“There are three good reasons to buy Girl Scout cookies,” so belted out my great niece-entrepreneur with the red braid and wine-colored glove raised in salute. With her, stands another Junior Girl Scout buddy in fourteen degrees weather in front of the West St. Paul Walmart. “Besides, they’re yummy!” she said, holding up a box of Mint Thins.”

Mary is also standing within a time-honored tradition, the Girl Scouts of America, spelled out in its Promise:  

On my honor, I will try to serve God and my country,
to help people at all times, and to live by the Girl Scout Law.

And its accompanying Law, both composed by its founder Juliette Gordon Low:

I will do my best to be honest and fair, friendly and helpful,
considerate and caring, courageous and strong, and
responsible for what I say and do, and to respect myself and others, respect authority, use resources wisely, make the world a better place, and be a sister to every Girl Scout.

In 1917, five years after the foundation of the GSA, the Mistletoe Troop in Muskogee, Oklahoma, began baking and selling cookies to raise money. Today, its profits supplement three core structures: the NYC national office, Girl Scout Councils, and individual troops. Development of character, confidence, and courage activate the full potential of these young members. My great niece already brims with gusto. What will she become?

The work of today is the history of tomorrow, and we are its makers. The Girl Scout Handbook.