Yes, I know the expression is going for the gold, but for a group of inspiring Junior Scouts, it was all about going for the Bronze (Award)! We recently had the honor to participate in a “Paws in the Park” event that these girls put together all by themselves!
The Girl Scouts Organization was started in 1912, by Juliette “Daisy” Gordon Low, on the belief that all girls should be given the opportunity to develop physically, mentally, and spiritually. Since its inaugural group of 18 children, the organization has grown to an annual enrollment of 2 million girls and 800,000 adult volunteers. Today, over 59 million women are considered alumnae of the Girl Scout Organization.
Junior Girl Scouts
The Junior Girl Scouts consists of girls in grades 4-5. As a Junior Scout, girls learn all about personal power and the role that they can play in their community. During their time as a Junior Girl Scout a Journey is completed where girls develop a personal leadership style through real life experiences that promote the three “Keys to Leadership”.
The Keys to Leadership help girls along their Journey by:
- Discovering her special skills and talents, setting goals, living life by her values, and showing pride not only in where she is headed but where she comes from.
- Connecting with others; teaming up to solve conflicts, and having healthy relationships.
- Taking Action and making the world a better place; learning a lot about her community and the world along the way.
The Bronze Award
The Bronze Award is the highest honor a Junior Girl Scout can earn. According to the Girls Scouts of Western New York website:
The Girl Scout Bronze Award, the highest honor a Junior Girl Scout can earn, requires her to learn the leadership and planning skills necessary to follow through on a project that makes a positive impact on her community. Working towards this award demonstrates her commitment to helping others, improving her community and the world, and becoming the best she can be.
The girls of Troop 40133 have spent most of this school year learning about issues that affect our pets including adoption, responsible pet ownership, and the role of service animals.
Service Projects and Involvement
- Working with Service Animals – The girls were visited by a service dog who taught them all about the training that is needed to become a service dog, the importance of their work, and the proper way to interact with a working dog. The girls learned so much from this experience that I ended up taking off Harley’s poop vest because so many of the girls asked if he was “working” before petting him!
- Pet Adoption/Care – The girls were visited by Happy Tails Rescue of the Ontario County Humane Society. From this experience the girls learned about responsible pet ownership, pet adoption instead of shopping, as well as the ins and outs of shelter operation.
- The girls also learned about careers working with animals and did their own research about the issues that impact animal welfare.
Paws in the Park
After their year long Journey exploring animal welfare, the girls decided that they wanted their Bronze Award Project to be an event that would help them to share what they have learned with their whole community. With their mission of helping to raise awareness about responsible pet ownership, proper animal care, and adoption in mind, the girls successfully planned, advertised, and completed the Paws In the Park event held on Saturday, May 9th at Kershaw park in Canandaigua, NY.
So what types of things did the girls plan for this event?
- Happy Tails – Ontario County Humane Society: A representative from Happy Tails Shelter came to the event armed with lots of information and his super cute sidekick who travels with him to help spread the word about responsible pet ownership and the benefits of adoption.
- MyDogLikes – We had a table set up at the event to talk about careers in the pet industry and promote our mission of living a healthy, active pet-friendly lifestyle. We gave away 2 baskets of our favorite goodies and also passed out information on some of the great dog friendly parks and businesses in the Rochester, NY area.
- Bake Sale – The girls made lots of yummy goodies like “Puppy Chow”, Banana Bread, Cookies, and Brownies; appealing to every sweet tooth at the event. The girls worked on their customer service skills, practiced giving exact change, and used their communication skills. We were quite pleased that our table was right next to the baked goods, and these tasty treats helped fuel us throughout the event!
- Gift Shop – The girls spent countless hours making pet blankets, cat/dog toys, and collecting other goods like calendars for pet lovers. The girls gave these items away, asking for a donation of any size if patrons were able.
- Shelter Supply Drive – The girls collected a huge amount of goods that are needed for daily operations at the shelter like paper towels, laundry detergent, and food!
Playing together and having fun is key to nurturing the bond between humans and animals and one of the true joys of pet companionship. Troop 40133 certainly did not forget about having a good time, with a wide variety of activities planned for kids and dogs alike!
- Kids Zone – The girls didn’t forget about the human children, providing temporary tattoos, coloring pages, and other fun activities for kids!
- Obstacle Course/Activity Center – Get those pups moving with games and activities to play together like frisbee, and lawn hockey. Charlie was clearly a fan!
- Salon – Grooming is an important aspect of dog ownership but it can also be a lot of fun! The girls were eager to find the perfect accessory for any dog who stopped in using their own homemade bows and bandanas.
- Dog Swimming in Canandaigua Lake – What better way to cap off a fun afternoon in the park than a dip in the lake! There was no way the MyDogLikes crew could leave before getting wet!
An all around Good Time
As you can see, a good time was had by all who attended. We were so glad to be invited to take part, and of course our boys loved getting a bit of extra attention as well!
A GOLD Effort!
At the end of the event, girls were awarded their Bronze Award and honored for their amazing accomplishments.
In all, the girls raised $250 and several truck loads of goods for their local shelter. Not only was the event fun, but it helped the community better understand what is involved in being a responsible pet owner. We are incredibly proud of these 4th and 5th grade girls for planning this event and so grateful that we were asked to be there. If the mission of Girl Scouting is to “build girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place” Troop 40133 is well on their way to that goal!