The Good Life: The Tradition of Girl Scout Cookies & Personal Growth

The Good Life: A Year of Thoughtful Seasons by Sarah Mattison Buhl

It’s Not About the Cookies

This month in “The Good Life,” Sarah shares her experience as a Girl Scout leader as to the motivations and inspirations of young girls selling Girl Scout cookies.

The winter days seem longer than ever this time of year, and hope remains distant with all the ice and darkness.  However, I don’t have to look very far to find inspiration, and you don’t, either.   The Girls Scouts are coming your way, fueled by goal-setting websites and friendly competition.  It is Cookie Time, and I am a Girl Scout leader.

I was not a Girl Scout as a child, but I wish I had been.  I didn’t know much about it, but knowing what I know now makes me a believer.   These girls are smart, achievement-oriented women-to-be, and I now understand that the Cookie Sale isn’t about the cookies.    The girls set personal goals, and order the number of cookies they think they can sell months in advance.  There are incentive prizes for the  youngest girls, and they pour over the brochures, dazzled by the enviable stuffed animal they can earn by selling 125 boxes.  This year it is a “plush cheetah,” and  it is the object of  every ten-year-old’s intense desire.

However, something happens as the girls grow over the years, and they seem to love the challenge more than the prizes (well, almost more) as time goes on…  Read the rest of this entry »

Spark!Lab Lights the Fire of Invention

Think Outside the Box at Spark!Lab in the Berkshires

Everyone is an inventor in the Berkshire Museum’s exciting new Spark!Lab, opening to the public on Saturday, October 11, 2014, in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Spark!Lab provides opportunities for children and families to explore their inventive creativity — by designing, innovating, collaborating, and problem-solving — because these experiences empower kids to develop the skills and confidence they need to succeed today and in the future.

Developed at the Smithsonian Institution by the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation at the National Museum of American History (NMAH), the Berkshires’ very own Spark!Lab is part of a nation-wide initiative to engage youngsters in the act of invention and innovation. Here is a sneak peek of Spark!Lab at the National Museum of American History:

The Berkshire Museum’s Spark!Lab will be the third in the country to open! Read the rest of this entry »

Hilltown Spring Festival Offers Opportunities for Young Entrepreneurs

Middle and High School Students Invited to Create and Operate Games at the 5th Annual Hilltown Spring Festival

Entrepreneur opportunity in the hilltowns for middle and high school students at the Hilltown Spring Festival on May 14th at the Cummington Fairgrounds! (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Middle school and high school students are invited to participate in the fifth annual Hilltown Spring Festival, which will take place this year on May 14th at the Cummington Fairgrounds. Students are encouraged to create games which can be played by younger children. The youthful game creators may charge a fee to each player who chooses to play their game. Proposals for all kinds of games are welcome. A description of the game, and the proposed fee, should be submitted in advance to Hilltown CDC. Email staff@hilltowncdc.org for more information.

These games will be in addition to the Kids-Made Craft Bazaar, which was very successful last year. More than a dozen children of all ages offered their handmade crafts for sale.

The Hilltown Spring Festival was visited by 2,000 people last year. It features music all day on three stages, food from local vendors, children’s activities all day long, a Sustainable Living Expo, and displays by area businesses, non-profits, and artists and craftspeople. Admission is $5 per person; children 12 and under are admitted free. For more information visit the Hilltown CDC.

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