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News & Press: GS News

Girl Scout milestone a moving moment for Farmington mom

Wednesday, November 10, 2010   (0 Comments)
Posted by: jennifer punch
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By Julie Sherwood, staff writer
Messenger Post

When thousands of Girl Scouts went out to the streets this fall to take orders for the annual cookie drive, it was pretty routine for most of them. Either a sister, teacher, neighbor or their mom or had done it before. But for one mother-daughter duo, newcomers to the region — and the United States — the cookie-selling experience was significant.

"I don’t have any experience in Girl Scouts, because I grew up in China, where there are no thoughts of little girls selling cookies door- to-door, to raise money for camping and learning skills to prepare them for life,” said Lin Yin, who lives in Farmington with her husband, Adam Craig, and their daughters Kaly, 7, and Lisa, 4.

They moved to Farmington last year, after living in Florida for seven years, where Lin Yin made her first home in the states.

"We moved north because of the children’s education,” said Lin Yin. They didn’t like the school system in Florida, and knew it was strong here, said Craig, who grew up in western New York.

But joining an organization, especially one that involves going door-to-door for fundraising, was a a bit daunting.

"But when my little girl asked me, ‘Mommy, I want to be a Girl Scout,’ I told her ‘yes,’ said Lin Yin. "I could not say no because I saw the sparkle and the desire in her eyes.”
Lin Yin, who also joined Scouts, becoming a co-leader for Troop 40318, said when she took Kaly out to sell cookies, she felt "clueless.” Being new to the neighborhood, she didn’t feel comfortable going to anyone’s door, she said.

"We were standing in front of one home, but my daughter was so scared she refused to knock on the door. I was thinking maybe we should just go home or maybe no one would buy them anyway,” said Lin Yin.

What followed were a number of encounters with neighbors who were delighted to buy the cookies and see the new Girl Scouts in the neighborhood.

"After knocking on several doors, my daughter became totally confident. She was so excited, counting over and over again how many cookies she had sold, and then she would run to next house without grabbing my hand,” said Lin Yin.

Kaly sold 30 boxes in one hour.

Craig said the positive experience has caused his youngest daughter, Lisa, teasing about joining Scouts as soon as she starts kindergarten next fall.

"I didn’t realize we are living with the nicest, gentlest and kindest people in the world before stepping outside our house to sell cookies,” said Lin Yin, who wrote about her experience and shared it with Girl Scout organization.

Judith Gallagher, director of marketing and communications for Girl Scouts of NYPENN Pathways, Inc., said it’s not unusual to receive positive responses from Girl Scouts and their families. But Lin Yin’s story is unique, she said, as it comes from someone raised outside the country.

"Hundreds of thousands of people dedicate their money and time to support their communities every day here in the USA and passing on these traditions to the next generation,” wrote Lin Yin. "Selling cookies has become a Girl Scout tradition all over the country, this is one reason, I believe, that the Girl Scouts have continued to grow and remain in the hearts of the American people.”

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