Whether it is in our little corner of Millwood, or across the globe in Thailand, the kids and staff at Hutton have fully embraced the opportunity to serve.
Starting out as an opportunity to engage with a marginalized population, the service club from Hutton would participate in annual trips that centered around serving the homeless. Trips to Portland and Seattle were planned for the youth to serve meals, walk aside those in need and were challenged to evaluate how each different community helped this population.
In 2007, current Campus Director, David Milliken, decided to shift the focus and allow for a new opportunity to not only engage in service, but also to gain life skills and work ethic. For David, it was important to incorporate the lessons that many of us make with our fathers building things. “We take those memories for granted, and who would want to go through childhood without those chances to get your hands dirty and to just work hard,” David shared.
Returning just over a week ago, this year’s group encountered the highs of contributing and the challenges that come with learning new skills. Sprucing up some decks, as well as building a solarium from start to finish were on this year’s project list.
Reflection, an important piece of the Bend Build experience, allowed this year’s participants to engage in meaningful dialogue around leading lives of drive, compassion and security. Shiann, a West Valley High School senior, has participated in the project since they first started going to Bend. She said that she valued the opportunity to talk with people she trusts about what feelings she encountered throughout the journey. When asked about why she enjoys Bend Build, Shiann shared, “It feels so good to work hard as a team and have the chance to make life so much better for other people. Everybody should make time for that.”
From stargazing as a group to the balancing on ladders, the kids reminisce the fun memories and most important lessons learned. This year’s participants agree, it’s cooperation, communication and being grateful.