Book Review: ‘Tough Cookies: Leadership Lessons from 100 Years of the Girl Scouts’

Print More

In this engaging revelation of the organization behind the cookies, Girl Scouts’ national CEO Kathy Cloninger boldly envisions the future of women in America and inspires us to encourage girls to get there.

The mint cookies that arrived with my review book revived warm memories of girlhood as a Brownie and Girl Scout. According to a national poll, Cloninger and I join two-thirds of professional women who share such memories. Few realize how pivotal the cookies are. The annual cookie sale, says Cloninger, is a “$700 million education program that brings to life Girl Scouts’ true brand: developing leadership in girls.”

We “fail to understand the mix of qualities that create great leadership, and the strengths that girls and women can contribute,” Cloninger says on the opening page of this galvanizing call to “invest strongly in our girls.” While the female half of our population provides only 3 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs and 17 percent of the U.S. Congress, Girl Scouts offers “a three-million-girl model of how to unleash and develop the powerful potential of girls,” she says.

Hey! Thanks for being a part of the Youth Today community. Can’t see the content you wish to view? Click here to become a subscriber and get access to all our subscriber only content, including our grant opportunities column.