Youth Volunteer Corps in Manhattan had the chance to attend this year’s 2019 Summit in Kansas City, Missouri. As we are certainly closer than many of the other YVC’s, it was definitely less of a hassle traveling-wise for us. The two hour drive got me thinking: what can I get out of this year’s Summit?
Summit itself was fun, and it proved to be a place where 2-3 days of amazing people in the same hotel pursued a common goal; it was a beautiful place to be for that amount of time. One of the main activities was a service project. Youth were able to support four different needs throughout the greater Kansas City area.
My service project was held in a more rural setting, with more of a “Kansas” feel to it. The place was called Tall Oaks. This campground was special, serving many purposes such as: being the grounds for a camp for the mentally challenged, the blind, and victims of bullying. It also serves as a recreational ground for those who simply want to have a good time being outside. They have swings, horses, wide-open spaces, playgrounds, and all sorts of stuff for all ages to enjoy. Let me tell ya, on one of my breaks, I was having the time of my life going on the swings there. Those swings really makes you feel like you’re eight again! You can imagine what the joy those wonderful activities can bring to those who are not as fortunate as the rest of us.
Although I haven’t ever been to a single camp before, I felt like I was having the time of my life. There was a certain something that made the place itself feel like a nice, warm hug. Even though it was not warm that day, we still had a blast making benches with the employees of the campgrounds. Real nice people, They showed us what to do and guided us through the process of making a bench. We were separated into various groups assigned to perform different tasks. Obviously, my group made benches while other groups helped with other needs at the campground. We had to divide our group into two teams. Both teams were in charge of setting up where each of the pieces needed to go, how many we need of each piece, and where the screws needed to go. Our group had some good chemistry going for us. Most everyone on our team got a chance to use the drill and helped in some way possible.
In every service project, there comes adversity, big or small. For example, we had to overcome the insufficient supply of drills. Since there were only two drills, we could only split them evenly among the two teams. However, that didn’t get in our way. Both teams managed to make three benches each..
All in all, I had a great time at the service project. Although the weather was cold, supplies were low, and we were pressed on time, in a sense, we still had so much fun. Half of our team (on break) managed to untangle their way out a human knot! I got to know a little more about everyone else. I met someone with the BEST southern accent from South Carolina. Went on the swings for a moment. Had some playful competition with the other team’s “captain.” And, we got to go to the hotel and had a fantastic meal with the rest of our new friends.
Dilanka Ranaweera, Manhattan, KS
Howdy y’all! My name is Dilanka Ranaweera, or Dil for short. I live in Manhattan, Kansas and I currently attend Manhattan High School as a junior! I play basketball and tennis as well as participate in many extra-curricular activities such as Student Government and band! My hobbies include hanging out with friends, watching Netflix, and long walks on the beach. YVC got me directly involved helping change the lives of so many. I cannot wait to make this next year, a year of empowerment!