Local Sisters Sing the Praises of Girl Scouts
By Dave Woods
Mary and Sophia Hyatt enjoy the time they get to spend together, and the time they spend with their friends in Girl Scout Troop 5340.
“One of my friends introduced me to it,” Mary, a 10-year-old seventh grader said. “I stayed because it was fun. I got to do outdoorsy things and good deeds with my friends.”
Her sister, Sophia, agreed.
“It’s like what my sister said,” Sophia agreed. “It’s fun and I like going to places, having adventures and selling cookies.”
While selling cookies isn’t the only thing Girl Scouts do, it is something at which the sisters have excelled. Last cookie season the pair managed to sell more than 2,000 boxes of Thin Mints, S’mors, Shortbreads and Tagalongs, and other cookies. In fact, they sold 2,017 boxes of the sweet treats. That’s a lot of cookies and calories.
“You can earn a bike this year if you sell a lot,” Mary said. “You can earn badges and toys and some games, too.”
Sophia said that selling cookies is exciting for the competitive pair.
“The experience is fun because I like talking to people,” Sophia said. “It’s fun because I get to go around and do that. We get to go to camp if we sell enough cookies. With all of my cookie selling experience I’ve actually memorized the speech I do and it does help me communicate better. I think you just have to be really polite and take a ‘NO’ easily.”
Sophia was hit with some bad cookie news recently.
“My favorite cookie is the Savannah Smile,” she explained. “Sadly they are going away this year.”
Once the February and March cookie selling blitz is done, the sisters and girls in Troop 5340 start preparing for their big summer trip.
“Last year we went to Colorado for selling all of our cookies,” Sophia said. “This year we are going to Mount Rushmore.”
Being a Girl Scout isn’t just fun, games, travel and cookie sales. The girls take on community activities to earn badges and advance in rank. Advancing in rank can be a challenge.
“I would say getting to earn my silver award was hard,” Mary said. “I built two cabins from scratch, practically, to help Camp Noark from being shut down.”
Mary and Sophia weren’t alone in lending a hand at Huntsville’s Camp Noark. Many scouts chipped in and worked together to make the project happen. Modern day Girl Scouts make community work a priority.
“Other Cadets helped build those cabins at camp for a silver award,” she said. “The Juniors and Daisies are going to help the veterans to earn a bronze award this year. It’s really helping and some of the badges we earn help in the community.”
Both girls plan on sticking with scouting and continuing to work for their community.
“It’s so much fun that you get to hang out with your friends,” Sophia said. “It’s a lifetime experience. I have made life long friends.”
“I plan on staying,” Mary added. “Ambassador is the highest rank and I’m going to get there. Maybe I’d like to be a troop leader some day.”
For over 100 years, Girl Scouts has been building girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place.
Girl Scouts are more than just cookies. Through Girl Scouting, girls develop a strong sense of self, positive values, and take on appropriate challenges.
•Girl Scouts – Diamonds emphasizes good citizenship via community involvement. Girls are encouraged to look around their communities to identify community needs and join the effort to make their world a better place.
•Today’s girl faces more pressure than ever. Girl Scouts provides a safe environment and positive female role models who enable girls to find the leader within themselves, and lead the way for others.
•When girls participate in the cookie program, they are exposed to unique experiences and learn essential life skills. Plus, their confidence soars, and the leader in them begins to step up in powerful, everyday ways — when she raises her hand to speak up, when she says “yes” to a challenge, or when she finds the silver lining in a bad day. Your Girl Scout Cookie purchase helps make it all possible.
Visit their website at
to join or volunteer.