We are coming to the end of the year for C’s American Heritage Girls group, and we are a little behind on a few things. We were sick for the last meeting, so we decided that today we would play catch up and work on her current badge, My Style.
I also sat down with the kids this morning and told them that I thought we should spend part of our day doing something service oriented, so that C could work on some service hours for AHG. We threw out a few ideas, and together with the kids we landed on cleaning up the church parking lot. We got dressed in messy clothes and headed to the store for some gloves. The kids asked to take their Easter buckets to use as clean up tools and Big E found a small toy shovel to bring along. Naturally we picked up some snacks, and brought along some trash bags. We pulled into the empty parking lot and unloaded. The kids were excited about putting on their gloves and getting to work. Even Baby E grabbed his bucket and put on his gloves. Then we scoured the parking lot and surrounding area for any trash we could find. The kids got very excited for big ticket items like food bags or soda cans, but they did great getting the little stuff too.
We took a short break in the middle of our working to have a snack, and then they got back up and went back to work. We got through two thirds of the parking lot before we ran out of steam. I let them play on the playground for a few minutes before we ran home, grabbed some lunch and laid down for a nap.
When we woke up we headed to Walmart to pick up supplies for C’s My Style projects, got some Rita’s and headed back to the church to finish the job we had started. I thought it was important for the kids to follow through with what we had begun, because I want them to understand the importance of finishing a task. Thankfully there wasn’t too much left to do and we ended the evening with some more playing on the play ground. In total the kids worked two hours each on cleaning the parking lot and I was very pleased at how well they did. They even converted Baby E’s bucket to an interesting things bucket and filled it with oddities they found along the way, i.e.- a snake skin, a C-Clamp (Let me know if you are missing one), some mushrooms, and a golf ball.
When we got home I made dinner and C worked on her poster for her AHG project. She had fun decorating it and will get to show it to her troupe tomorrow afternoon. We were all pretty exhausted and rather dirty by bedtime, but I think we will all sleep well.
If you see the kids, don’t mention the parking lot. I don’t want them to think that service projects should come with recognition. I want them to do some of these activities so they can learn that life isn’t all about them, and that we should step up and help when we can, even if no one has asked.
Also, if there are some small projects you think C and the boys could help with (1-2 hour max, cause that’s about the extent of their attention span) let me know! We definitely want to start incorporating more of these kinds of activities into our routine! 🙂