I’d have to wear on meeting day.  Although I hated wearing dresses more than anything, I was willing to give Girl Scouts a chance because some older tough girls from the playground I knew were in the troop and I looked up to them. From that first day, I was hooked. The classroom was filled with energy and unlike what usually happens in school classrooms, the girls were in charge. The older girls ran most of the meeting and before long I was swept up in the songs and the games and when we went outside to play a game of Red Rover I knew I had found my tribe. I loved the fact that no one shushed me or told me to sit down and be quiet (unless it was one of those older tough girls and you can bet I did it, too!).

When cookie selling season came around, I really found my place. I loved to sell cookies! Seems I had a knack for asking people for money! I loved to fill up my little red wagon and walk from house to house and knock on doors. I started going to my mom’s beauty shop after school and setting up a little card table during cookie season to sell cookies.

 Carla Corkern featured at the podium, as she was named Girl Scout of the Year in 1976 for the Silver Waters Council.

Carla featured at the podium, as she was named Girl Scout of the Year in 1976.

I pestered people at my church, I pestered people at my dance lessons (you thought I got out of that, didn’t you?) and I sold so many cookies I was named Girl Scout of the Year in 1976 for the Silver Waters Council! It was a little council and in a small rural area but I was on top of the world!

I have no doubt that my love for selling cookies and the lessons I learned there led me to my current career. Girl Scouts took me to President of my Middle School Student Council and to the state championships in Speech and Debate. My Girl Scout selling skills came into play when I started my first company at 26 had called every bank on an SBA approved lenders list and set up meetings with people twice my age (most of whom laughed me out of the room, but hey, it only took one to say yes!).

The skills I learned in Girl Scouts helped me in my role as CEO today!”

My Girl Scout Story: Dee Cheng

We’re thrilled to launch our new series, “My Girl Scout Story,” with Dee Cheng, a recent alumna, who still has wonderful Girl Scout memories to share! Take it away, Dee!

My Girl Scout Story

Have you ever been in a situation where you didn’t want it to end?

deeThen perhaps you understand just how I felt my senior year of high school. It was my last year of Girl Scouts and I was apprehensive to be leaving a community I considered my home. For 10 years of my life, I was a part of an organization that supported me and provided me with a platform to grow, to explore, and to lead.

I was not afraid to take charge. I was not afraid to voice my opinions and follow my heart. I had the passion and motivation to make a change, but it wasn’t always that way. As a little girl I dreamed of making a difference in this world, and having an impact in my own, unique way, but I constantly found myself thinking, how? What is my purpose and will I be successful? Can I actually do it?

That’s what I was thinking my first cookie season as a Brownie, ready to go deecookiedoor-to-door. I was nervous; I did not know how to approach people or what to say. We were partnered up girls only a few years older than us, and they were so poised and confident, energized and outgoing,. Their charisma was so captivating and I loved how they encouraged us and took us under their wing. These were also the same girls I saw at camp, who taught me girl scout traditions and encouraged me to become a leader. I wasn’t sure about a lot of things back then, but I knew I wanted to follow in their footsteps. But how? Could I really possibly become a leader like them?

Throughout the years, Girl Scouts did not fail to deliver opportunity after opportunity, and the more I experienced, the more confidence I gained. I grew as a daughter, a student, a friend, and a scout. Before I knew it, I was showing younger girls how to sell cookies. I was the one leading songs at camp. I was the one completing large scale projects and taking action within the community. I was the one being asked to speak at events, to share my experience, and to tell younger girls that yes, they can do it too.  And I was very convincing because I finally knew the answer to the questions I had asked myself so many times as a young girl. I can do it, too! I can be a leader, and I can make a difference.

dee1I know it because I have actual proof!

One day I was at the grocery store, when I suddenly heard a little girl yelling, “Taffy, taffy!” My camp name is Taffy, but I didn’t make the connection and just thought that girl wanted some candy. Next thing I knew she was running up to me a gave me a big hug. She started talking all at once, out of breath, telling me how much she loved camp and thanking me for teaching her songs and campfire safety. “Thank you so much Taffy, I had so much fun!” she said. “I loved learning and I hope one day I can be like you.” I stood there in shock, not realizing how my actions have really made a difference. When I became an older girl scout, I was constantly looking for avenues where I can make an impact, and yet it was happening right before my eyes.

dee2At the time, I didn’t understand the impact this organization would have on me, but looking back I would not even be half the person I am today without it. Now, trying to figure out the next stage of my life, I constantly question, can I do it? Can I really make a difference? I find my head and my heart pulling me in the direction of technology. I want to make a difference globally, and  create equal accessibility and opportunity for those who need it most.  The path to get there feels daunting at times, just like it was daunting for 8-year-old me to sell cookies and be a leader at camp. I sometimes doubt I won’t be good enough to make a change, but then I remember the last ten years, and I remember the girl at the grocery store.

And I remember because I’m writing this story now, all because I am a product of an organization that changes lives, including mine. And it gave me the confidence to go out into the world and do the same. So whether it’s using technology to create something that will make people’s lives better, or continuing to be a mentor to others, I know that I can do anything. Girl Scouts taught me that.

Girl Scout Cookie-Inspired Fashion at Pacific Place!

We’re so grateful for the talent and creativity of six local designers, who made Girl Scout Cookie-inspired fashion to celebrate a century of Girl Scout Cookies! Check out the stories below of #CookieBosses who got to meet local women business leaders who became fashion models for the day to highlight our Design Your Dream Cookie Couture campaign, which showcases the amazing things girls do in their communities and the world around them, all thanks to cookie money!

