Meet Ella Hamer, a Girl Scout hailing from the city of Scottsdale.
For the next six weeks, the Girl Scouts–Arizona Cactus-Pine Council will host its cookie season through Feb. 27, featuring traditional walk-up booths as well as new drive-thru cookie booths and online sales.
Known historically for its cookie sales and female leadership, the Girl Scouts organization dates back to 1912 — locally, the Arizona Cactus-Pine Council has grown since 1936. It now serves 11,000 girls grades K-12 in more than 90 communities across central and northern Arizona.
The Girl Scouts cookie sale is lauded as the “largest girl-led entrepreneurial program in the world.” Sales from the annual cookie sales stay local, and go to funding programming, projects, trips and financial assistance.
As Arizona Girl Scouts set out on their six-week cookie sale, the Independent is spotlighting scouts across the Valley of the Sun. Read below to learn more about the Girl Scouts selling cookies in your neighborhood.
• Name: Ella Hamer
• Troop Number: 2256 member, 6222 co-leader
• Girl Scout Level: Ambassador
• Tell us about your favorite badge, and what you did to earn it? The Truth Seeker badge is my favorite. This badge is centered on evaluating the legitimacy of information. To earn it, my troop and I explored websites and videos that conveyed information with various degrees of accuracy and distinct biases. We also learned the telltale signs of unreliable sources and internet scams. Digital literacy is a crucial skill for girls; we spend so much time on the internet and are constantly provided with information. It is our responsibility to engage critically with the content that we consume, and this important badge motivates girls to think for themselves.
• What did you do with your Girl Scout proceeds last year? My Girl Scout troop has been saving our funds during the pandemic, but that has not stopped us from actively serving our community. For example, we organize an annual summer day camp for girls in our service unit. At our last camp, I co-led the new Robotics rotation, guiding K-5th graders through robotics badges and introducing middle schoolers to the First Tech Challenge. I love collaborating with other Girl Scouts in my service unit to host this camp, and we have so much fun. Being a counselor — campers have nicknamed me “Marshmallow” — is a highlight of my Girl Scout experience. Cookie funds stay local, so when customers buy cookies, they can feel good about both securing a delicious treat and encouraging public service.
• What are your goals for selling this year, and what do you plan to do with your proceeds? My goal is to sell at least 800 boxes of cookies this year to fund my Girl Scout Gold Award Project. The Gold Award is the highest achievement that Girl Scouts can earn, and it recognizes service projects that create important, lasting change. I intend to create a middle school math and robotics teams for my Girl Scout service unit, inspiring girls to pursue STEM and to close the gender gap in that field. I plan to major in mechanical engineering, but I hope that this project empowers girls to feel confident in their math and technology skills regardless of the disciplines that they ultimately pursue.
• What is your favorite memory from being a Girl Scout so far? I have had so many unforgettable experiences through Girl Scouts but co-hosting the Becoming Me international event featuring an interview with former First Lady Michelle Obama is the most exciting one. Mrs. Obama is one of my greatest role models, and I connected with thousands of girls worldwide during the event. I was also sent an adorable photo of a girl from the Girl Scout troop that I co-lead watching me host. Becoming Me was one of the best experiences of my life, and I feel so grateful that Girl Scouts gifted me this opportunity.
• What is your favorite Girl Scout cookie? My favorite Girl Scout cookies are Tagalongs. They are peanut butter, chocolate goodness and my primary food source during cookie season. I am also a huge fan of our new flavor, the Adventurefuls. I encourage all chocolate and caramel lovers to try out these brownies; they are Girl Scout magic.
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