GIRL SCOUT CADETS - Marina Florerguerra, 14 left and Giguette Knochenhauer, 14 both of Cameron Park stand next to the presentation materials they used at Pleasant Grove Middle School recently. Democrat photo by Shelly Thorene


Passion toward birds fly duo to Girl Scouts’ Silver Award

By From page B5 | January 11, 2013

CAMERON PARK — Marina Floresguerra and Giguette Knochenhauer display their passion toward birds.

“I really like birds and nature,” Floresguerra said.

Knochenhauer said her family is a foster family for baby birds.

The Ponderosa High School freshmen, who are members of Girl Scouts Troop 1440. have volunteered their time at Sierra Wildlife Rescue in Placerville. Both girls worked in the baby bird nursery.

Their accomplishment has earned the duo the Girl Scout’s Silver Award, the second highest award a Girl Scout can earn next to the Gold Award.

The two 14 year olds said more volunteers are needed at the nursery. They would like to see more youth volunteers. Most of the people helping are adults and retired people, according to Floresguerra and Knochenhauer.

According to Nancy Powers, public relations for Sierra Wildlife Rescue, there are 40 volunteers at this time. She would like to have 80 to 100 volunteers this spring. That’s when the rescue anticipates more baby birds will be at the shelter. The baby birds, Powers noted, must be fed every 30 minutes during a 12-hour time frame. The nursery is opened from May to July.


Neo worms fed to baby birds

One duty the girls performed was feeding neo worms to the baby birds. Neo worms are a food source for birds.

Floresguerra and Knochenhauer said people who volunteer can raise the neo worms at their residence, then bring the worms to the rescue and let other volunteers feed the worms to the birds.

As the birds matured, their feeding schedules would change, as they begin to learn how to sit on a perch and exercise their wings. The birds would eventually be released back out into their natural habitats.

The two Scouts presented their project to students in their science classes taught by Sandra Cornelius and Kim Eisenhart at Pleasant Grove Middle School in Rescue. Their presentation was explained through oral interpretation and visual aid; the girls placed photos and information about Sierra Wildlife Rescue on a large foldout cardboard.

The duo’s objective was to recruit as many students as possible. In addition, the scouts had brochures on hand for the students. Most of the students paid attention to their presentation, the girls said.

“Some of them are interested, and want to help,” Knochenhauer said.

Floresguerra added, “Some students took the brochures.”

The two Scouts said they have considered studying to become veterinarians after they graduate from Ponderosa High School in 2016.


Silver Award

The Silver Award, according to the Girl Scouts’ Website, gives a member a “chance to show that you are a leader who is organized, determined and dedicated to improving your community.”

According to Cheryl Floresguerra, who is Troop 1440 leader and Marina’s mother, the girls had to fulfill 50 hours each of service to their organization including the time they actually worked in the baby bird nursery. This included spending time preparing information and presenting it at the middle school.

Sierra Wildlife Rescue is a non-profit, volunteer-based organization dedicated to the preservation of wildlife; serving El Dorado County since 1992. More than 1,200 wild animals are rescued yearly, with the goal of releasing them back into the wild.

Powers said anyone wishing to volunteer this spring to feed baby birds can visit Sierra Wildlife Rescue’s Website at Go to the tab “Support Us” and click on volunteer. Powers noted that donations to purchase food for the birds are greatly appreciated.

Contact Mike Bush at 530-344-5079 or [email protected] Follow @MBushMtDemo on Twitter. 

Mike Bush

Mike Bush has been a Staff Writer at the Mountain Democrat since August 2011. Follow him on Twitter @MBushMtDemo
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