When I asked the girls in my Cadette troop (yes, I've resigned to the fact that I'm a Girl Scout leader again this year) what they wanted to do for their community service, the unanimous answer was "Work with the Animal Rescue League."
Unfortunately, there are pesky rules about how old you have to be to volunteer at the animal shelter. As in, you need to be 16 and these girls are only 11.
Luckily, the woman who runs the shelter was gracious enough to allow us to come for a visit and talk to the girls about other ways in which they could help the animals. The girls latched onto her suggestion to hold a blanket and towel drive, to provide clean bedding and warm places for the animals to curl up in for the coming winter.
And then we got to visit the kitten enclosure, and play with the little cuties that are there for adoption. And no, we didn't bring any home.
We also visited with the dogs, but through the cages. Like I mentioned, there are rules and age limits, so although the girls had thought they could walk the dogs or play with them to help out, all they could do was say hello through the wire.
Now for the real work.
The first part of the project is to help organize the donations that the shelter already has in storage. I'll be picking up the other girls and headed to the shelter bright and early Saturday - oops, I mean tomorrow! - to sort, organize, and label storage bins.
The girls have already asked for and receive permission from our local community center and public library to put collection boxes in their lobbies for the month of November. We talked about what makes a good, eye-catching poster and started making some, and got an offer from the local cable channel that if we write up some copy, they will air our public service announcement about the collection. The girls are also going to design flyers to put on community bulletin boards around town... but judging from the posters, I think we'd be better off creating the flyers on the computer. But that's up to them. This is their project.
But still, I wonder if there is more that I could suggest or encourage. Who else has done a similar service project, and what has worked for you? Maybe I could encourage them to also write copy for the local newspaper? Any ideas and suggestions are welcome... And much appreciated by this (semi-reluctant) Girl Scout leader!