Meet Jillian “Jill” Lewis, a GSCCC volunteer who is Girl Scout green through and through. Jillian spent 11 years as a girl member and has been an adult member since 2013. She is one of the volunteers who dreamt up the Cookie Classic Run nearly a decade ago, and since then it has grown into a major fundraising event for GSCCC! At the last Cookie Classic Run, we had more than 500 registered participants, and this year’s race is coming up on January 14, 2023 at the Great Dismal Swamp Canal Trail. (You can sign up for the 1 mile, 5K or 10K option, try our all-new Raspberry Rally Girl Scout Cookie, and afterwards, enjoy the Finisher’s Festival full of music and fun.)
“We were searching for a way to increase Girl Scout visibility and raise funds to help local girls participate in Girl Scout activities like camp,” Jill said. “Along with one other volunteer, the idea for a Girl Scout Cookie themed 5K was born! We recruited other volunteer helpers and set to work. The first Cookie Classic Run in 2015 was at Bells Mill Park, freezing cold, and attended by about 100 runners.”
As a member of the Cookie Classic committee, Jill manages a variety of tasks during the several months of planning needed to ensure the family-friendly race is a success, year after year. The result of the committee’s dedication and planning is a fun event for the community—all in support of GSCCC.
“We have grown each year, and are working to be January’s number one race. We’re in a unique time slot to accommodate runners training for the Shamrock half and full marathons, as well as folks who have started working on their New Year’s resolutions. We accommodate all runners and walkers, and since the course is fast and flat, it is the perfect place to work on a personal record or to get that first participant medal. While it is a Girl Scout sponsored event, it is not only for Girl Scouts—it is perfect for any runner or walker of any fitness level!”
Jill considered herself a “wogger” (walker/jogger) and enjoys staying active and being part of a larger community.
“I am not fast; like, at all. But, I love races. They are a fun way to keep moving, and every runner is genuinely cheering for the other runners whether they finish before them or after. I try to stay active prior to a race, and walk 3-5 miles about 5 days a week, pushing my son in a stroller. It is important to me to keep him engaged as well, because I want him to develop healthy habits early—he’s only 3, and he’s run three 1k races of his own!”
As a personal challenge, Jill is gearing up for the Shamrock Half Marathon in March and is using the Cookie Classic Run to help her prepare. Way to go Jill, and thanks for all of your dedication to making the annual Cookie Classic Run a success!
Jeanette makes being a volunteer, a military leader, and a mom look effortless.
GSCCC volunteers were honored at our “Shine Bright!” awards event on April 22.