Francesca Tinucci admits this isn’t her favorite time of year.
She’s a Girl Scout. And it’s cookie season.
Despite all the work, she acknowledged that the experience is worthwhile. Francesca said her business acumen has been honed through her marketing efforts: setting up booths and talking to customers, or pitching a cookie event at her father’s office in Stillwater.
Plus, they get to dress up as cookies.
“I kind of want to be a Samoa—they’re my favorite,” she said.
But Francesca also has a larger role with the Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valleys. She is the lone juvenile delegate on the Woodbury service unit.
“You think of Girl Scouts as cookies and camp and outdoors,” she said. “But they’re dedicated to advancing things for girls and making the world a better place for them. That was really inspiring for me.”
She gives feedback on Girl Scouts initiatives and weighs in with her vote on different matters, much like a delegate would at a party caucus.
“Not a lot of girls know about it,” Francesca said. “It’s kind of one of those secret opportunities.”
It was a challenge at first to chime in with her thoughts as the lone teenager in the room during a Jan. 21 meeting of Girl Scout leaders.
“But once I got into it, I was less intimidated,” she said.
Francesca has been a Girl Scout since she was in kindergarten and initially got involved because several of her friends did it… and her mom was the scout leader.
“So I was more motivated to stay in it,” she said. “But it actually is kind of fun.”
That fun, however, is sometimes lost as girls fall out of the program as they age.
“Honestly, it’s not the coolest thing to be a part of,” she said. “It’s kind of a nerdy thing that’s very beneficial and relatable to your life.”
Francesca has already notched her Bronze and Silver awards, the latter for making pillows with pockets for books for underprivileged children on St. Paul’s east side.
She said she plans to keep it up.
“There will be times—like when you’re selling cookies—that you say to yourself, ‘Why am I doing this?’” Francesca said. “But you can really apply Girl Scouting to your life.”