"Has been a lifesaver so many times!"
- Catherine Rampell, student @ University of Washington
"Exactly the help I needed."
- Jennifer Hawes, student @ San Jose State
"The best place for brainstorming ideas."
- Michael Majchrowicz, student @ University of Kentucky
The Wheels on the Bus
We sing, play, and jump around the basketball court. Bobby shoots the ball and scores! We sing “the wheels on the bus” with such a passion even the instructors sang along. The feeling of success overwhelmed both of us into a clinging hug. When I help out after school on Thursdays with the special needs outreach program I feel a connection with the kids there. A connection that a true friend feels. I feel as if I have help these kids grow emotionally and mentally through the year I have dedicated to them. The knot is tied I have done all I can do. Travis has learned to tie his first square knot. The emotional triumphs that we have struggled through to get him to Tenderfoot Class have paid off. My busy Tuesdays are not wasted on watching television but on a better cause: Boy Scouts.
I have been in scouting for seven years now and it has taught me to be a leader, to value the simpler things in life, and to teach others about them. When I joined scouting, I wanted to join because I heard about all of the community service that they do for my town and all of the fun campouts they do. On my first campout we went hiking in our local mountains to rebuild a rangers station that has been out of commission. When we were done with the rangers station, I had a feeling of accomplishment. This contribution to my community is still up and running today and it just goes to show what seven boys and some intuition can do. I want to be able to leave an impact on the town that I live in or the college I go to.
In the summer of 2004, I saw a flier on a bulletin board at school asking for volunteers to help with an after school program for the special needs kids. I jumped at the chance to help kids who are disadvantaged and don’t have the opportunities I have. I showed up on Thursday to find that only a couple of people had come to help, so we could not do anything that day. At my scout meeting the following week I showed my troop the flyer and the kids and leaders thought it would be a good thing to try. The following Thursday I showed up with about fifteen other volunteers and the county advisors were thrilled to see how many people had come to help. I have devoted every other Thursday to spending time with these children and have grown to love them like family. The impact that you can leave on these kids lives are eternal and it only takes but hours to just talk and play with them.
When I show a little boy how to tie a knot or how to read a map I know I am teaching him lifelong skills, when I interact with a special needs kid by playing basketball with them or simply singing along with “the wheels on the bus”, I know I made that kids day better by being a friend. I hope that I can make an impact on the lives of everyone that I meet and leave a legacy of scouting and volunteering wherever I go. The community I live in today is not the biggest or nicest place in the area, but if it was not for the volunteers and sponsors from local businesses it could be a lot worse. I have put a lot of time and effort into making my town a better place, I have not gotten anything in return but the thanks and smiles from kids and adults, knowing that I made an impact on someone’s life is all I need. I hope to accomplish the same with wherever I go to college or live, to know that improved conditions of someone’s life gives me a feeling of accomplishment and joy.
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