The Ms. Foundation's Teresa Younger on a lifetime in the Girl Scouts, earning every merit badge—and the best cookie flavor to buy
Teresa Younger is president and CEO of the Ms. Foundation for Women, the nonprofit advocacy group responsible for creating Take Our Daughters And Sons To Work Day and the “#MyFeminismIs” campaign. Younger is also a lifelong Girl Scout who earned every possible merit badge.
In this episode of the “Ad Block” podcast, Younger talks about the effect the Girl Scouts has had on her life. “Every woman that you met in Girl Scouts was called a leader, and that impacted me,” Younger says.
She joined the Scouts at the age of 6 while her Army family was stationed in South Dakota. When the family moved to Okinawa, Japan, a year-and-a-half later, she continued scouting. “The idea that I always had friends no matter where I went was pretty key for me growing up,” she says. “You were always showing up in places and you didn’t know anybody. It gave you an instant place. And because you were supposed to be a sister to every Girl Scout, everyone was talking to you.”
Both a completist and a high-achiever, Younger set out to earn every merit badge available. She learned to fix a flat tire and change a car’s oil, even though she couldn’t yet drive. She served Thanksgiving meals to soldiers away from their families, sewed pillows and learned horseback riding and archery. She also sold more than 500 boxes of Girl Scout cookies every year.
To earn an additional award, she convinced four friends to bicycle across the state of North Dakota with her, covering between 40 and 50 miles a day. “I’m a little black kid,” she recalls, “knocking on doors and saying, ‘Hey, can we sleep in your garage or in your barn or on your property?’”
Younger also talks about the appeal of local talk radio and weighs in on the very best flavor of Girl Scout cookie.