By: Remington North, AmeriCorps NCCC Member
On March 14, AmeriCorps NCCC team Maple 3 arrived in Mattawan, Michigan after a six hour journey. The team has been serving with Pretty Lake Camp, a summer camp for children from low income families and at risk youth. This is the team’s first project, and so far they have enjoyed the teamwork and the sponsoring organization.
“My feelings have changed very little since I arrived at Pretty Lake. I am still very excited to be a part of the AmeriCorps NCCC program,” says Raegan Carter of Mendocino, California.
Maple 3 has been serving on the farm accomplishing tasks such as planting and harvesting peas, lettuce, and asparagus. The team is also handling animals such as feeding goats, collecting eggs from the chickens and cleaning the animal stalls. At the campsites the team is cleaning, raking, sweeping, and digging out fire pits.
The team has participated in many service learning projects including going to Kalamazoo Fire Youth Poetry Slam, a Play-Doh reflection activity, and a “What do you want to accomplish by the end of the project?” activity. The sponsors have provided the team with plenty of activities to enjoy on their off days, including tapping sugar maple trees in order to make maple syrup.
The mission of Pretty Lake Camp is to provide adventure education and outdoor experiences that liven and improve the community. Pretty Lake Camp achieves this by providing a free summer camp for youth most likely to benefit from the opportunity, offering a wide range of customized adventure experiences for youth and adults, and promoting opportunities to experience, appreciate, and steward their environment