CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The three Shoals Elementary School students donned bright pink cloth gloves, armed themselves with trash-grabber tools and clambered over rocks toward the edge of the Kanawha River.
The Girl Scouts were three of the volunteers for Saturday's Great Kanawha River Cleanup.
"I think it's fun," Tori said. "Fun, while cleaning up and doing chores."
Girl Scout leaders had planned to bring about 40 girls to the event, but with the early morning rain, the event was made optional and only a few girls came with their families, Brownie Troop Leader Tracey Todd, Nola and Tori's mother, said.
"We use this as a community-service project," Todd said. It achieves one of the goals of the Girl Scouts, which is to "make the world a better place," she said.
Danny Haught, director of the Rehabilitation Environmental Action Plan of the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, which oversees the river cleanup, knew as soon as he awoke Saturday and noticed the rain that there would not be as many volunteers as he had hoped, he said.
Haught's been organizing the annual cleanup for the past six years. Other volunteers for the event, which has taken place each year for more than two decades, told him this is the first time it's rained on the day of the event.
Although the rain had stopped by 9 a.m. when the event got under way, overcast skies threatened more rain and kept volunteer turnout low, he said.
"So far, our luck's been good," he said, "but you can see how [the rain] has affected our turnout because we only have a few volunteers, which is unfortunate."