Saturday, September 10, 2016

Girl Scouts Help Wildlife Program

Emily, Grace and Chloe from Girl Scout Troop 176 in Norfolk have earned the Girl Scout Silver Award, the second highest honor and achievement a girl can earn in Girl Scouting. For their Silver Award project, the girls worked with the Virginia Beach SPCA Wildlife Program, which provides care for orphaned, injured and displaced wildlife.

The girls started their project by talking to staff and volunteers at the SPCA about their needs for the wildlife program. After learning that the SPCA was in need of more animal habitats, the girls got to work right away. They built 15 birdhouses and five bat boxes. They also sewed 25 pouches, which are used to mimic the natural environment of young, orphaned opossums. In order to make an even bigger impact, the girls raised money to purchase supplies, including birdseed and other animal feed, that they donated to the SPCA.

“The girls are all very fond of wildlife,” Girl Scout Troop 176 leader Jennifer Kodolitsch said. “They know that all animals, no matter how big or small, impact the planet in one way or another.”

After building the animal habitats and collecting supplies, the girls visited the SPCA Wildlife Program to drop off their donations. While there, they had a tour of the facility to see some of the animals that they were helping through their project.

In addition to directly helping animals in need, the girls wanted to expand their project and added an educational component to teach local children about wild animals and their impact on the environment. In order to do this, the girls led activities at the Pretlow Branch Library and Slover Library, where they shared information handouts, stories, games and crafts with children there.

The Silver Award is the highest award that middle school Girl Scouts can earn. To earn the award, Girl Scouts have to identify a need in the community and carry out a Take Action project to address the matter through leadership work.