Six girls from USA Girl Scouts in Paris have been awarded the Girl Scout Bronze Award for their work in assisting and bringing awareness to needy and abandoned pets in the Paris area. Receiving the award were Lily P., Lucy F., Eléonore G., Pascale C., Vicki P. and Emily C., all from Paris Junior Troop 35. The troop decided to create their “Lend a Paw” project after discovering their mutual love of animals last fall. During a visit to the S.P.A. Plaisirs, they were given a behind-the-scenes tour of the facility, where they were heartbroken to see 5 newborn kittens who had been found in a garbage dumpster that very morning. Fueled by their visit, the girls set out to donate materials as well as raise awareness about the plight of unwanted animals in Paris.
The girls worked on their effort for nearly a year. They held a collection for donated materials outside a pet supply store, pet sat for neighbors and relatives, and learned to sew in order to create dozens of crafts to sell and raise money to purchase new items for the animals of the S.P.A. Using recycled socks and T-shirts, they made pull-toys and catnip treats to donate to the refuge as well. During the annual Paris Girl Scout Camp Out, the girls shared their message about how kids can help rescue animals with other Paris Girl Scouts. “It was fun to work on a project with others, I learned skills about leadership, listening, and making a plan,” said Troop 35 member Emily C., ‘I feel proud that I helped the animals feel better and less lonely”.
By the end of their project, the girls had received donations of over 65kg of cat and dog food, 50+ litres of kitty litter, and a bagful of leashes, collars and toys. They made a dozen (recycled) pull-toys and cat toys, and made over 100€ in pet-sitting and craft sales. The money will be used to buy more food, litter and toys for the animals at the S.P.A.
The Girl Scout Bronze Award, the highest award a Girl Scout Junior can earn, recognizes the leadership and planning skills required to follow through with a project that makes a positive difference in the community.
Originally printed in Expatriates Magazine – Issue 17 – October 2015