A Letter from our 2019 Summer Service Camp Counselors...
The 2019 Summer Service Camp has come to a close. The past two months have been filled with groups from near and far. We as counselors had the opportunity to lead groups into Southeast Roanoke to volunteer at various organizations. The summer has gone by in the blink of an eye, but we will never be able to forget the memories made during our eight weeks of camp.
Zach enjoyed working on the abandoned homes on Dale Avenue SE with our Neighborhood Revitalization Projects. He liked leading the campers on various construction projects at the houses. Zach learned a lot of new skills that he will be able to take away from the camp. One of Zach's favorite memories from camp was when he asked a camper to grab a tool that he forgot the name of (a rasp). So, he told the camper to get "the red thing you use to sand sheetrock," and, despite the camper walking around, singing "red thing, red thing, red thing" over and over as he searched, he came back instead with a yellow saw.
Maisha found joy through interacting with campers and playing games with them. Kids Soar and Goodwill's Jobs Campus were two of her favorite service sites to serve with. Maisha also felt very welcomed by the congregation at First Christian Church. She achieved a lot of her own personal goals for the summer, stepping out of her comfort zone. This is why she especially loved to see REACHers do and feel the same.
DeAnna found that she liked working with the Rescue Mission, specifically serving breakfast with Food Services. She loved talking to people and learning their stories. Through this, she learned that everyone is similar; "life just happens" sometimes. She stepped out of her comfort zone and spent two consecutive months away from home (New York). This opportunity allowed her to experience what it is like to fully give oneself up to serve others. DeAnna's favorite memory from camp was beating Casey in the card game Speed three times.
Madison found her home at the Christian Soldiers Food Pantry where she met Don who always motivated her to be the best she could be. Madison learned that using your voice to positively encourage and motivate others is "more valuable than gold." Because of this opportunity, she was able to completely submerge herself in a community and grow from each experience she had. Her favorite memory from camp was playing the card game Spicy Uno with her campers from Wesley UMC (Vienna, VA).
Eli said that one of his favorite things to do at REACH was getting to learn the REACHers' stories. He enjoyed serving with the Roanoke Community Garden Association and learning new skills in planting. He also enjoyed the Hermitage and was able to help move furniture and play bingo with the residents. His favorite memory from the summer was playing the group game Mafia with the REACHers and saying "spooky."
The summer was filled with joy, service, and stories from 231 volunteers. We are so incredibly thankful for all of them, the community members, and our partners in service. Together, we were able to complete a total of 9,522 hours of service with the Southeast community. Together, our Monetary Value of Volunteer Time (nationally recognized as $25.43 per hour) reached $242,144.46. Together, we made a difference.
Your 2019 Summer Service Camp Counselors