Tuesday, July 23, 2013

My Morning with Cadets

    We have the remains of a large training airbase which was set up to train pilots for WW II . Today a large cadet camp is held each summer. At one time there were up to 2000 cadets and the program ran all summer. Now the program is much smaller as the facility has been getting smaller as old buildings are not repaired.

    Now one of the parts of the program includes a 2 hour community service segment. This is where I became involved. I volunteer at a nature center. The nature center set up a program where the cadets could get in their two hours of community service. The Nature Center has 299 steps to take people up and down in  few steep places, a few  benches at convenient spots and three viewing decks. All of these get covered with spruce needles . Ah ha! We'll get cadets to come in and sweep these off. 
Sweep and clean out the stuff between the cracks.

    So today I was assigned 7 cadets and 8 work sites that had to be cleaned up. The kids were given shovels, rakes, brooms, and scrapers. The kids had fancy army gloves and lots of water.
Looking into the sun with all the tools and a fine background.

     Off we went.
A little break in the shade.

    I enjoyed my 2 hours with the kids. I found that I really miss the banter with kids this age.Some of them had no idea how to use  tools. I had to show some to put pressure on the brooms so things could be swept off. Some had to be reminded that the loose material on the steps had to be taken off. They seemed to think that waving the broom around the area did the trick.
Work on the steps

    As always when you are taking a group on a three Km walk , there are 2 or 3 who have to be in your back pocket. They walk right beside you all the way and chat the whole way.
Homeward bound. The other crew cleaned this bridge.

   We were happy to get some things cleaned up in the sanctuary and I hope the kids learned to feel good about community service.
A fine work crew on the way home.

    Pictures were a challenge and I didn't have time to think about things as I was watching the kids. I hope you'll be able to see what we did.