A lot has happened since the last time we wrote. We both started, and finished, our final round of community service at the Washington Boys and Girls Club. The club was such a joy to be in with such a positive atmosphere and awesome staff. The trip members had no hesitation jumping right into the activities with all the kids there. Mercedes jumped right in the circle to play a game of Concentration and then helped organize a number of different tag games. While on the other side of the gym, Jonah, Jacob, and Robbie played a game of football. The day ended on a very positive note for everyone when we were invited to join in an ice cream social that was being held for the board members.
The second day at the Boys and Girls Club started off just as smoothly as the first day. David H, David T, and Ian K were able to cool off with fans that the kids made for them in the art room. Caitlin and Robbie helped the kids read through their books in the education room. In the afternoon we found ourselves doing a different service at the Boys and Girls Club as the trip members took shifts helping to organize a storage closet. The closet was filled with boxes of clothes in such a way that there was only a small space to walk, and the games that were supposed to be there had to be kept in the kitchen area. Kole, Mercedes, and Halle went through boxes of water bottles and jackets and condensed them into smaller boxes. While on the other side of the closet, Caitlin and Ally organized the school supplies and the kids will have no problem finding a writing instrument as Ian C separated all the markers, pencils, and pens into their own bags. After much hard work and thinking, the boxes were neatly stacked in one corner and all the games were put away on shelves and all the trips members will never forget the look of pure happiness and thanks from the staff when they saw what we had done. They had wanted this done for over two years – it took our group once concentrated afternoon.
After that hard work we made on our way to Chipotle and Z Burger, where some of the trip members enjoyed delicious milk shakes. Once we finished our meals we headed to the National Mall for a monuments tour where we saw the Vietnam Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Korean War Memorial, MLK Memorial, and World War II Memorial. The trip members were able to recognize the importance of where we were as it was noticeable in their focus, attention and demeanor. It was a very moving experience for everyone to witness.
Our last day at the Boys and Girls Club brought us on a field trip to a water park and the change in environment did not change the attitude or actions of the trip members. When we showed up they put on sunscreen and just went right into the wave pool to find the kids. The kids were running up to them to see them right when they stepped foot in the pool. Most of the time was spent in the wave pool with kids being flipped out of tubes and spun around in the tubes by the trip members and they were both enjoying every minute of it. At the end there was another emotional good bye, not just from the kids but from the staff as well. They were all very pleased to have us there for the three days and were so grateful.
On our last full day in Washington we went to spend the day at Baltimore Harbor. The trip members spent the morning shopping in the many different stores that were on the water. Then we spent the afternoon at Federal Hill Park playing some football and relaxing in the shade on a hot day. The day ended with a nice dinner right outside Camden Yards at Frank and Nic’s West End Grille.
It’s off to the Smithsonian tomorrow and a drive to the beach in Ocean City!
The Westcoast Blogger
Got yourself interested? Find out more about our trips to Washington DC for students and join this community service program with Westcoast Connection.