Junior journey for the animals

Junior Troop 4011 finishes blanket, towel drive for the Gastineau Humane Society

Posted: Sunday, December 13, 2009

In its first-ever such drive, a group of eight fifth-grade girls collected bags of used towels and blankets for a local animal shelter.

Kim Andree / Juneau Empire
Kim Andree / Juneau Empire

In culmination of their Junior Journey, Girl Scout Junior Troop 4011 dropped off approximately 20 full garbage bags of blankets and towels Saturday at the Gastineau Humane Society as part of its Take Action Project.

Troop co-leader Peggy Barnhill said the girls started the journey last year, to earn their Power of One, Power of Team and Power of Community badges.

"The idea is to take a 'journey' to discover the strengths of the individual girls and come together as a team to undertake a service project that will make the world a better place, which is one of the goals in the Girl Scout Law," Barnhill said. "We hope they learned their own individual strengths and talents, and learned how to work together as a team with the realization that they can combine their individual talents to come up with a greater whole."

Barnhill said the drive grew out of a visit one day to the shelter.

"The girls worked together as a team to choose to do a project benefiting animals and visited the humane society to see what needs they had," she said. "They really wanted to do a project to help out animals."

Starting Nov. 12, the troop put collection boxes in the Nugget Mall, Mendenhall Mall and Alaskan&Pround, empting them more than once. In all they collected bags of towels, blankets, comforters and even some cans of cat food.

"The Humane Society is very concerned about keeping the animals and their living areas as clean as possible, to prevent the spread of disease," Barnhill said. "They need lots of towels for this task. In a behind the scenes way, the girls are contributing to the health and well being of the animals who pass through the shelter."

Troop members sewed cat toys and braided dog chew toys for the society to give to families when they adopt a pet. They also sewed a cat teepee to put in one of the cat rooms where volunteers come to spend time with the cats to socialize them.

"(We hope the girls) learned that together they can take action to do a meaningful project to benefit others in the community and ultimately realize that they, as fifth graders, have the power to make a difference in their community and in the world."

Girl Scout Junior Troop 4011 meets at Riverbend Elementary School.

• Contact Neighbors editor Kim Andree at kim.andree@juneauempire.com.

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