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Girl Scouts travel the country thanks to cookie program

Allexia Miryiah and Alexis photo

Allexia Sinclair, Miryiah Russ and Alexis Hollingshead are dedicated to the Girl Scout Cookie Program.

They set high goals — and crush them. They put in long hours at cookie booths. They keep going through the cold days of January, February and March.

That’s because the three girls, all from McArthur, Ohio, know that the best parts of the cookie program come long after the last cookie package has been purchased.

One reason for their dedication? Their love of travel.

“The more cookies you sell, the more money we have for our trips … during the summer,” Allexia, 17 , said.

It’s why the girls set such high cookie goals. During the 2019 cookie program Allexia sold 2,019 packages of cookies, Miryiah sold 2,030 packages, and Alexis sold 2,020 packages.

Even though Allexia and Alexis are in one troop and Miryiah is in another, they often do activities and take trips together. They’ve visited New York, Georgia, South Carolina and Disney World.

“You get to meet new people, you get to try different foods, you get to explore different cultures and stuff depending on where you go,” Alexis, 15, said. “That’s why I liked it and plus it’s a good time to connect with people, like your (Girl Scout) sisters.”

Miryiah, 15, said she loves the cookie program because of the traveling the girls do.

“You just get to see more places than you would not doing it,” she said.

The girls are saving their 2020 cookie proceeds to visit Girl Scouts of the USA’s national convention, G.I.R.L. 2020, which will be held in October in Orlando, Florida..

The convention was last held in Columbus in 2017. Alexis and Miryiah had such a great time when they attended that their troops decided to travel to the 2020 convention.

In 2017, the girls ventured through the Hall of Experiences, went scuba diving, tried Girl Scout Cookies from another bakery, and of course collected SWAPS.

“There were a lot of SWAPS. It was just cool to go around and get all the SWAPS,” Miryiah said.

But the girls aren’t the only ones whoto benefit from their cookie proceeds. Each year they take a portion and use it for community service projects in their area.

Tammy Russ, Miryiah’s mom and troop leader, said last year cookie proceeds went toward corsages and boutonnieres at at an annual prom for people with development disabilities in Vinton County.

Alexis said community service is important to them simply because they like helping people.

“Your community does so much for you. It gives you schools and stuff like that and honestly, it’s nice to give things back to other people,” she said.

While the trips and community service are tangible results of the cookie program, the girls are learning important skills such as goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and business ethics.

Allexia said her favorite part of the program is the feeling of accomplishment she gets when all the cookies have been sold, and Miryiah said she loves the feeling of setting a goal and meeting it.

Tammy said the lessons the girls learn through the cookie program impact every aspect of their lives.

“When you see your daughters achieve their goals and work toward a thing they want, you know that in the future, in the long term that they’re going to be able to go out into the world and do those things on their own because they’ve learned … perseverance, commitment, leadership (and), good work ethic,” she said.