Roni Bumgardner was destined to be a cookie boss.
When she was just 3 years old she would go around her neighborhood with her older sister, Tori, as she learned valuable life skills participating in the Girl Scout Cookie Program.
She even had a vest her mother trimmed to fit her tiny frame.
“I was ready to be a Girl Scout,” Roni said.
And now 16-year-old Roni is still just as passionate about Girl Scout Cookies as she was as a toddler. In 2018, Roni sold an impressive 2,208 packages of cookies.
Roni, who lives in Groveport, said the secret to her success was her determination.
“If there was a day that some of the girls said, ‘Oh the weather is too bad, I’m not going to go,’ we went,” Roni said.
Participating in the cookie program for almost her entire life has shaped who Roni has become, she said.
“In the beginning … I was super shy. I wouldn’t talk to anybody, I’d barely talk to my mom,” Roni said.
That’s not the case anymore.
Participating in the program has changed Roni as a person.
“Maybe it was eating (the cookies), maybe it was selling them, one of those two,” she said with a smile.
Roni’s mother and troop leader, Rosie Bumgardner said the Girl Scout Cookie Program has given her daughter confidence.
“It has literally brought her out of her shell,” she said.
The cookie program has also given Roni the ability to hone her leadership skills. Rosie said Roni is considering becoming a teacher, and she gets a chance to practice by working with younger Girl Scouts during the event.
“When she’s teaching them, you can see her face light up when they’re understanding as well as their face lights up too,” Rosie said.
In the Girl Scout Cookie Program, girls learn to set goals and achieve them. For Roni, the best part about participating in the cookie program are the experiences she gets to have as a result of her hard work.
With the proceeds from the 2018 sale, Roni and five girls from her troop experienced a new culture by taking a cruise to Cozumel and Costa Maya in Mexico. Roni said her trip was completely paid for with cookie proceeds.
This year, Roni said she and her fellow Girl Scouts have set a goal to use their cookie proceeds for a trip to Canada, specifically Niagara Falls.
She said selling cookies — especially during the Ohio winter — is hard “but when you know what you’re going towards, it’s amazing.