Each year when they participate in the Girl Scout Cookie Program, Ahne Banks, Emma Strausbaugh, Raven Wilson, and Sydney Wirebaugh, work together to help each girl meet her goal. They don’t stop working cookie booths until they have all reached their goals.
And for being so young — Ahne, Emma, and Raven are 12 years old and Sydney is 11 years old — these girls set big goals. Last year they set and reached their goals of 2,018 packages of cookies per girl. They even surpassed their goals, with the final tallies for each girl coming in at 2,019 packages.
The girls have a big motivator for working so hard: their desire to make a difference in the lives of others.
“We all like to help people. We like to help and donate things,” Sydney said.
They’ve donated cookies to the military, and money to the animal shelter near their homes in Bucyrus. In 2018 they donated $800 to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio in Columbus.
Ahne and Raven both have family members who have stay at the Ronald McDonald house, so the charity has a special place in their hearts.
This year the girls are hoping to donate $1,000 to the Ronald McDonald house.
It’s one of the reasons Ahne, Emma, Raven and Sydney are so dedicated to setting and achieving such high goals. They will work cookie booths when it’s snowing, raining, or freezing. Nothing stops them. But besides their desire to help others, the girls are learning important lessons too.
“The reason we’re so dedicated to it is that you learn different skills like how to make change and everything else. Plus, you get rewarded for all the work that you do,” Ahne said.
And the girls have taken those skills into other aspects of their lives. Raven said learning to make change has helped when working at concessions stands at different activities with her aunt.
Sydney’s go-getter spirit has empowered her to start her own business where she makes slime and sells it to the other kids at school. She was able to do it because of the lessons she’s learned from the cookie program, she said.
Emma’s mother, Ashley Strausbaugh, said the reason she as the troop’s leadership volunteer has all the girls work together is all the soft skills they learn as a result.
“It’s teaching them loyalty and it’s teaching them partnership and teamwork. That to me is the biggest part,” she said.
Ahne said her friends encourage and push each other to do well at cookie booths.
“Especially when one of us is having a bad day or something,” she said.
Sydney’s mom, Barb Wirebaugh, said by working together, the girls have learned from each other.
“They pick up the strengths of each other,” she said. “What comes naturally to one may not come naturally to the other, but they learn, and they network together. I love the cohesiveness of our group. I think it’s something that’s very unique about this troop that they do work as a team.”