A universal truth is that girls love animals. So when the girls from Orange County Troop 871 brainstormed ideas for their next service project, their leaders, Trish Anastos and Lori Miskell, knew the project must involve helping cute, cuddly animals with big brown eyes.
Nearly 200 hours and several badges later, these 10 fifth-grade girls from Newport Beach, Corona del Mar, Newport Coast, Irvine and Huntington Beach earned the Girl Scout Bronze Award after completing a project that could be considered a trifecta of service: Scouts support a therapeutic riding center, the riding center rescues horses with big brown eyes, and the horses provide a means for therapy for developmentally disabled children and adults.
The troop approached the Back Bay Therapeutic Riding Club (BBTRC), a little known nonprofit on one of the few equestrian-zoned properties in Newport Beach. Owned and operated by Jeff and Bernadette Olsen, the BBTRC has been providing therapeutic riding services for almost five years.