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Local girls’ project helps Humane Society

Above: Avril Wiens, left, and Madison Sokoloski recently made and donated a number of items to the Martin County Humane Society for their Girl Scouts Silver Award project.

FAIRMONT — Two local girls donated a variety of items to the Martin County Humane Society for their Girl Scouts Silver Award project. Avril Wiens and Madison Sokoloski spent more than 100 hours combined on the project.

Wiens and Sokoloski are members of troop 34157, which includes seven members. They meet once a month to work on various projects.

Both Wiens and Sokoloski got an early start to Girl Scouts, joining when they were in kindergarten. Now, they’re both 8th graders with Weins attending Truman Public School and Sokoloski attending St. James Lutheran School in Northrop.

Sokoloski shared how they decided on their project.

“We both love animals so we wanted to help the shelter in some way. We went over there and asked what they needed,” she said.

For their project, the girls made two cat scratchers, three cat stands and more than 200 toys.

The toys were made with cloth that the girls filled with stuffing. Wiens said they hand-sewed them all.

Wiens also made the cat scratchers while Sokoloski worked on the cat stands with the help of her father. She cut and measured the wood, painted it and screwed it all together. She said she enjoyed learning about the process.

They spent a lot of time working on their project over the weekends.

“We made some things together but it depended on when we had time,” Wiens said.

The girls’ troop leader, Sara Becker-Sokoloski, said, “They started it early but because of Covid they took a lot of time off. They went hard core this summer and got it finished and approved about a month ago.”

Becker-Sokoloski has been the girls’ troop leader since they started in kindergarten. She said her older daughter, Emily, has also been in Girl Scouts since kindergarten and she’s her troop leader as well.

Becker-Sokoloski estimates that less than half of those in Girl Scouts goes for a silver award, one of the most prestigious honors a Girl Scout can achieve.

“You have to put 50 hours into the project. When it’s done, you have to submit your receipts, budgets, time log of all of your hours, pictures and then you have to write up a final report to send in which has to be approved before you get your award,” she said. “It’s pretty intense. You have to be dedicated and want it.”

While the project was time consuming and consisted of painstaking work, both girls like that they were able to help out the Humane Society. They plan to stick with Girl Scouts, which one can be in through 12th grade, and eventually go for the Gold Award.

“It’s a lot of fun. You can help the community and make new friends,” Sokoloski said.

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