Forum for student expression since 1977

The Patriot Press

Forum for student expression since 1977

The Patriot Press

Forum for student expression since 1977

The Patriot Press


School Delayed in response to COVID-19 until April 24


Spring Sports seasons delayed


AP Tests have moved online

This error message is only visible to WordPress admins

Error: No feed found.

Please go to the Instagram Feed settings page to create a feed.

Girl Scouts graduate prepared for life’s challenges

March is often known as being the longest, dreariest month that never seems to end. Just as you feel you’re out of energy walking into the grocery store, the famous cookies and sweet smiles of Girl Scouts gives everyone something to look forward to. The minty chocolate indulgence that is Thin Mints, the chocolate-covered, peanut-butter-filled Tagalongs, and the classic Trefoil shortbreads are all favorites.

While Girl Scouts are best known for their cookies, each Girl Scout troop does more than just sell them, and from a young age, these girls learn important life skills through salesmanship and community. 

Seniors Natalya Hardin and Dakota Robertson and junior Nyema Hardin have all been in Girl Scout Troop 44166 since they were in kindergarten and preschool. Going out and selling cookies, whether by door-to-door sales or booth sales, they’ve learned various communication and life skills. 

“I learned how to interact with people more. With booth sales, you have to really go out and ask people if they can buy cookies and urge them. I’m able to handle rejection when it comes to people saying they don’t want to buy cookies, so I learned how to communicate better,” Natalya Hardin said.

In Troop 43983, seniors Rachel Hoff and Lily Pahl were able to learn from a young age how to socialize with others, even when they felt uncomfortable. 

“Girl Scouts teaches you to be more outgoing and prepares you to meet new people. Not only are you meeting new people in your troop, but you’re also going around selling cookies at booths or door-to-door, which gets you out of your comfort zone,” Hoff said.

For Pahl, Girl Scouts was a way to connect to the people in her community that she normally didn’t interact with.

“I went to a different school than everybody else who lived in my neighborhood. I didn’t really get to hang out with them at school, and they were all going to do Girl Scouts, so my mom told me that it’s a good way to be able to hang out with people from Apollo, who live in your area,” Pahl said. 

Girl Scouts helped Pahl get out of her comfort zone and learn how to interact with new friends and strangers.

“I was definitely way more shy, especially when I was in elementary school and middle school, but when I’d go do community service events and sell cookies at grocery stores or door-to-door for Girl Scouts, I would get more social and extroverted than I normally was,” Pahl said.

Girl Scouts don’t just sell cookies though; they also participate in camps and community service projects. Troop 44166 ran a day camp for younger students as a leadership project.

“We had to learn to plan, to budget, and create fun stations while also keeping the kids engaged,” Robertson said.

To build a sense of community and also learn how to lead, Hoff and Pahl, along with the others in Troop 43938, hosted parties at Maywood for younger Girl Scout troops. 

“In middle school, we were able to start running for positions in our troop, which was a great transition period because it taught us the importance of being communicative. When we had the parties, we had to delegate who was on DJ or who was in charge of face paint,” Hoff said. “Having to plan this event was pretty big for middle schoolers. It was a good learning experience to figure out things by ourselves, which set us up for success as we got older.”

They have even passed down their own traditions. 

“Every year, we do a community service project where we make Halloween costumes for NICU babies. We’ve passed that on to younger Girl Scouts, so little things like that keep on these little traditions and also get younger Scouts more involved and excited to be in Girl Scouts,” Hoff said. 

Outside of selling cookies and working on projects, these Girl Scouts have had the opportunities to learn important skills for life in the real world. 

“In high school, we’ve got to meet with a lot of people to set us up for success with college. I really appreciated one meeting with college admission officers that taught us how to use different platforms to apply to college,” Hoff said. “It’s more than just camping.”

Through all the projects, especially the planning and execution, sometimes these Girl Scouts felt like the pressure was too much to handle. While they considered quitting, they ultimately chose to stay. 

“My mom and I chose to do Girl Scouts together. She sometimes says, ‘when you quit, I quit’ if I don’t ever have enough time,” Natalya Hardin said. “Ultimately, I’ve done Girl Scouts and stayed in Girl Scouts because of my mom. I love my mom a lot, so I didn’t want to leave because she wanted to keep on doing it.”

This shared love and community in Girl Scouts has helped empower girls like Hardin.

“Girl Scouts has empowered me in that I can be me. It taught me how to keep a smile on my face even in the worst times,” Natalya Hardin said. “With the community that we’ve built, we can finally say hi to each other in the halls. We have somebody to turn to when we’re having troubles.”

For many girls, Girl Scouts has been a positive environment that helps them find pride in being girls. 

“It sets you up with a place where you can build skills that you might not be able to get outside of Girl Scouts. It teaches you that you can be both girly and feminine and still be strong, independent, and successful. It’s not one or the other,” Pahl said. 

Now, there are only five girls in Troop 44166 and eight girls in Troop 43983, but the community each troop has built since they were young has led them to feel close throughout the years. 

“Girl Scouts really brought us together as one because we’re like a family now. We’ve been together for so long, and to have that connection with others and that bond is really rare,” Nyema Hardin said. 


About the Contributor
Katarzyna Nguyen
Katarzyna Nguyen, Editorial Board Member
Katarzyna Nguyen is a senior at Liberty High School and a Managing Editorial Board Member as part of the Editorial Board for the Patriot Press. In her free time, she enjoys walking her dog, listening to various genres of music, and volunteering in her community.