When given the opportunity to make a difference in their community, Girl Scouts from Orange Cove chose to make a change through their furry friends.
On Saturday, June 15, 2013 at James Eaton Park in Orange Cove, Girl Scouts partnered with the City of Orange Cove to host a Dog Clinic from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM. At this clinic they licensed and vaccinated dogs for minimal prices, subsidized by the City of Orange Cove. This was the second year the City of Orange Cove financed this clinic. There were also pets available for adoption, and Girl Scouts distributed flyers to dog owners about ways to help keep their pets safe on the Fourth of July. This event was a step towards the girls’ end goal for their community take action project: to establish a permanent pet clinic in Orange Cove.
Girl Scouts of Central California South organized a retreat on April 20, 2013 for Girl Scouts from Orange Cove and Orosi to work on a sustainable Challenge and Change project in their community. This Youth Leadership Development retreat, funded by the USDA Rural Youth Development, encouraged girls to make a change in their community. Girls learn leadership skills, responsibility, and ways to improve their future career prospects. Local community leaders from Exeter, Dinuba, Lindsay, and Orosi were presenters at this retreat:
Ernie Hernandez, former United Way Tulare Executive Director
Susan Manuel, Executive Director, Ruiz 4 Kids
Suzi Picaso, President, Picaso’s Passion, Inc.
Yolanda Valdez, Assistant Superintendent, Cutler-Orosi Unified School District
Girl Scouts had to brainstorm during their meeting on how to strategically announce the animal shelter to community leaders and constituents.
Girl Scouts used a community building survey created by United Way of Tulare County to ask local youth their opinion on community needs, and their thoughts on their future education options and possible careers. The girls analyzed these surveys and then created story boards depicting current conditions in their community and their vision for the future. Through this exercise, the girls concluded there were too many stray and homeless pets in Orange Cove and Orosi, and decided to work on projects to educate their own communities to effect positive change.
The local Girl Scouts also decided to create t-shirt designs that they wore to raise awareness about their project. Girl Scouts of Central California South encouraged community members and peers to ask Girl Scouts about the t-shirts in order to support, encourage, and spread the word about their Challenge and Change project.
For more information about the USDA Grant and the Challenge and Change Rural Youth Development project, go to girlscoutsccs.org/usda-rural-youth-grant/.