The Entrepreneurial Spirit of Girl Scouts: Jeanette Glose Partlow

In just a matter of weeks, Girl Scout cookie fans can start ordering the S’mores Cookie and other favorites including Thin Mints, Carmel deLites, and Lemonades!  For most Girl Scouts, participating in the Girl Scout Cookie Program is an opportunity to learn and sharpen their financial literacy and business skills. Our young Girl Scout entrepreneurs will utilize these skills for the rest of their lives. Throughout the coming weeks, we will share stories of some local successful business women who are also Girl Scout alumna, as well as profiles of local Girl Scouts who are cookie sellers extraordinaire.  You will see why Girl Scouts has been touted a key driver of workforce development for women for over a century.

jgpartlowpicJeanette Glose Partlow
President, Maryland Chemical Company, Inc.
Honors & Awards:  Daily Record Top 100 Women Circle of Excellence, Girl Scouts of Central Maryland Distinguished Women’s Award, NACD Distributor of the Year and Community Partner Award

What of your Girl Scout experience is most memorable?
Pup Tent Camping at Camp Conowingo, troop trips to Williamsburg and bake sales to raise money.

Do you believe you learned skills as a Girl Scout that have helped you succeed in college or the work place?
The joy of learning and working toward badges, setting a goal and working toward it taught me the value of persistence and provided a great feeling of accomplishment.

From participating in the cookie sales, I learned about customers and marketing!  My sisters and I took a wagon of cookies door to door in our neighborhood (way back when!), ringing doorbells and asking each person, “Would you like to buy Girl Scout cookies?”  Although we probably did not get many “no thank yous”, we learned how to Ask for the Sale, how to be polite and to treat customers with respect.  We also learned a bit about marketing when our mom suggested we wear our Girl Scout uniforms to sell our cookies.  Learning how to make change, manage money and cookie inventory was a mini-business lesson!

In retrospect, do you believe the girl-only space created in Girl Scouts was helpful or empowering to you?
Yes. The girl-only space made it easier to be yourself. In retrospect, female troop leaders were role models for me.  When you are surrounded by female leaders, you come to learn that you can become a leader, too.  Girl Scouts encourages leadership on so many levels.  First, there is personal leadership through earning badges, thinking of others and helping to make the world a better place. Then there are leadership opportunities within the troop and then opportunities to lead within our communities and world.

Do you believe girl-only spaces created by all-girl organizations like Girl Scouts is important?
Yes.  Creating a place full of enthusiasm and support where girls can stretch themselves to try new things.  Learning new things and gaining new abilities and experiencing mastery in a new area, all lead to growth in self-esteem.  Higher self-esteem can help girls navigate life– throughout their lives.

What do you believe are the most important skills or characteristics you gained from Girl Scouts?
Self-reliance. Independence. Confidence. Discovery. Adventure. Learning new things, making friends for life and, an appreciation of nature.

Do you believe Girl Scouts is still relevant today?
Yes, focusing on girls learning leadership skills and building courage confidence character is still relevant.  The programs Girl Scouts of the USA has created to reaching girls from all backgrounds and to reach girls wherever they are is what keeps Girl Scouts relevant.  Expanding the reach of Girl Scouts is the power behind Girl Scouts; that includes girls in troops to individual Juliettes, to girls in our nationally acclaimed Beyond Bars program to girls living in shelters and other at risk environments—Girl Scouts provides leadership programming to and for all girls.

To unleash your inner entrepreneur through the Girl Scout Cookie Program, join today!

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