By Rachel Hanebutt, Communications & Outreach Coordinator, PGK-Boston
“How is adoption a great option for helping homeless dogs?” and “Why is caring for animals such a big responsibility?” were a few of the tough, but important, questions the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts worked to tackle during their “Sneak Peak” with Project Giving Kids on September 12.
Traveling to Camp Cedar Hill for this service-oriented day of events attended by hundreds of Boston-area Girl Scouts, I was able to directly experience the impact Project Giving Kids has on kids’ thinking about service and giving back. In our two Sneak Peak sessions, over 60 Girl Scouts were given the opportunity to decorate quilt squares that would become three beautiful homeless dog quilts, a PGK activity inspired by Karma Rescue, an L.A.-based partner organization. This time, these quilts will be given to our local area partner, the MSPCA.
Not only did the girls create message-filled, functional works of art, the girls and their leaders also saw the versatility, first-hand, of PGK activities and how they can use these kinds of opportunities to learn more about causes they care about. After learning what PGK is all about, girls participated in a brainstorming discussion of what they could write or draw on their quilt squares that would inspire adoptions and “make dogs happy.”
“Taking care of pets is fun, but hard,” one Girl Scout admitted, when asked about the responsibility of taking care of her own dog. Others chimed in with reflections on how they might individually go about Aid[ing] the Animals, one of the many cause areas the PGK platform highlights. Troop leaders and parents were also given the opportunity to learn more about PGK, see PGK’s online Activity Finder in action, and discover the benefits of online registration for their Girl Scouts.
“I’ve never heard of anything like this,” one eager mother told me; her response was not uncommon, as many of the adults were excited to see that PGK was taking the guesswork out of local service activities for kids.
It is our hope this one-time activity will inspire Girl Scouts and their troop leaders to continue using PGK as a means to find fun ways to make a difference in the Boston area. Many girls left the session asking “Can I make another quilt at home?” Indeed you can, and we hope that is just the beginning.