Education and Community Enrichment Go Hand in Hand for Girl Scout Troup 513 as Their Participation in America’s Family Pet Expo Resulted in a Learning Opportunity for the Girls and a New Pet for a Local Classroom.
Girl Scout Troop 513, a Brownie troop located in Rancho Santa Margarita, have once again put their love for animals into action by getting involved in the America’s Family Pet Expo as well as the Pets in the Classroom grant program. The Troop’s involvement provided them with a hands-on learning opportunity and a chance to pass on their love for animals.
The Brownie Troop, which consists of 12 girls ages 8-9, has a history of doing activities that involve learning about and caring for animals. Past projects include:
- Making pet beds and bringing them along with toys and treats to the Animal Urgent Care of South Orange County.
- Going to Wags and Wiggles in Rancho Santa Margarita and learning to train dogs using different kinds of commands.
- Adopting a rescued Sea Lion from the Pacific Marine Mammal Institute, visiting him during his rehabilitation, and watching four sea lions be released into the ocean.
- Donating food and supplies to the Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary of CSUF Arboretum.
- Visiting Dana Point Harbor to the Ocean Institute and learning about, viewing and touching animals from the local ocean.
Past projects have provided the opportunity for the troop to learn more about animals, their habitats, and our environment as a whole. This recent project with America’s Family Pet Expo and Pets in the Classroom was no exception.
At America’s Family Pet Expo, a pet and pet product expo consisting of pet shows & demonstrations, animal experts, pet adoptions, hands-on petting and learning opportunities, each of the troop members registered to be a part of the Kid’s Aquarium Contest, a learning program designed to teach children about the habitat of fish and the rewards of pet care. Each troop member was given an aquarium to design an environment for. In preparation for the field trip to the Expo, the troop visited a pet store to learn more about fish and fish aquariums. Then, at the Expo, an expert explained the basic care guidelines and helped teach them how to be responsible pet owners.
“America’s Family Pet Expo is sort of like Disneyland for those who love animals,” said Dee Ann Lazatin, Co-Leader of the Troop. “And our girls love animals! They were all so excited.”
In addition to learning more about animals and animal care, the Troop wanted to give the proceeds of their Girl Scout Cookie sales to an animal- related charity. The Troop chose to donate the funds to the Pets in the Classroom Grant Program, which provides teachers with funding to purchase and maintain a classroom pet.
“Our Troop chose to participate in the Aquarium Contest at America’s Family Pet Expo as well as donate to Pets in the Classroom,” said Lazatin. “All of our girls love animals and always talk about the teachers at school who have animals in their classroom. Their eyes light up when we see, speak, touch and learn about animals. When we asked them which teacher would they love to see have animals in their classroom, they said every one of their teachers!”
The World Pet Association, host of America’s Family Pet Expo, has agreed to match the Troop’s donation to Pets in the Classroom. A local teacher will be selected to receive the grant so that the troop can visit it.
“Our troop is very special,” said Lazatin, “and is always finding ways to give back.”