Lasting memories, lifelong friends

This past week we had volunteers from the Ohio State University’s Buck-I-Serv program up at our Willow River facility.

Buck-I-Serv is a program provided by the University where students can – over their winter, spring or summer break – spend a week supporting their community through various service projects. Last week, for instance, “alternative spring breakers” traveled not just to Minnesota, but also to Florida, Colorado, Illinois and Missouri. The program teaches these committed young people the value of civic engagement and social justice – all while having fun and making lifelong firends. For many students, it is a life altering experience that creates memories that last forever.

“This last week with One Heartland through Buck-I-Serv has been one of the best ever,” said @samburgurs on Twitter. “Thank you Cam, Jill, and Tony!”

Buck-I-Serv students having been coming up to camp for many years, and this is the second group already in 2014. When at camp they focus primarily on preparing the facility for the summer, but they also work on important site improvements and larger building projects.

While at camp this last week, our volunteers hung out with the goats, met Porter the Mastiff and assisted camp staff in various other ways. Their big endeavor, however, was a hexagonal camp fire swing. It turned out better than we had hoped – and is amazing addition to our camp. There will undoubtedly be countless stories told, countless songs sung and countless moments of magic that will happen on those swings – and those stories, songs and moments will be the legacy of these fantastic young people who spent a selfless week giving back.

Thank you, Buck-I-Serv, for sharing your students with us – and thank you, alternative spring breakers, for all that you have done to make camp a special place for the hundreds of children and families who pass through our camp every summer.