Saturday, November 28, 2015

Gold Award Spotlight: Lights, Camera, SPCA!

Girl Scout Ambassador Hanna from Virginia Beach has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor and achievement a girl can earn in Girl Scouting. 

As a junior volunteer at the Virginia Beach SPCA, Hanna recognized that inconsistent training methods were resulting in animal cages not being cleaned properly and staff having to take time away from their job roles to retrain volunteers. For her project, Hanna created a set of six instructional videos to train the SPCA’s junior volunteers. The videos included demonstrations of how to clean animal cages and insight from current volunteers about why they love volunteering with the SPCA. Her videos are now used during new volunteer orientation and are available on the SPCA’s website for volunteers to watch at any time.

As an SPCA volunteer, Hanna also noticed that oftentimes dogs are left sitting in their cages for most of the day waiting for food or playtime. In order to address this concern, she created toys using PVC pipes and tennis balls that SPCA staff and volunteers can fill with food to give the dogs an interactive and time consuming way to eat.

“I chose this project because of my love for animals and my interest in becoming a veterinarian,” Hanna said. “I hoped my videos would enable volunteers to gain the necessary information to get their jobs done correctly, and I hoped to provide the dogs at the shelter with entertainment and enjoyment during their time there.”

The Gold Award requires girls to identify an issue in their community and carry out a Take Action project to address the matter through leadership work. Nationwide, less than 6 percent of eligible Girl Scouts earn the Gold Award, which adds Hanna to an elite group of female leaders across the country with the honor.