BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (WCCO) — Girl Scouts are known for being resourceful, respectful and responsible.
And now, more Minnesota girls can officially call themselves scouts.
The local council is making a push to diversify troops, and it’s resulting in something special.
Of all the transactions at Mall of America, a group of Girl Scouts selling cookies are some of the most important.
Sell after sell after sell. These girls know a lot about work — and about play.
“They really help me remember that life does not always have to be so serious, it’s just not always that serious,” troop leader Paulette Bonneur said.
But there’s a serious purpose behind this troop — it’s to lead the way with some much-needed representation.
“In looking at some of the data, in Minnesota, there’s only 28% of Girl Scouts that identify as girls of color,” Bonneur said. “So if you think about it, with all the Girl Scouts in our state, that is too low of a number.”
Bonneur, who grew up as one of five kids to a single mom, never got the chance to become a scout, so she’s making sure these kids always have that opportunity.
“I grabbed a friend of mine, who is amazing, and the two of us put the word out and in less than 36 hours, our troop was full with 10 girls ready to rock,” Bonneur said.
And are they ever ready. They’ve done a piñata project, a pizza party, a Halloween party and even a candle-making party.
Minneapolis entrepreneur Roseline taught them how to make their own candles. And her lessons are igniting passion.
So sometimes they learn about business, and sometimes they’re conducting business of their own. Learning skills on the deepest of levels.
“To be kind, to be brave, to be strong, to be honest,” one scout said.
They are using those traits to pave the way.
“I really strive to make it a point that we are seen, we are visible, that our girls are heard, that they are visible,” Bonneur said. “Even when we were having booths this weekend, there were people walking up to our table like, ‘I’ve never seen an all-Black troop, I’ve never seen a Black Girl Scout troop leader.’ And at that moment I knew we were doing something special.”
“Girl Scouts are very, very so good that I love to be a Girl Scout forever,” Zara Ogwo said.
“That is the goal, for my girls to walk into any situation with their head held high and their crowns adjusted and say, ‘Man, I got this,'” Bonneur said.
Little girls with huge hearts and big minds.
If you want to support the troop so they can serve more girl scouts, you can connect on their social media by clicking here.
They are also actively looking for more women of color to become troop leaders.