Farmingdale, NJ - What did you do this summer? If you ask a local Girl Scout this question, she might tell you she visited Savannah, Georgia, the birthplace of Girl Scouts or traveled across Europe to places like London, Paris and Rome. Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore believes that every girl should have the opportunity to travel and learn about history and culture. Fortunately, the annual Girl Scout product sale program is the perfect opportunity for local Girl Scouts to set their travel goals and earn funds for their chosen trip.

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Local Girl Scouts recently visited Savannah, Ga., the birthplace of Girl Scouts, as part of the Mini Wider Opportunities offered by Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore.

Each year, Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore sponsors national and international trips known as Wider Opportunities, and shorter, less expensive trips called Mini Wider Opportunities. This year’s Wider Opportunities included the aforementioned trip to Europe, while the 2011 Mini Wider Opportunities offered a trip to Savannah, Ga. Upcoming Wider Opportunities include a visit to London, Paris and Barcelona in 2012 followed by Europe and Australia in 2013. Girls choose which trip they’d like to take ahead of time and work together to achieve the necessary funds to support that trip through money-making activities such as the annual Girl Scout product sale program. From September through March, Girl Scouts throughout Monmouth and Ocean counties sells nuts, magazines and, of course, the popular Girl Scout cookies.

“The value in Girl Scout product sales is twofold. On one hand, girls can earn money to support their goals and on the other they’re learning essential life skills while having fun at the same time,” said Jenny Cody, senior director, program services for the Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore. “Whether her goal is a trip to Europe or to plan a community event, she’s not only earning funds for that goal, but also experiencing important lessons such as business ethics and money management that she’ll take with her for the rest of her personal and professional life.”

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Local Girl Scouts pose in front of the Louvre in Paris as part of the Wider Opportunities trip across Europe offered by Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore.

Girl Scout product sale activities feature age-appropriate lessons that combine business basics with the fun commonly associated with Girl Scout activities. The program builds leadership, financial and literacy skills with girls actively making discoveries and decisions about marketing, budgeting and goal setting. Consequently, parents appreciate the program for both the life lessons taught to their daughters, as well as the goals and dreams girls can achieve that might otherwise be out of reach financially.

For more information on Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore Wider and Mini Wider Opportunities, as well as the annual product sale program, visit www.girlscoutsjs.org.