Girl Scouts: More than just cookies

Sandy Day Howard
Emma Rohrig
Pictured left is Emma Rohrig.

The Girl Scout Promise
On my honor, I will try:
To serve God and my country,
To help people at all times,
And to live by the Girl Scout Law.

Girls like little Emma Rohrig are popping up on doorsteps across the country and around the world the past few weeks, selling for an internationally known (and very yummy) fundraiser: Girl Scout Cookies!

The major fundraiser for Girl Scout troops across the country, Do-Si-Dos, Somoas, Trefoils, Thin Mints, and Tagalong sales began in January and will continue in our area until the end of February. This is Emma’s second year with Girl Scout Troop 43551, comprised of girls from Moores Hill and Milan. Lynn Lillas is the troop leader for this group of active and giggly 5-7 year olds. Emma is a “Daisy” level scout, and will advance to “Brownie” status next year, followed by “Journey” and ultimately “Girl Scout”.

Emma may one day be known as the Queen of Cookie Sales because she has already surpassed the goal she set for herself the first year! At Emma’s very first Girl Scout meeting, the leader was asking the girls what their individual goals were for cookie sales. Emma, being a rookie at the time, looked around at the quiet group and immediately shoved her tiny hand into the air. “200 boxes!” she announced! Her mom, Mandy Rohrig, who was talking with some of the other ‘Scout Moms’ at the meeting called it a ‘jaw dropping experience’. Mandy says she expected her little community activist to ‘ease in gradually’ but instead was shocked when Emma jumped in with both feet. She had no idea how her pint sized cookie broker intended to sell that many boxes of the mouthwatering confections, but when it was all said and done, Emma nearly doubled her goal of 200 boxes by selling over 380 boxes of cookies!

Each girl sets a goal and can win prizes depending on the number of boxes they sell. Emma wanted to try for a ‘Sassy Spa Pajama Party’ this year; so, not to be outdone by last year’s success, she set her goal at 500 boxes this time! How proud Mom and Dad must be of their little over-achiever!

February 22 is special for Scouts
Throughout their years in scouting, girls have the opportunity to earn badges based on a variety of community service projects and activities aimed at helping them become good citizens. Emma explained that on February 22, Girl Scouts everywhere will work on global-themed projects to honor all Girl Scouts in other countries. Their goal: To improve the lives of the world’s poorest children. Girls will earn the “World Of Good” badge.

Girls may earn the official Cookie Business badge and the Financial Literacy badges at every level of Girl Scouting. Girls may also earn the annual Cookie Activity pin, which recognizes the “five skills” learned and practiced during the sale. Girls can collect a different colored pin every year to recognize growth in these five skill areas. Badges are earned based on completing established program activities. Separately, girls can also earn rewards based on their sales activity, such as recognition items and program credits. 
Troops decide as a group how to use their cookie earnings. Last year troop 43551 donated cookies to Operation Support Our Troops and also went on a Mommy and Me Campout at Camp Butterworth in Ohio. “My favorite thing we’ve done in Girl Scouts so far is the Mommy and Me CampOut, and having the breakfast scavenger hunt!” Emma explained, as only a seven year old can, how the girls and their moms played games, sang songs, hiked, and spent time together outside. The next morning event leaders held a breakfast scavenger hunt, allowing the girls to find the ‘cereal log, ‘milk bush’, and juice tree to make their morning meal into an ultra fun, nutritional exercise.

Skills developed in selling
When a Girl Scout sells you cookies, she’s building a lifetime of skills and confidence. She’s acquiring proficiencies in goal setting, decision making, money management, and business ethics, while also building people skills; these are the “five skills” learned and practiced throughout the sale. Girls learn communication skills, confidence, and how to work both individually and with a group. She learns aspects essential to leadership, success, and life.

When the big eyed first grader was asked what her favorite cookie was, she put her finger on her cheek, looked upward, and said, “Let me see. My favorite is Thin Mints!” Emma’s taste is similar to most everyone else in the United States as Thin Mints and Somoas are the two top sellers year after year.

As you can imagine, delivering hundreds of boxes of cookies takes a lot of manpower. Emma, her three older brothers, mom, and dad Fred and Mandy Rohrig, and even grandparents, Fred and Linda Rohrig and Garry and Mary Sapp, all play a part in the distribution. Scouting is a family affair at the Rohrigs as Emma’s three brothers, John, Jacob, and Bryan are all involved in Boy Scouts. Since Boy Scouts are suppose to be helpful and courteous, it seems only right that the boys play a part in getting the cookie order delivered as well.

When asked why she decided to join Girl Scouts, Emma didn’t bat an eye before replying,”GIRL Scouts!!! No Boys Allowed!!!” At the close of each meeting, Troop 43551 forms the Friendship Circle. Then, they join hands and sing The Friendship Song. Emma sang the song in her tiny angelic voice. “Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver, the other is gold. A circle is round, it has no end. That’s how long, I want to be your friend.” Perhaps if our congressmen, senators and world leaders joined hands and sang the friendship song at the end of their meetings, and pledge the Girl Scout promise, maybe they would leave their conference tables smiling and skipping and giggling, inspired to do what’s right for the world, like the Daisies do.

Emma’s goal this year will require the help of a lot of cookie eaters. If you would like to order Girl Scout cookies from Emma, you may contact her mom by email at Please include your phone number so Emma can contact you to confirm your order. Mom says she will make arrangements for delivery at the convenience of the customer. She was probably a Girl Scout once, too.

Juliette Daisy Lowe assembled 18 girls from Savannah, Georgia, on March 12, 1912, for a local Girl Scout meeting. She believed that all girls should be given the opportunity to develop physically, mentally, and spiritually. With the goal of bringing girls out of isolated home environments and into community service and the open air, Girl Scouts hiked, played basketball, went on camping trips, learned how to tell time by the stars, and studied first aid. Within a few years, Daisy’s dream for a girl-centered organization was realized. Today, Girl Scouts of the USA boasts a membership of over 3.2 million girls and adults. More than 59 million women in the U.S. today are Girl Scout alumni. Girl Scouts is dedicated to every girl, everywhere.


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