Building A Better Hawaii Through Girl Scouting

By Gail Mukaihata Hannemann, CEO Girl Scouts of Hawaii

Helping girls realize their dreams and aspirations by developing their leadership skills and abilities is what Girl Scouts has been doing for more than a century. In fact, 80 percent of women business owners in the U.S. were Girl Scouts.


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Girl Scouts Candace, Kauri, Erika, Karley and Lana from Troop 312 go into the community to collect donations for Ohia Domestic Violence Shelter. Photo from Girl Scouts of Hawaii

Many attribute selling cookies as not only awakening their entrepreneurial spirit, but also helping them learn at an early age how to positively impact the world.

With the money earned from selling cookies, girls fund their community efforts. In the process they learn five essential skills: goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and business ethics. Supporting girls during the Girl Scout Cookie season is a powerful way for the public to positively impact their communities and others.

Last year, seven eighth-graders in Cadet Troop 312 from Pearl City decided to reach out to individuals at the Ohia Domestic Violence Shelter. They set a goal of selling more than 3,500 cookie boxes, and went to work asking family, friends, and other community members to buy cookies to support their cause. As a result, they donated supplies for cozy quilts and bought essential supplies for the shelter. They even canvassed the surrounding neighborhoods to share how others can support the shelter throughout the year.

As a statewide organization, our mission is “building girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place.”

Just like Troop 312, girls show us all the time that you don’t have to be an adult to better the world.

To help instill these values, some 500 volunteers devote more than 118,000 hours annually, working directly with 2,700 girls in grades K-12. Hundreds more also donate their time and talent. We are grateful for what they do for girls in Hawaii.

We continue to seek more volunteers and financial support to make Girl Scouting possible for any girl, regardless of her circumstances. This is the legacy of Girl Scouts.

Founded in 1917, just five years after Girl Scouting began, Hawaii’s first official Girl Scout troops were sponsored by Queen Liliuokalani and Florence Lowe, a teacher at Kamehameha School for Girls.


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