Submitted by: Lisa Brett, Volunteer & Information Centre Coordinator
The very first attempt to host a Youth Volunteer Camp was a success, despite lower registrations than expected. It just so happened that four youth, from four different schools, enrolled with one goal in mind: volunteering. Each youth reported that they were interested in getting involved in the community. (Improved Social Well-Being of Community-Community Outcome #1-Indicator: Social Engagement- Measures Bank 318)
None of the youth had ever set foot inside the Northern Rockies Museum of Culture and Heritage. This is Hinton and Area’s new museum! The Youth Volunteer Camp project precipitated their exposure to this local registered charity- how cool is that?
The youth promptly arrived at 9:00 AM on a Saturday morning, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. How generous of them to give up a sunny day to help the museum beautify its premises. Situated on a rocky slope, this would not be an easy task! With a protein and carbohydrate loaded breakfast in their bellies, they were oriented to landscaping techniques. Four youth accepted this responsibility and laboured throughout the day following the direction of the museum’s sole employee plus a horticulturalist. A big job for a small crew! Nonetheless, the youth made proper use of the tools provided to them and proceeded to become dirty! Often, things worth doing aren’t easy to do. The youth persevered without complaint.
In fact, the youth felt a sense of accomplishment. At the end of the day, there was a tangible result of their volunteerism to admire- plant life native to our region where there was once an unsightly bed of rocks. Not as presence they made in themselves. Pre and post surveys were used to evaluate the impact on these four youth. Several different statements pulled from the Measures Bank were used to quantify the volunteering at the museum. Observation and oral testimony augmented the survey results.
Proud parents picked up their dusty and blistered children. Excitedly, the kids showed off their blemishes confirming how hard they laboured. On this day, exhibiting dirt, sweat, and callouses was a good thing. It was a visual reminder of how they chose to spend their Saturday- getting involved in the community!