Cultivating Community through Cookies

It’s that time of year again. Thin Mints, Tagalongs, Do-Si-Dos, and a variety of other cookies are being sold across the nation. Girls in cities and towns everywhere are knocking on doors, sending out emails, and standing outside grocery stores, asking people to support their troops. You guessed it – it’s Girl Scout Cookie Season. According to the official Girl Scouts website, young girls across the country are taking part in the “largest girl-led entrepreneurial program in the world.” Through the troop participation, girls learn how to create budgets, interact with customers and take orders as they work on life skills through cookie-selling. For people who do not have a local Girl Scout troop to support, there are other options to consider. 

Troop 6000 is a Girl Scout Troop made specifically for girls in the New York City Shelter System. According to the troop website, there are approximately 23,000 children under the age of 18 in the New York City shelter system, around 12,000 of them being girls. This troop gives them the opportunity to participate in the Girl Scout Program just like anyone else. The girls in the troop make friends, earn badges and sell cookies, among many other activities. The troop has weekly meetings that are held in more than twenty shelters all across New York City, and are led by trained troop leaders who have also lived in the shelter system. These women are then paired with community-based volunteers. 

The founder of Troop 6000 is Giselle Burgess, a single mother of five who personally experienced homelessness with her family. She understood the challenges young girls faced in forming connections within the shelter system and believed a Girl Scout group could help make a difference. This group is free for its members, and has grown over the past few years, gaining recognition for its work. In 2017, Burgess told TODAY, “Our mission is to instill girls with courage, confidence and character.” 

Troop 6000 taught young girls valuable lessons and cultivated community in a place where it could be difficult to form connections. If you want to support the troop, their cookie sales start on March 1, and you can order online. 

  A Girl Scout from Troop 6000 reciting the Girl Scout Promise
Photo Credit: Girl Scouts of Greater New York Website

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