Our Cookie Couture exhibit will be on display on the second floor Pacific Place until March 31, 2017, so be sure to come see our full gallery space, complete with photos from the campaign, cookie displays and more!

Bonus: Watch an Evening Magazine segment that shows our fashion in action, and read these Seattle Refined and Seattle Met pieces that highlight our fashionable campaign!

Thank you to David Jaewon Oh, our amazing photographer, for the photos you’ll see below.

jamieInspired by the ways in which chocolate and mint are out of this world when combined to make a Thin Mint, designer Jamie Von Stratton created this Thin Mint Galaxy Goddess dress. Each mermaid scale is cut out from an actual Thin Mint box, and then spray painted by hand. In the photo with her are local Girl Scouts who are part of a LEGO Robotics team! This photo scene beautifully showcases the ways in which STEM is a part of our everyday lives, whether in outer space, on a robot or engineered onto a gown!

Beautiful hand-embroidered Girl Scout Cookies adorn this whimsical Cookie Fairy Gown, created by Rachel Vala of Class Act Tutu. This birthday party scene sets the stage for Birthday Dreams​, a local organization that gives free birthday parties to homeless children, and celebrates the hard work Girl Scouts do to donate money and supplies through cookie sales to homeless shelters across western Washington.

rachel

caseysagisiSandrine Espie, who co-founded  Muses: Conscious Fashion Studio​, a nonprofit that teaches local immigrants and refugees sewing skills so they can find jobs, is modeling the Trefoils dress made by Casey Sagisi. She is joined by co-founder, Esther Hong, and Girl Scouts Julia and Carleigh, who sew reusable pads for girls in developing nations who can’t go to school when they have their periods due to a lack of hygiene supplies. Using their sewing skills, Sandrine, Esther, Julia, and Carleigh show how their hard work can make a difference in their communities — and the world!

danial

Danial Webster created this beautiful s’mores inspired gown to showcase our newest Girl Scout S’mores Cookie. Jennifer Shea, founder of Trophy Cupcakes​, models the dress along with Melody, a Girl Scout who has competed on Cupcake Wars and Chopped Junior. Together they paired for their love of cupcakes (Melody make the marshmallow-frosted ones she is holding in the photo, and Jennifer is holding her top-selling s’mores cupcakes!), and Melody’s aspiration to enter into the culinary field like Jennifer!

As master draper at Seattle Children’s Theatre​, Shellie Moomey (seen in back, wearing pearls!) was inspired to create a Patchwork Cookie Box Coat. The display of cookie boxes on the fabric is a nod to how Girl Scouts connect to their community in many different ways through cookies, like patchwork on a blanket or coat! The Girl Scouts alongside Shellie make their own blankets with their cookie money, which they donate to local non-profit organizations.

shellie

patricia
Patricia Raskin, handbag designer of Anne Sylvain, models the Tagalongs-inspired dress created by Luly Yang, and is a proud aunt to a Girl Scout. Her cookie-inspired clutch is decorated with Swarovski crystals.

Cookies Can Take You Anywhere

Girl Scout Alina and her mom, Sheryl, recently traveled to India – made possible because of Girl Scout Cookies and a Girl Scout travel scholarship! Alina and Sheryl share their adventures below, and show us India through the eyes of a Girl Scout and a Girl Scout troop leader!

Alina: “My name is Alina Guyon. I am 14 years old and a freshman in high school, and have been an active Girl Scout for seven years.

KaciTutuGirl Scouts has given me many lifelong friends and amazing opportunities. Recently, I was on Q13 with my troop mate, Grace, where we hung out with Kaci Aitchison (who was a Girl Scout!) and taught her some of our sales skills. That’s Kaci in the red tutu!

In the United States we are Girl Scouts, but in the rest of the world there are Girl Guides. Together we are known as the World Association of Girl Scouts and Girl Guides, or WAGGGS. Did you know that there are five World Centers where Girl Scouts and Guides can travel and stay? Once I learned that there was a World Center in Pune, India, called Sangam, I was ready to go!

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A Father’s Day Shout Out to Dad Troop Leaders!

How’s this for a rock star quote?

“I would quit my job and help sell Girl Scout Cookies every day of my life if I could.”

Whoa! Who said that? Do you think it was a girl? Nope. It was a dad!

“I love helping my daughter reach her goals!” says Elliott Gustavson, a troop leader from Lynnwood whose daughter has some mighty impressive goals.

“Her first year she sold 500 boxes, her second year she sold 1100 boxes and this year she sold 1600 boxes,” Elliott chuckles.

elliot troopOne of the things Elliott loves teaching his daughter, Aly – who is in his troop, along with 13 other girls – is how to set important goals. Because Aly is only 8, he knows he’ll have to help her along a bit more in the process, but she’s slowly beginning to understand what it all means.

For example, when she set her goal for this year, he reminded her that if she wanted to sell that many cookies, she’d have to sell every day.

“Next year, she’ll have to figure it out herself and tell ME what she plans to do, instead of me helping her figure it out!” Elliott says.

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Girl Scouts Give Back: the McKenzie Harris Story

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We are always impressed by how our Girl Scouts use their cookie money, but this cookie season we were blown away by the support for one of our local Brownies: McKenzie Harris.

On New Year’s Day, seven-year-old McKenzie and her family were in head-on car accident. The collision left her paralyzed from the neck down. McKenzie and her family were facing a long road to recovery, along with thousands of dollars of medical bills and a big list of needs (including a special wheelchair and retrofitting their entire house) before they could bring McKenzie home.

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