After our summer break, transition and the events that followed Vinton's storm, our team began the 11 hour journey to the home of our third round project. We are currently serving in Marquette, MI for the next eight weeks working with the YMCA of Marquette County. We are primarily working with children in ranges from infants – 17 years of age and assisting with the summer programs and day care. One of the schools that we are working with is also in the process of trying to get accredited and has many maintenance projects for us to do during our stay.
Being that I am from Florida, there is nothing quite like the landscape of Marquette. For example, Florida has no mountains, but maybe small hills in more northern areas like Tallahassee. So you can imagine the surprise for me to drive into Marquette and see tall trees and mountains on one side of the road with Lake Superior on the other side. Needless to say, it was beautiful.
Currently, our team has been broken up into separate groups working with three different areas within the YMCA. For my current schedule for the next week, I am working with the YMCA day camp which is for ages 5-12 year olds. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, the YMCA day camp goes to the YMCA Rec Center and gets to swim in an indoor pool, play in a mat room, visit a local park next to Lake Superior or play different board games. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday, the YMCA day camp goes to Vandenboom a local school that does a YMCA day care program where they play in a gym, play on a playground, and do many arts and crafts projects. Every Wednesday, the day camp also goes on fields trips which can be things like kayaking, ice cream trips or the movies.
Every minute I am here, I am continually thankful that I have got the experience to meet all these people and travel to all these places that I probably would have never seen before. For example, in the past week I got to meet adorable children of all ages, swim in Lake Superior, climb my first mountain and visit on the best bakeries in town. For anyone who is even remotely hesitant about whether or not AmeriCorps NCCC would be a good fit for them, I beg you to try it. You will go a million places that you never thought and learn more about yourself everyday. I am continually finding more things I love about Marquette, MI and could seriously see myself spending many more years living here.