First of all, they LOVED the Pet Expo itself according to everything Sue and I could observe. Sue and I loved the Pet Expo, too. If you ever get a chance to take your families--it is such a well done event. It is always the Saturday before the Super Bowl. It seemed to us that nearly every breed of dog was represented. The dogs were accessible and so well behaved.
The girls rotated through four "stations". Two of them were polling people as they entered the Pet Expo, asking them how they had heard about the event. We explained this job to the girls while they were riding to the Expo in the big van. They all understood it and thought they could handle it. When each group took their turn, they all started off fairly similarly. Clumped together a bit, not always sure how to make eye contact and look assured. They learned how to make a plan on where to stand and how to work together to make the process effective. And they received a little bit of coaching to encourage them to look people in the eyes, be confident in what they were asking (after all they weren't selling anything) and in doing it independently. By the end of the session they all were confident pollsters.
The kids could pet all of them. The people that handled them were so kind to the girls, answering any questions that they had. There were other animals there as well, including cats, birds and reptiles.
When Mary Palmer first told us about the [Chicagoland] Pet Expo, we thought "oh, how cute" that would be a nice thing for the girls to do--see some animals, sell a few dog biscuits.... But the girls got so much more than that out of their experience .
The selling of the dog biscuits the girls made, was a big hit. Surprisingly--the girls really took to selling the dog biscuits. They would hold up their signs and boxes of the dog biscuits and ask people as they were walking by--they even figured out how to solicit donations for the Northcentral Maltese cause even if people weren't interested in buying dog biscuits. They worked their Girl Scout sashes, and sold 45 of the 50 boxes, raising $165 to be put towards medical expenses for Rosie or other dogs that are rescued by Northcentral Maltese. We hope the remaining five boxes were sold after the girls left the Expo for their basketball game, adding a few more dollars to their efforts.
Many thanks to Penny Romasko, the Chair of the entire Pet Expo for allowing the girls to donate their time, to Mary Palmer for encouraging the girls and making space for them at the Northcentral Maltese Rescue booth, and to Stacy Bean and Genesia Livingston for helping Sue and I to chaperone--dividing the girls into small groups made the whole excursion so much easier to manage and allowed for a wonderful experience for the girls.
Jill and Sue
Junior Girl Scouts in Racine, Wisconsin Raise Money
for Rosie* and Northcentral Maltese Rescue Dogs
Saving Maltese Nationwide
Northcentral Maltese Rescue, Inc.