Dr. Brent Muckridge is a professor of entrepreneurship, a Girl Scout Dad, a volunteer, and a GSTF board member. Brent helps oversee the cookie program for his daughters' troop. He gave us a behind-the-scenes look at the cookie program, shared how his daughters have grown through Girl Scouts and what it means to be a Girl Scout Dad.
How did you get started volunteering with Girl Scouts?
I got involved because my daughter, Ela, wanted to join. She was in kindergarten at the time. We saw a sign at her school for a local troop, and we signed up on the website. However, the troop did not form. I had also connected with fellow GSTF board member Eliza Fendell at a networking event. She introduced me to Lindsay McKay, who leads Troop 26. Ela loved the troop! When my youngest, Olivia, was old enough to join, she became a Daisy in the same troop.
My girls are now 9 and 8. Ela is a Junior, Olivia is a Brownie. It's been nice to watch and see that confidence in both of them develop. I truly believe in the Girl Scout mission, which is why I joined the board.
We hear you're a #1 Cookie Dad – give us a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the cookie program.
I do it because I see what an impact Girl Scouts have made on my daughters. At first, I said I wouldn't get involved with cookies or go camping. Now, I help co-lead our troop's cookie program with Lindsay and Vanessa in our troop.
There is a lot about the cookie program that most do not see. People don't see the efforts to get the cookies out, both from girls and the volunteers. The volunteers spend many hours and family time picking up and transporting cookies across town, setting up and staffing booths, helping girls learn how to sell, and all the back-end work of sorting, counting, and accounting. The digital cookie aspect also adds a whole other layer. The first year I got involved with cookies, we sold 16,000 cookies. We hosted a celebration to thank our troop's volunteers. Every year since then, I've become more involved. (Watch this Girl Scout Cookies highlight from Brent on Instagram.)
By the way, my entire family has now also gone camping.
Tell us about one of your favorite cookie-selling memories with your daughters.
At our first cookie booth, I was almost in tears, and Olivia was in tears after someone said "no," to her. She grew from it.
The cookie booth is a fantastic experience for both dads and daughters. Daughters get to show off their skills to you. I would love to see more Girl Scout Dads out there.
You've got a unique perspective as an entrepreneurship professor. What do you see the girls learning through the cookie program that will set them up for business success?
As a professor of entrepreneurship, I want my daughters to see that they have the opportunity to do their own thing and learn about entrepreneurship hands-on. Ela has learned to find her voice, and she loves one-on-one sales. She's the first to load up the wagon and walk around the neighborhood. Ela has developed a new confidence and a strong voice. Olivia now loves the booths. She has her pitch ready and is happy and quick to answer questions from customers.
What's your favorite Girl Scout cookie?
Trefoil. My mother loved Girl Scout cookies, and the Trefoils were her favorites. They were like gold in our household growing up. She would buy and freeze them, and we would take out one sleeve at a time. Do-si-do is my runner-up.
In a word, what does it mean to say, "I'm a Girl Scout Dad"?
Pride. More than anything, pride. I can see their growth in school and at home. You see them becoming their person being part of the troop. They feel more sure about themselves and have their footing. I'm very proud of them.