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.
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.