Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Bronze Award

Okay, obviously this is old news, but that's how far behind I am on things I've meant to blog about.

For the Bronze Award last year, Annabeth's troop decided to make items for animal rescue group.  One girl made blankets for dogs, Annabeth made cat toys, someone had a paper drive to gather newspapers for a rescue group, and another girl made horse blankets.

To start off her part of the project, Annabeth made cat toys by examining some of the more popular models we've purchased in the past.  She then cut up a pair of blue jeans Daddy was throwing out, sewed up tubes, and stuffed them with catnip.  We figured out which brand of catnip to use by going to PetSmart and standing in the aisle sniffing various containers until we found one with some "oomph".

She decided to stuff the catnip in the toys outdoors for easier cleanup.  She ended up using a plastic bag as a funnel.  Also, she ended up standing farther away from any lawn furniture so that the cats couldn't "help".

Then she took them back inside and sewed up the end.  The first couple were sent for rigorous field testing by our experts, who still enjoy playing with them months later.  Also, the stitching was found to be tough enough to withstand vigorous use.

Later, the troop got together so that the girls could teach each other how to make the various blankets and toys.   That way everyone got to work on everything.

By this time we had purchased a pair of men's jeans at Goodwill (size in the extra-large range -- more fabric for our $3!), laundered them to get out some of the fabric softener (what is it with Goodwill clothes and fabric softener -- they're always saturated in the stuff, and it gives me a headache -- no way I'd subject an animal to that).

And we delivered our cat toys to Open Door Animal Shelter, which I believe is where the dog blankets also went.

In the meantime, Annabeth had been totally captivated with the concept of making horse blankets.  She ended up getting together with a couple of the other girls who wanted to work more on that project.  It took a surprising amount of time to cut out and put together a single blanket, which is somewhat made-to-measure.  This was delivered to Longmeadow Rescue Ranch for use by one of the smaller ponies.

 Apparently the smaller horses have more need of blankets in the winter.  When they come in from their prior living situation they can have issues that have worn away some of their coat (like rain rot).  Also, some of the horses get really freaked out about having blankets buckled about their legs, so these are just a lightweight layer.

They still have the strapping and buckles to make a couple of more blankets, which this particular group of girls would like to do.  No doubt the future versions of the blanket will go more quickly now that they've figured out the directions.   (The girl in charge of this project had purchased a pattern from somewhere, but I've no clue where.  I think to find appropriate webbing and buckles they ended up ordering from a place on the west coast that supplies rock climbers and campers -- mostly because her family is familiar with that vendor from when they lived there, and couldn't find the stuff locally.)

Overall, a decent group of projects, and a good experience.


Freakmom said...

Congats on her project! Is she thinking Silver in the future? Violet said no thank you to silver. I told her if she changed her mind before it was too late to let me know, but it is a lot of work I understand not wanting to.

I think we'll have to try those cat toy too. Your experts gave them such high reviews!

Anonymous said...

I just found your blog while looking for some GS material. I found it a good read.

While looking through some of the activities you and your children are involved in, I thought you may be interested in looking into the President's Volunteer Service Award. (one of the few non-GS related awards that are allowed on GS uniforms) basically it awards volunteers for their service. (Gold, Silver, and Bronze) I am currently working with my daughters and their troop to earn one of these.

you can google it or click here... http://www.presidentialserviceawards.gov/