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Cookie dads show they are man enough to be a Girl Scout

Joe and Rachel in Ecuador

Being involved with Girl Scouts is natural to Joe Scott.

Back in the 1980s and 1990s he helped his mom, a former troop leadership volunteer, run day camp programs in Coshocton County. When Scott’s own daughter, Rachel, joined Girl Scouts, he knew he wanted to be a part of her Girl Scouting experience.

“I wanted to kind of do the same thing for my daughter because she showed a real interest in outdoor activities and learning how to get involved in the community,” he said. “I didn’t want to let my gender hold me up from that.”

Rachel, 18, is finishing her ninth year of Girl Scouts and Scott has been a troop leadership volunteer for eight of those years.

Through Girl Scouting, Rachel’s love of the outdoors has grown, Scott said. Rachel and her troop took a trip to the Galapagos Islands and Ecuador last year after three years of saving up their proceeds from the Girl Scout Cookie Program.

The cookie program, which Scott also helps with, gives the girls a goal to work toward, Scott said. It’s his favorite part to witness.

“It’s been a great way to allow the girls to be able to get the funds to (travel) and also learn how to budget their money, learn how to plan properly.”

Joe Redd, whose daughter Sarah has been a Girl Scout for five years, said he helps with the cookie program because he wants to spend time with Sarah, who is 10 years old.

In 2018, the two worked numerous cookie booths, most of the time by themselves.

“I want to still spend quality time with my daughter and this is one of the ways to do that in a constructive way,” Redd said. “She gets to do all of her Girl Scout activities pretty much with her mom so for me and her, just the two of us doing some stuff was cool.”

And Redd, who lives in Gahanna, said he also wants to see firsthand the confidence Sarah develops as part of the cookie program. When Sarah was participating in the cookie program for the first time as a kindergartener, she was so shy and quiet. But now she has developed into a strong Girl Scout who can not only meet her goal of 2,018 packages, but exceed it for a total of 2,100 packages.

“I’d like to witness it and I’d like to see the end result,” Redd said.

But seeing the impact Girl Scouts has on Sarah isn’t the only reason Redd volunteers. He wants to help other girls as well.

“It’s good to just set an example, like this is what a good human being does regardless of gender,” Redd said. “They’re getting lots of examples of good human beings who are female so some additional ones being placed there that are male just helps them understand (how good people act).”

Scott said having fathers involved in Girl Scouts shows girls their fathers believe in them.

“Any person or adult can be a leader, but it takes a real man to be a Girl Scout leader and it just gives you that much more opportunity to be involved in your daughter's life,” Scott said.