It’s in the Girl Scout DNA to help in a time of crisis. In fact, over 62% of K-5 girls (surveyed by GSUSA in April) want to do community service activities, and 72% want to do activities that help their community. That’s why one of the first at-home program opportunities we put together for girls once COVID-19 social distancing was in effect was a Guide to Helping Others, a summary of ideas and opportunities to serve the community safely. Not surprisingly, some of the most exciting projects in our Council have been around helping animals!
Animal-related Girl Scout badges are commonly completed. They include the Brownie Pets Badge, Junior Animals Habitats Badge, Cadette Animal Helper Badge, and Senior Voices for Animals Badge. And our Council offers the PetSmart Paw Patch in partnership with PetSmart Charities, which is one of our most popular patch programs (10,000 patches have been earned and distributed in the last two years!).
While the badges and patches are a fun way to engage girls in pet care, advocacy, and veterinary careers, girls have leveraged these opportunities to give back to their community. Most girls, when completing the badge and patch requirements, conduct pet care supply drives, volunteer at local shelters, and make pet toys, sew blankets, and pillows.
Supporting animals is a special and unique way for girls to be of service in this time of need – as many girls love animals, they quickly see how pets are important members of our communities, and this helps fill a gap when animals aren’t top of mind for all adults during this pandemic directly affecting people.
So far during the pandemic, girls have earned the Girl Scout Pet Badges and PetSmart Paw patch through several exciting service projects:
- Council-wide service project - Girls made and donated pet supplies for the Arizona Humane Society Service project
- Council-wide donation drive - Troop 2232 led a drive that inspired many sister-Girl Scouts to support the Navajo Nation and Hopi Lands with pet food and care items.
- Troop 3589 earned their PetSmart Paw Patch through virtual troop meetings at home!
We’re proud of how girls are taking charge and caring for Arizona—feeling inspired, too?
>>Choose a way to help others
>>See more virtual Girl Scout opportunities