Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Wild at Heart

It was a cold, blustery day when the six members of Girl Scout Troop 174 arrived at Virginia Wild Horse Rescue in February. The ground was muddy from recent rains and grey clouds loomed in the sky, a sign of the snowfall coming later in the day. With cameras in hand and a mission to help spread awareness about preserving the wild horses of Virginia and North Carolina, the girls didn’t let the weather stop them. They began roaming the property with their eyes peeled for the perfect photo opportunities.

Earlier in the year, the troop members had chosen Virginia Wild Horse Rescue as the organization that they wanted to help to earn the Girl Scout Bronze Award, which is the third highest award a girl can earn in Girl Scouting. After hours of researching wild horses and learning about digital photography from Elena Boyce, a troop mom and professional photographer, their big day had arrived. Each girl took dozens of photos at the farm, and they later each chose one to place on display at the Princess Anne Area Library.
Troop 174 with the photos they took at Virginia Wild Horse Rescue
On April 6, Troop 174 hosted a reception at the library, where they invited guests to see their photographs and learn more about the local wild horses. Donna and Gene Snow, the president and chairman of Virginia Wild Horse Rescue, spoke about the history of wild horses on local beaches and shared personal anecdotes about the horses they’ve rescued over the years.

Each member of Troop 174 with the photo they took to display
at the Princess Anne Area Library.
In addition to displaying their photos, each troop member wrote a story or poem to help explain the importance of protecting the wild horse population. They also put together an informational display about Virginia Wild Horse Rescue, complete with the organization’s donation wish list.

“I chose a picture that I took of Red Feather to put on display,” Bella, a member of Troop 174, said. “He’s had four babies hit and killed by cars in Sandbridge. His story is important to tell because it shows why it is so important to protect these horses.”

During the reception, Boyce presented the troop members with their newly-earned Digital Photography badges. The girls also presented Boyce and Terri Tresp, the manager of the Princess Anne Area Library, with a Community Award to show their appreciation for their help in the troop’s pursuit of the Bronze Award. After the girls submit their final paperwork and their Bronze Award project is approved, they will hold a ceremony to be pinned with their Bronze Award by their troop leader, Angela Sandelier.

For the girls in Troop 174, the reception did not mark the end of their work with the Virginia Wild Horse Rescue. At the end of the month, they’ll be back at the farm to paint the interior and exterior of the feed barn. They’ve also donated the photos that they displayed to the Virginia Wild Horse Rescue for the organization to sell and earn some money to help care for the horses.

For more information about opportunities to make a difference in the community with Girl Scouts, visit www.gsccc.org.