Girl Scout cookie season is upon us and this year we are sharing the story of a special troop that is offering Scout status to particularly vulnerable children. Troop 6000 was started in 2017 and offers membership to girls in the greater New York area that are or have been homeless.
Giselle Burgess, an employee of Girl Scouts of Greater New York (GSGNY), had the idea to start the troop after she and her five children experienced homelessness themselves. Today, the troop has more than 700 members in 15 locations and offers classes, resources, and support to homeless youth.
While other Girl Scout troops take the summer off, Troop 6000 runs year-round to offer activities like camping, crafts, coding, and even shadowing lawyers and journalists at their jobs. For girls who face uncertainty in their living situations, the troop is a constant. “The troop is the thing they know will always be there,” Meridith Maskara, CEO of GSGNY told Oprah Magazine. “Even if they carry all their belongings in a backpack or get moved in the middle of the night.”
Troop leader Ebony, whose daughter is a member of troop 6000, says that the troop taught her daughter that she can make a difference. It gives her something to be proud of and shows the community that being homeless doesn’t mean you can’t have an impact.
This year, Troop 6000 is once again selling cookies. Although they are selling online now because of the pandemic, the troop still aims to surpass last year’s feat of 32,569 boxes sold. If you would like to purchase cookies from Troop 6000, you can do so on their website.