By: Lime Green Giraffe Social Director, Lillabeth B.

What happens when you put 100 middle school Girl Scouts in a room and teach them how to create and run their own businesses? Creativity, learning, friendship, and fun!
            That’s what happened at Cookie University, an overnight program at Andretti Karting and Games that teaches girls how to build and start their own business. To start the night, all of the Cadettes were brought into gym-sized party room with a large screen on which a PowerPoint was projected. They were about to begin earning their Business 101 badge.
            When I asked the girls what they were hoping to learn, the answers varied a lot. One girl wanted to know how she could “be more of a Girl Scout.” Another wanted to learn “how to make cake cookies!” One girl summed up the goal of the program very well: “How to sell more cookies and make more money!”
            That’s also what Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta Senior Girl Scout Specialist, Kathryn Schroeder, hoped the girls will take away from the experience. “Our goal is to get the girls excited about the cookie program and ready to sell cookies. We also want to teach them some new business skills so they can learn to apply their cookie business skills to regular businesses.”
            To learn how businesses are run, the Girl Scouts came up with some businesses of their own, using their personal interests to inspire a company. When I asked one of the girls about their interests, she told me, “I really like desert, but my mom’s a health nut.” Another girl wanted to be a marine biologist.
            After making a collage of their interests using magazines and drawings, the girls came up with a business idea and created a mission statement. One mission statement was, “We hope to make the world a better place by giving sweets to needy children, the homeless, and the world.”
            The girls were then asked to go tell other Cadettes about their business. One girl told me, “My business is to make a fandom club where everyone in every single fandom is welcome and we all get to share what we love, what we hate, and what we cry over.” Another girl said she wanted to “be an art teacher because I like to draw and paint.” One girl’s mission was very inspiring: “I would like to be a surgeon and [I want to help]…everyone who needs to have an operation get an operation at a reasonable price.”

            Overall, the atmosphere of Cookie U was fun, casual, productive, and friendly. I have no doubt that every single girl made a new friend, learned something new, and had some fun! I can’t wait to see how many cookies those girls sell with their new knowledge of planning and marketing.

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