Skip to main content

Southlake Style

Local Girl Scout Troop Works Toward Bronze Award

Mar 01, 2016 07:51AM ● By Audrey Sellers

Girl Scouts of the USA is more than 2.7 million members strong. It’s 1.9 million girls and 800,000 adults who are on a mission to change the world. And oftentimes, that change starts right at home. Just ask the nearly 30 girls in Troop #4005. This group, comprised of many students from Durham Intermediate, saw a need in the community and found a way to help. They also have their sights set on the Bronze Award, the highest award a Girl Scout Junior can achieve.

Their troop leader, Shannan Needleman, R.N., says the troop had no difficulty coming up with a service project to get them in the running for the award. “After touring our local animal shelter, the girls knew they wanted to do a service project related to animals,” she says. “They voiced an interest in finding a way for every dog to get adopted. They did not want the pets in the animal shelters very long.”

In an effort to remind the community of the many shelter dogs in need of a good home, the girls developed the idea to make brightly colored vests for dogs to wear.

To make all the vests, the troop partnered with JoAnn’s in Grapevine. The store created a class, including an instructor and use of the educational room and sewing machines, for a small fee per girl. The store also offered a discount on supplies so the project wouldn’t be such a large financial undertaking.

Needleman created patterns in three different sizes, a prototype vest and instructions. With help from JoAnn’s, she was able to offer three four-hour classes accommodating seven girls per class. 

“We taught many girls who had never sewn a stitch in their life. After four hours, they created a very professional-looking vest,” Needleman says. “It instilled a great deal of confidence in the girls. Many were scared to begin using the machines and with gentle encouragement and a step-by-step process, the girls overcame their fear. This was a valuable life lesson for them and probably my crowning achievement in relation to this project.”

At the end of the project, the troop had 30 vests, which they plan to donate at the second annual Dogs and Cars event in Southlake on April 9.

“Since four animal shelters will be present at this event with adoptable dogs, we feel we can make the biggest impact in our community by donating to all of these organizations,” says Needleman.

Their service project also caught the attention of local news station, Fox 4. News anchor Clarice Tinsley interviewed the girls for her “Hometown Heroes” segment.

“The girls were super excited to hear Clarice wanted to feature them on her segment,” Needleman says. “They are now a part of her 21-year tradition, which is a neat legacy to leave behind from your Girl Scout experience.”

Click here to see Fox 4’s story.