Guest Blog by Lillie Taggart
AmeriCorps Member at Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity
If you read Nick's last post about our time working at Jerry's house, you'll recall our work in Orange and exploration of Texas' Golden Triangle. We were far from home and tired from work, but there was more in store!
Our next step was Austin for a day of relaxation and play. A tour around the capitol building drove home factually what we had already learned experientially: Texas is quite different from Minnesota.
After our group tour, we followed our hearts wherever they led in that weird city: swimming at the spring-fed outdoor pool, seeing live music, more two-stepping, or enjoying the weather walking along the river trail where our hostel was located.
Most of us felt like we were just getting started with Austin, but we were up early the next morning and back in our second homes (the vans). Off we went to Camp Wakonda in Ash Grove, Missouri, for one last project before heading home. Wakonda is a YMCA summer camp for kids ages 8–18 and, during the off-season, also an outdoor education center for local schools.
We spent one heavenly day there, and with even just that amount of time, it was clear that Wakonda is a fun-filled camp, oriented toward goodness, fairness, and personal growth.
We spent our morning there cleaning cabins and reassembling the bunk beds that had been moved out of cabins for the aforementioned winter outdoor education. In the afternoon, we felt like kids at camp, playing soccer, hiking, searching for armadillos, and participating in a team game simulating life as a settler. We did camp right and cooked up some tasty campfire dinner and s'mores, snuggled up in our bunk beds and dreamed of the lovely blizzard we were soon to experience upon returning home.
And return home we did! We had a great trip, but it's back to reality for all of us. All the service we were involved with, the places we explored, and the quality time we spent together as a team were amazing opportunities.
We would have been floundering buffoons without the organization and planning by our queen, Kristal, and our Merlin, Rhonda, as well as our AmeriCorps leadership team of Tim, Brittni, and Matt. We've all gotten some sleep now, so please feel free to ask any questions you have about this trip, the work we did, and for instruction in two-stepping.