Helping hands: Local Girl Scouts earn top award for service

Chad Frey
The Kansan
Kelsey Wolfe plays with some of the cats at Caring Hands after delivering some cat toys as part of a Girl Scout service project.

Newton Girl Scout Troop 41384 spent part of their afternoon Tuesday delivering cat toys to Caring Hands Humane Society — toys they had made as part of a service project that earned them the highest award available for a fifth-grade scout. 

"Our girls decided to support the humane society, ad the decided to make cat toys, a cat hammock and other things — some feather toys and bells," said Gail Wolfe, a troop leader and parent. "They wanted to help the animals."

Five members of the troop banded together to earn the Bronze Award — Brecken Weimer, Kelsey Wolfe, Dianna Haines, Kaitlin Schmidt and Scout Wedel — and put in the volunteer hours needed. 

Their love of cats was evident when the delivery was made — the girls were able to visit one of the cat rooms at Caring Hands, 1400 SE 3rd St, and play with the cats there. One cat, who was dubbed "New Fireball" by the scouts, was the first to give the hammock a try. 

Girl Scout Troop 41384 delivers pet food and cat toys to Caring Hands Humane Society  as a service project.

Others were distracted by feather/bell toys held by the scouts as they visited. 

 "When the girls were talking [about projects] they kept coming back to the animals, over and over again," said Adrianne Wedel, troop leader and parent. "Most of the girls in our troop have pets and are animal lovers. The idea of of helping animals that do not have homes yet was very appealing — especially during the pandemic."

One of the cats at Caring Hands puts a hammock/toy stand made by girl scout Scout Wedel to use after it was delivered this week.

Scouts can earn the award by putting in 20 hours of voluntary service, and these girls not only met that goal but exceeded it. Most put in more than 30 hours of work that included cutting cardboard mats, sewing and construction of toys. 

"Also with our girl scout cookies, we decided to the purchase some dog food and cat food for the humane society as well," Gail Wolfe said. "... They worked really hard at this."

The girls started the project in November, coming up with toys they could make and working on those during troop meetings. 

Dianna Haines plays with the cats at Caring Hands Humane Society using a toy she made as part of a Girl Scout service project

They also completed a "Girl Scout Journey," choosing the outdoor track, in preparation for the Bronze Award. That journey included camping, learning how to build a campfire, hiking  and working on building an animal habitat. 

"They did quite a bit to earn this award," Gail Wolfe said.