For one Girl Scout, helping goats leads to Gold Award

Two years ago, when Shoreham-Wading River senior Brianna Scholl was ready to start her Girl Scouts Gold Award project, she started by making calls to identify nearby places that focused on helping animals. 

During her search, she found Double D Bar Ranch in Manorville, whose owners were in need of a hut for their rescue goats.

“Everything from there is from donations and they do everything out of the goodness of their hearts, so it was really sad to see that these animals don’t really have the best homes,” said Brianna, 17. “They needed stuff so I decided, why don’t I make a goat hut?”

The completed hut stands about 4 feet tall and can fit up to six goats. It is decorated with a heart, Brianna’s Girl Scout troop number and the words “Goat Hut!”

Brianna said it took a lot of time and work to build the hut, which was made possible by a sponsorship and large donations from The Home Depot in Riverhead. Once she had the necessary supplies, she enlisted the help of her older brother, Tyler, who is studying engineering in college.

“He really did help me a lot,” she said. “Like teaching me a lot of craftsman skills and a lot of patience, too. It takes a lot to build, and I’m not handy, so it was tough.”

Brianna said she chose the goat hut as her project because the treatment of animals is near and dear to her heart.

For her silver award, she and another troop member turned tree stumps into playthings for dogs and placed them around Isaac Dog Park in Calverton.

Brianna said she hasn’t visited the goat hut since she installed it late last summer, but plans to return soon to make any necessary improvements and fix any damage the long winter may have caused.

She also plans to play with the goats, many of which were just kids last summer, and the other 350 animals at the rescue ranch, including deer, pigs, horses, sheep, chickens, rabbits and more.

“It’s amazing,” Brianna’s mom, Lisa, said of the ranch. “It looks like nothing from the street and then when you go back, I don’t know how many acres they have but it’s tremendous. And they have just animals after animals and they rescue them.”

Brianna said she hopes her goat hut brings more attention — as well as donations and volunteers — to Double D Bar Ranch so it can continue to thrive and care for all the animals it takes in.

She also hopes it teaches people about the importance of giving back, something she’s learned from participating in scouting since kindergarten.

“It taught me so much — the importance of giving to my community, caring about people and doing anything we can to help out,” Brianna said.

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