By Kaitlin Fleming
Local fifth grader Emily Ragsdale sold 2,222 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies, which is well above the 200-500 box national average and landed her the title of Top Cookie Seller in all of Etowah County.
Ragsdale was excited about selling the most of her troop, which is part of the North-Central Alabama Girl Scout Council.
She and her mother, Zea, travelled neighborhoods and used an online platform to sell the roughly $9,000 worth of Thin Mints and Do-si-dos.
The 11-year-old has learned a lot from being a Girl Scout, including “how to be patient,” “persevere” and “friendliness.”
Ragsdale knew most of the girls in her troop before she joined, but she’s met a few new people as a result of being a Girl Scout.
“Most of the girls are friendly,” she said. “I’ve made friends.”
Ragsdale, who is homeschooled, hopes to be a veterinarian when she is older. So, it is only fitting that one of her prizes for being the top seller was a trip to a horseback riding farm. She also won a Fitbit watch.
Ragsdale has been a part of the Girl Scouts for four years and plans on continuing on as long as she can, which is until she is 18 years of age.
Ragsdale is especially looking forward to moving up the ranks and earn badges in the organization. She will become a cadet in August of this year.
“She’s really looking forward to learning new things as a cadet,” said Zea Ragsdale. “She’s usually really tired after cookie selling but once it’s time to start again, she’ll be ready to go.”
Between her schoolwork and Girl Scouts adventures, Emily likes to read books, specifically Harry Potter books and any books about animals.
The Girl Scouts of North-Central Alabama sold a total of 1,349,538 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies and about 200 million cookies are sold nationwide.
The money made during the rush of cookie selling season goes to the troop. The troop keeps roughly 60 percent of the money made from the cookies. The rest of the money goes toward making and transportation of the boxed goods.
Apart from being fantastic salespeople, Girl Scouts are future leaders. An estimated 74 percent of women in the U.S. Senate and 58 percent of women in Congress are Girl Scouts alumnae.
Girl Scouts learn valuable life skills, such as civic engagement, community service, healthy relationships, financial literacy, college knowledge and healthy living.
The Girl Scouts also has a focus on STEM based futures for its members. There are now badges for activities in fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
In addition to the STEM based badges, the organization also offers badges in cybersecurity, eco-camping, robotics, college prep and more.
Many Girl Scouts find lifelong friends in the organization as well as clear paths for their futures.
Most troops offer scholarship opportunities to members, and outside organizations and even some universities offer scholarships to Girl Scouts.