Sunday, October 20, 2013

Brownies: Pets Badge

My girls recently earned the Brownie Pet Badge.  I don't think there is a troop out there that does not enjoy earning this fun badge.  We did not do anything unusual earning this badge, but we did create a super easy dog toy craft and cat pouch that was easy for the girls to make.

In order to earn this badge I invited a pet trainer to our meeting to talk to the girls.  She talked about all sorts of things and answered oodles of questions.  She talked about dog and cat behavior and proper pet manners which included safety.  The pet trainer also works at the Humane Society of North Texas in Keller where the girls will visit this week for a field trip, so she prepped the girls for what they can expect to see.  The facility is small and with my large troop we had to be creative on how we intend to manage all these girls and PARENTS.  This was the most heavily volunteered field trip to date, I think I have 8 parents going.  We plan on having one group in the puppy and kitty room, one group touring the facility and one group outside viewing the gazebo area an eagle scout built.  I included hand-outs and activities from a great Girl Scout packet I found on the internet from the Broward County Humane Society in Florida.  This site has a packet for every GS level and is a wonderful resource.

CRAFT:  The girls created Braided Fleece Dog Pulls.  I used these internet instructions:
I had all the fleece pre-cut so the girls could just choose 3 strips in neon colors.  I had left-over strips so we cut them in half vertically and made smaller dog pulls, so each girl got to make 2 dog toys.  I was a bit leery that the girls might not be able to braid well, but was happily surprised that nearly all the girls in 3rd grade could braid easily!  Also the girls who knew how to braid, which was well over 3/4 of the troop, helped the girls who were just learning.  I did have to remind them frequently to pull the braids tightly.  Here are 3 completed toys the girls made and our bucket full of goodies!

We did not want to exclude or feline friends so we also made little kitty pouches full of catnip.  I filled baggies full of catnip and handed each girl a baggy of catnip, colorful ankle sock, small rub band and ribbon.  The girls then filled the sock with catnip and tightly sealed with a rubber band and decorated with a colorful bow.
The dog trainer stayed to help with this project and repetitively told me how grateful the shelter will be to receive so many wonderful toys for the animals!  Every shelter has a needs or wish list.  I e-mailed this to my parents and girls and requested donations.  I think when we attend the shelter this week we will bring lots of goodies to share.  Often times shelters need more than just dog food, they appreciate old linens, towels, office supplies, detergent, shampoo and soap.  Nearly everyone has these items in their house so it is not a huge inconvenience for parents to donate.

Update:  I decided to do a similar tour with my Cadettes this year since the Brownies had such an amazing experience at our local shelter.  We made the fleece dog pulls, but I decided to make small felt mice and fill with catnip for the older girls.  I cut out a simple half heart shape pattern, placed the pattern on fold line of grey felt and cut out the shape.  Then I sewed a pink nose and zig-zag stitched a grey string tail in the center of the fabric, when laid out flat.  I folded the fabric right sides together and tucked in the tail and sewed the edges together leaving a small hole to turn inside out.  I am a sewer so this did not take me very long.  I made about 20 mice in about an hour.  I left them right side together and had the girls turn them inside-out.
The girls used dixie cups 1/4 of the way filled with catnip to fill the mice.  If you squeeze the cardboard dixie cups the catnip falls nicely into the hole.  They then stuffed the mice with white filling and sewed the hole shut.  I had needles pre-loaded with grey thread and knotted for each girl, but of course you can allow your girls to thread.  I showed them how to sew a blind stitch on a demo mouse, some caught on quickly and others did not but, my girls did a nice job of sewing them together.  

Finally the older girls wanted to make pet tags for the shelter cages.  So I brought some craft paper, contact paper, markers, glue dots and index cards.  I had a few clever sayings for them to use, but was pleasantly surprised that they enjoyed coming up with their own "catch phrases"!

To PRINT out mouse pattern CLICK HERE
To PRINT mouse instructions CLICK HERE


  1. Thank you so much for including our resources on your website!

  2. Just noticed that you are using an old link. Can you update it to instead?

  3. Ewwww I love the new website page Humane Society of Broward County. Awesome!!!!