The 2020 Dare to Soar cookie season is almost over. What has become an ironwoman season is nearing its last few miles of entrepreneurship. The rallies seem an eternity ago, the start of the campaign on Valentine’s Day. St Patrick’s Day passed, Easter, Mom’s Day, Dad’s Day, July 4th, and yet our entrepreneurs are still running.
We all are familiar with the phrases, “Tough times don’t last, tough people do.” “If you get knocked down six times, get up seven.” And certainly “Never ever quit.” This cookie season, the hardest in our council history and certainly the longest, our Girl Scouts never stopped. They all penned a chapter in our history which is worth remembering. The Idaho Girl Scouts carried so much of the load with their initial business restrictions ending early. The smaller Washington county Girl Scouts came online early too and some border counties had to be creative and artful in balancing the differing restrictions. Spokane Girl Scouts tried drive through booths and shared the sales among so many. TriCities Girl Scouts up to Yakima did their best to get initial orders out. And just when things seemed to be better nationally, cases spiked again causing more caution.
Our Girl Scouts have so much against them, but they never stopped the sale. Many reached their goals, others did not but to a Girl Scout, they pushed through. As I talk to other Girl Scout CEOs, they are shocked we are still selling they having stopped in March. Courage and character have been our girl road signs. It has been a privilege to watch. I write this blog to honor all our 2,800 entrepreneurs for being iron girls. They saved our council facing severe financial peril, particularly with all the cookies ordered when COVID was just being reported on nationally. We celebrate perseverance as a nation, but we revel in it when we see it. Ladies and gentlemen, the last two months, we have seen perseverance, grit and determination from the front row. My Girl Scout Daisy troop joined the fray the first time ever selling and standing in 80 degree heat, it was a push harder than normal. Each of them sold to reach their initial goals!
Two years ago, my sister-in-law lost her life to a rare bone cancer. She fought it for a decade. She never gave up even when allowed to her by her husband and kids. She told them from a hospice bed “you are worth the fight.” I remember her for many things, but I will never ever forget she did not quit. I will likewise never forget a council of volunteers and Girl Scouts who singlehandedly chose to keep their council afloat as we battled a pandemic that paralyzed communities and economic activity.
While fictional, the famous movie Gravity with Sandra Bullock epitomizes perseverance so well and is apropos for our sky-looking council. Sandra was an astronaut involved in a tragic space accident battling against all odds to return to earth. She makes it but after splashing down in an emergency Chinese escape capsule, she nearly drowns. But, she makes it to shore, and the scene I remember the most is her standing up on the beach in the final second. The filmmakers could have finished with the capsule splashdown but what is remembered most is the standing up portion, that she not only survived, she would move forward upright. Perseverance is never half baked.
Our cookie theme this year was Dare to Soar. The key word was ‘Dare.’ We dared to survive. And in doing so we soared.
--Brian Newberry, GSEWNI CEO