Teagan Hudson loves animals and believes they all deserve a home.
That’s why when it came to her service project for Girl Scouts, she knew she wanted to work with the Humane Society of the Black Hills.
Hundreds of service hours, Pinterest recipes and stitches later, Hudson received her Bronze Award in Girl Scouts, one of the highest awards in the organization, for creating a booklet of “How-tos” for making treats, bandanas and toys for the animals at the Humane Society this month. The guide will help future volunteers create tested and approved items to create a better life for the animals during their stay at the Humane Society, she said.
Bronze Award winners must be in fourth or fifth grade, be a “Junior” rank and have completed a Junior Journey.
“It was kind of stressful,” Hudson said. “It was a big achievement and it took a lot of time.”
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As soon as Hudson knew she wanted to work with the Humane Society of the Black Hills, she got in contact with Caitlin Ausmann, the resource and development specialist there.
Ausmann said they bounced ideas back and forth and landed on the treats, toys and bandanas, and the booklet.
“We have a lot of people reaching out wanting to be volunteers, but they’re not all able to come in person and help animals,” she said. “We were hoping through Teagan’s Bronze Award project, we could create a stepping stone or curriculum for people after her to follow.”
Hudson had to complete a minimum of 20 hours of community service. She said she made cat toys with wine corks donated from the wine cellar and stuck feathers in them. The dog toys were made out of her dad’s old jeans in a variety of designs, including an octopus that had braided legs and a ball inside once it was torn apart.
She said she looked at hundreds of recipes on Pinterest for treats.
“We didn’t want to make up our own recipe and then have the pets not like it,” she said. “We used a lot of different things including fish and bananas and a bunch of different stuff.”
The dog treats were made out of peanut butter and then crafted into fun shapes.
“Dogs like shapes, right?” she said.
Hudson said for the bandanas, it was her first time sewing. She said her grandmother provided her with the materials. Hudson, though, was the one who folded them and sewed. She said she also made headbands with cat and dog ears for a 4K run. Hudson also made blankets and beds for the animals to keep them comfortable.
She said she learned she’s good under pressure, goal-oriented and can make an impact.
Hudson’s father, Ethan, said his daughter being able to pick a goal and persevere until the end is one of the reasons he’s proud of her.
“To see her dedication and hard work pay off, and how proud she was of herself when she got it done, it was very heartwarming for sure,” he said.
Hudson said other Girls Scouts interested in a Bronze Award Project should know it will take a lot of effort, but it’s worthwhile.
Ausmann said anyone interested in volunteering with the Humane Society, whether it be in person or by making materials, can contact them by email or phone at 605-394-4170. The shelter is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
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