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Building Bat Houses at Wildcat Glades Conservation Center

At one of my more recent YVC projects, I had the opportunity to volunteer at the Wildcat Glades Conservation Center. I started my day bright and early, sleeping in until a luxurious seven o’clock. To many, waking up at seven in the morning doesn’t sound like an ideal way to start a Saturday. However, knowing that I would be doing something to benefit my community made it all worthwhile.

When we arrived, we were greeted by a young woman from the agency who was loading up her truck for the busy few hours we had ahead of us. The project started with a simple icebreaker, in which each volunteer was given a card with the name and description of either a pollinator or a plant that needs to be pollinated. After every kid was matched up with a partner, we introduced ourselves and received an agency presentation about why we were doing what we were doing. We learned about the necessity of pollinators for our local ecosystem. Fun facts: not all bees live in hives and bats have a large enough wingspan to be considered eagles to me.

For the project, we unloaded supplies. We had wood planks, tape measures, wood glue, and a large miter saw. My school doesn’t have a woodshop or a workshop. Needless to say, I had never worked with one of these tools before. Being the oldest by a couple of years, I offered to operate the saw and cut the wood. After finding out that I had never operated a saw, the young lady gave a quick how-to on operating an electric saw, and I can now confidently say that I am proficient with a miter saw. The wood got cut (safely), we glued everything together, and voila, we made quite a few bat houses for our local flying friends.


Although it is a large portion of why I do it, helping your community isn’t the only reason to join YVC. YVC allows you to meet new people, learn new skills (such as operating a miter saw), and do something with your time that is more impactful than just sitting around and playing video games with your friends. This is why I do YVC.



​Hi! My name is Luke Goodhope. I am a senior at Thomas Jefferson Independent Day School in Joplin, Missouri. My favorite subjects are science and math. I love spending time with friends and playing soccer. Helping others and meeting new people are important to me, and I plan to volunteer throughout my life.