‘Cookie Monster’ earns hundreds of dollars

11-year-old Claire McEwen pays her own way through two summer camps



Deidrea Power-McEwen and 11-year-old Claire McEwen talk about the Girl Scout Cookie selling process Monday evening in their home. “Sometimes loving your product makes it easier to sell it,” Claire said.

RACHEL KOCH, Evergreen reporter

Claire McEwen, 11, is a Girl Scout with a reputation. After selling over 5,000 boxes of Girl Scout cookies since 2015, her troop members nicknamed her “The Cookie Monster.”

Claire, who first joined the Girl Scouts 6 years ago, likes the nickname, she said.

“I love a lot of Girl Scout cookies, so sometimes loving your product makes it easier to sell it,” Claire said.

Meanwhile, Claire’s mother, Deidrea Power-McEwen, attributes her daughter’s success in selling cookies to her ability to approach customers, Power said.

“Motivation, I think, is really a key goal because when you have a good motive, it’s easier to push forward,” Claire said.

Claire said her current goal is to make enough money from selling cookies to go to Camp Four Echoes, a Girl Scout camp near Coeur d’Alene Lake. She has paid her own way from the cookie funds for several years.

“I have never paid for this kid to go to camp, not because we don’t want to, but for her. She wants to do it herself,” Power said. “She pays for two separate camps for herself. That’s hundreds of dollars that she earns through this.”

Aside from Camp Four Echoes, Claire also goes to Just the 2 of Us, which is at Camp Four Echoes, and allows Girl Scouts to bring a parent or other adult of their choice to participate in camp activities for a weekend.

For the past 3 years, Jean-Sabin McEwen, Claire’s father, has gone to the camp with her, he said.

“It’s a lot of fun,” McEwen said. “It’s really nice to spend some time with her, and I enjoy the various activities with her. It’s a beautiful place.”

However, McEwen felt slightly uncomfortable the first year he went to Just the 2 of Us with Claire because the other girls had brought their mothers, and he was the only dad there, he said.

The Girl Scout troop wouldn’t exist without the support of the parents, Claire said. Willing parents such as Power volunteer their time, effort and sometimes garages in the name of the troop.

“You can’t see our garage,” Power said. “It’s just cookies as far as the eye can see.”

The number of volunteer parents has grown from one to four over the years, Claire said.

Power said that without her outgoing personality, Claire would likely struggle with selling cookies because she is an older Girl Scout. However, Claire’s age has also benefitted her.

“With the younger Girl Scouts, some of them are a little shy and aren’t used to talking with customers,” Power said.

Claire uses her age as an asset because the Girl Scouts help girls in seventh grade and up earn $0.50 per box toward college or trade school scholarships, Power said.

Claire participates in a variety of activities outside of the Girl Scouts, such as volleyball, tennis, basketball and playing the trumpet, McEwen said. However, Claire decided to take a step back from other activities to focus more on schoolwork.

“We’ve had to encourage her to kind of relax a little bit,” Power said. “She needs to focus on her schoolwork.”

Claire enjoys being a Girl Scout because of the experiences and the new friends she has made, she said.

Claire’s parents have also found their niche through their daughter’s Girl Scout troop.

“A lot of girls are blessed with large families in the area,” Power said. “We’re implants. We don’t have that, so it’s given us a sense of community.”

This story was updated to correct the number of cookies Claire sold.