School is back in session! Before getting back into the swing of going to class and doing homework, buildOn Philadelphia students went camping! Twenty-four students traveled to Cape Henlopen Delaware State Park for four days and three nights.
Students bonded over team building activities, service projects, and making meals. New members got to learn about the great activities buildOn organizes, and older members gained leadership skills by helping new members fit into the group. All of the students had an amazing time, worked hard, came home with 23 new friends and passion about starting the new school year as leaders.
Shelby Lachman, Capen Henlopen State Park Volunteer Coordinator, thanked buildOn for our students’ professionalism and enthusiasm taking on major projects. During the trip, students painted two buildings, picked up litter, and put up fencing is to protect endangered Piping Plover hatchlings.
Several of the students involved said the experience helped them feel like they were part of a community by the time they had left. Hydia Abubakar, a senior at Bodine High School, was able to step up as a leader because of the experience. “Last year I was the quiet one and took a while to open up to people,” she said. “This year I noticed the quiet ones and tried to talk to them talk to them and help them open up.”
Billy Ting, a senior at Upper Darby High School, said he got to experience first-hand what is it like to volunteer in a community that was new to him. “For example, the Piping Clover,” he said. “I never knew that the bird was almost extinct until I helped conserve a space for them to breed and rest.