21 May 2008

Bronze Award Project

Thalia decided to earn her Bronze Award while in Junior Girl Scouts this year. The Bronze Award is the highest award given to a Junior Scout.

To earn it she needed to earn a Sign, a leadership award, and 2 badges related to her project. She then needed to spend 15 hours on a project that would benefit the community.

Thalia decided to earn the Sign of the Star, mostly because it was fairly easy to earn solo (the Bronze Award and Signs are often earned as a troop).

She had earned the Junior Aid award back in Ohio when she helped run a Brownie meeting.

The two badges she earned were Pet Care, and Yarn and Fabric Arts.

Then she was ready to start her project -- making blankets for cats in shelters. She would've preferred to actually work directly with the animals, but is too young to do so. I thought this was sort of creative in that she came up with a way to do something for the animals in spite of her youth.

She ended up making fleece blankets -- the kind that take 2 layers of fleece with fringes tied together. The shelter specified that they would like the blankets to be 14 inches square. Frankly, this was the toughest part of the entire project -- getting the specifications for the blankets. During this part of the project Thalia learned that nonprofit organizations are often understaffed and may not return phone calls until you call them several times.

We had the fleece with multi-colored cats on it already (I had bought it when Thalia was a toddler, thinking I would make a jacket for her). We waited for a sale at JoAnn's to get some solids for $2.99 per yard, and also found some large pieces for cheap in the remnant bin. We're all about the cheap materials here.

She ended up making 14 blankets. Our cats tested them out, and thought they were great. For the record, after we finally got the cats off of them she washed the blankets before actually taking them to the shelter.

At the end of the year her troop had a candle ceremony for the 3 girls who had earned their Bronze Award. And the leader mentioned it, then, in the Court of Awards that was held jointly with the Brownies and Cadettes -- the leader thinks Girl Scouts needs to make more of a fuss about the Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards. But, hey, if we started counting the ways Girl Scouts could be better we'd be here all day, right? So let's be happy we had a nice troop in a decent Council.

Thalia has now officially bridged to Cadettes, so we're poised to start on the Silver Award. Yeehaw. Or maybe "aaack" would be more appropriate. I feel like I just figured out how to "do" Juniors, and now it all changes.


Tara said...

That's such a nice project. Tess and her friend did something similar last year, knitting blankets to take to the shelter and holding a bake sale to raise funds. It really made them feel good to make that contribution.
BTW, I love the name Thalia.

Weaver said...

congratulations on such a fantastic acheivement!!! I am so proud to be able to say that I "know" a Bronze Award winner! The project was a fantastic way to help the place you wanted in a way that you could. Congrats!!!