I am combining yesterday and today because we were in a land with limited Wi-Fi.
We went to our residence camp in Michigan for their volunteer work weekend. The same people tend to come back year after year and it is so fun to see the kids go from being on "stick patrol" to helping with more substantial tasks like painting and moving picnic tables.
There is always a new family or two that come to see what camp is all about and many are so impressed they end up sending their kids back for the summer.
Volunteering is important. Getting involved in something bigger than you and that you can be passionate about is important. Schools require volunteering. Colleges look at volunteering. Many jobs encourage volunteering. But I feel that volunteering needs to be more than a box you check. If you find that thing you love to do and find the organization that can use that skill, it won't be a chore -- it will be a bucket you fill that will overflow into your own.
Work weekends at camp are just that for our family. And I think for the other families as well. We are teaching our kids to give of themselves and to give back to those who have helped to shape their lives. Why else would most of us drive 3 hours or more one way to work muscles we forgot we had and get sweaty and dirty as we work to make camp a little better?
Because of camp I am thankful for opportunities to give back, and
I am thankful to all of those-- past present, present, and future-- who are willing to give their time, talent, and personal treasure to help ymca Camp Pinewood continue to change lives.