Making Thin Mint Memories at the Newseum

What do Thin Mint Memories, a Nellie Bly scavenger hunt, and Girl Scout karaoke have in common? All three were recently featured at the Girl Scout Day at the Newseum event. On March 4, 2017, more than 1,000 Girl Scouts, leaders, and parents from the Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital came to the Newseum in Washington, DC, for a day of interactive activities. With so many cookie lovers coming to this event, the Thin Mint Memories team—Carole Hayward, Publisher of Clear Message Press, Jennifer Henderson, Clear Message Press’s Social Media Maven, and I—were thrilled to be invited to participate.

When we arrived, there were already Daisy, Brownie, Junior, Cadette, and Senior Scouts moving about in every direction. We made our way downstairs and were blown away by the beautiful sign in front of the Newseum Documentary Theater that invited all to come in and hear our story. Our presentation was scheduled to begin at one so we sprang into action. After setting up two cameras on tripods and divvying up responsibilities between my amazing helpers—thanks Monica, Lauren, Gillian, and Adam!—we were ready.

The girls and their leaders and parents began to stream in and it was show time! First up was Jennifer, who talked about social media, using Moana and Disney as great examples that the girls could relate to. She also let the group know that we would be live tweeting and broadcasting segments of our talk on Facebook Live. A show of hands let us know that Snapchat was by far the most popular form of social media for our audience, though I wonder if the fun of giving themselves rabbit ears and kitten whiskers didn’t drive a lot of that traffic.

Next, Carole and I interviewed each other, “Inside the Actors Studio” style, about our paths as a publisher and a writer. And since we both had been Girl Scouts and had been in leadership roles in our daughters’ troops—Carole served as a cookie manager and I served as a leader—we had a lot to talk about! In between our “chat” topics, which were accompanied by colorful PowerPoint slides, we gave the audience a chance to show off their Girl Scout cookie knowledge by answering trivia questions. Everyone was given a two-sided card—one side was pink and the other was blue—and the girls and adults enthusiastically held up the appropriate side that corresponded with their answers. One Scout even came up the front to name all the cookie flavors for sale this year and she confidently rattled them off without hesitation.

Our time ended after I did a couple of readings from Thin Mint Memories. Once more, the audience played an active role when they helped me reenact a booth sale by calling out (when directed) Girl Scout cookies! Get your Girl Scout cookies! The hour went so quickly and too soon we were saying goodbye and handing out bookmarks as the girls went on to start their next activities.

Carole, Jennifer, and I hurried upstairs where the book signing station was set up and we began the second part of our time at the Newseum. We loved visiting with the girls and their parents and leaders and I was honored to sign the books for many cookie fans. I met many aspiring authors and more than a few Thin Mint lovers.

When I was researching and writing Thin Mint Memories, one of my goals was to share my story with Girl Scouts, young and old. I’m so grateful that I had a chance to inspire others at the Girl Scout Newseum event, making it one of my favorite Thin Mint Memories of all time!

Shelley Carey

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