During the first week of April, our Leaders In Action students from Charles Town Middle School and Harpers Ferry Middle School had the opportunity to participate in an Alternative Spring Break Trip to Charleston, WV. During the trip we were given a tour of The Capital Building led by Delegate Paul Espinosa. We also met with Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, as well as West Virginia’s Secretary of State, Attorney General, a Chief Justice, and multiple delegates. The next day we kicked off our Health and Gardening Unit by volunteering at an urban garden through the West Virginia State University Extension Office. To thank our host, Rock Lake Community Life Center, we gardened and cleaned their beautiful facility. While offering this meaningful leadership opportunity to our students, we interviewed a Charles Town Middle School student, Imoné.
Before the trip…
Sarah (Outdoor Education Center VISTA): What are you looking forward to the most on this trip?
Imoné (Charles Town Middle School LIA student): I am mostly excited to meet the West Virginia Governor because he is the closest thing to meeting the president and an important figure to the state I live in.
Sarah: What were your plans for spring break if you did not attend this trip?
Imoné : Well, I would probably have sat at home and babysat. I am very glad to be able to take this trip with my friends!
Later in the week…
Sarah: What were some of your favorite things during our trip to Charleston?
Imoné : Definitely gardening and painting at the urban garden. I am very excited to start our upcoming Health and Gardening Unit!
Sarah: Why was this your favorite activity?
Imoné : I did not expect gardening to be fun but I really enjoyed it. It was fun to get muddy, plant vegetables, and learn about the earth.
Sarah: Did anything we previously learned in Leaders In Action prepare you for this trip?
Imoné : Yes, mostly our Global Connections and Local Government Units. Because we talked about both topics throughout the year, I was able to understand what we were talking about while at the Capital Building. Also, our Community Service Unit introduced me to the benefits of helping others in our community.
Sarah: What are some memories that you will take away from this?
Imoné : I have a lot! Some would be painting at the community garden, meeting West Virginia Government officials, meeting students from the Harpers Ferry Middle School LIA program, and getting to know current LIA members from Charles Town Middle School. I enjoyed the open environment to volunteer, talk, and have fun. I am very excited for next year!
This is Imoné’s first year in our Leaders In Action program. Due to how much she enjoyed this trip and how comfortable she felt with the staff and students, Imoné plans on attending two summer camps at The OEC.
(Sarah Nowicki is an AmeriCorps Vista at FLOC’s Outdoor Education Center).