Girl Scout cookie season is upon us. This year, I encourage you to ask each Girl Scout eagerly selling boxes, “What are your goals?”

As a Brownie Girl Scout leader, I work with my scouts for months in advance. They learn goal setting, decision-making, money-management, business ethics, and people skills. I love watching the girls build confidence to ask family, friends, and strangers.

I’m invigorated by their excitement as they choose goals for the troop; this year it’s a trampoline park.

And it warms my heart to see them choose how to give back to others; most troops donate 10-20% of their cookie money to service projects. Our troop decided to donate cookies to the children’s hospital and run a food drive.

So this season, consider buying a box from every girl you encounter and ask them why they work so hard. They each have dreams and goals.

And please don’t forget the older girls! In high school, my troop fundraised for a trip to the Girl Scout World Center in India and to fund our Gold Award service projects. To this day, I use the skills I learned as a Scout.

It’s about so much more than cookies.

Gabriella Gerhardt

City of Fitchburg