Diving for Cookies

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You won't find Girl Scouts Troop 40348 behind tables stacked high with delicious cookies outside a local grocery store. Instead, as the nation's first Scuba Troop, the girls conduct their cookie sales at the bottom of a swimming pool. Choose pickup — which involves putting on your own scuba gear and diving below — or delivery, where the girls send the cookies to the surface.

With help from their troop leaders (who are all professional scuba dive instructors), the 11-member group, ranging in age from 12 to 16 years old, have become certified in scuba diving and can do both shallow and deep dives. Now, from game nights and glow parties to carving pumpkins, most troop events take place underwater.

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Activities move beyond just fun and games, though. The group created an annual Women's Dive Day to educate the public on contributions made by female scuba divers. Their first event was a scavenger hunt where the Scouts produced small write-ups on female divers and hid them in their local lake, which were later discovered by participating divers.

The girls also use their skills to clean up invasive species in local springs and pick up underwater trash. They raise awareness about ocean conservation, engaging in discussions on how to minimize the use of plastic and their environmental footprint. The troop even used some cookie money to visit the Florida Keys and volunteer at a coral restoration facility as they work to build a better future for themselves and others.

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