Dear Stomping Ground Staff,
I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the support and dedication you continue to give Jack and I. The team at Camp Stomping Ground is one of a kind. Over this holiday break, when I pitched the idea that we should head to some local organizations and volunteer for a few hours, you jumped on the idea.
Those of you who live in other cities across the states, or those staff that we have not even hired yet for this summer, here is an update of how we are keeping the camp spirit alive, even in the dead of winter.
Greenovation is an organization that promotes waste diversion in the Rochester area through the selling of previously owned objects or materials, creative reuse, donating, and community education. They have a big warehouse/ storefront on East Main Street in Downtown Rochester. We headed there on a Saturday morning to help with some metal scrapping in their recycling center. Kim, the executive director, met us there to give us a brief tour and to show us what we would be doing. She told us about why Greenovation was started and how she got involved. The goal of the whole project, she explained, is to recycle everything down so that there is zero waste. We were fascinated by the extent to which everyday objects like telephones or screen doors could be broken down and sorted by material before being sold as tin, aluminum, steel, copper, etc. We spent about 2 hours forming our own assembly line as we sorted through piles of junk! George had the pliers and would cut off the cords to electronics and other household items. Darron was the brute force often smashing apart plastic to get to the good stuff inside. Jack took the lead handing the team stuff from the original pile. Alexis, Jenna, Kate and I did a lot of catching loose parts and finding the appropriate containers for them. All of this was done under the careful guidance of Scotty, who worked for Greenovation and seemed to know everything there was to know about metal scrapping. By the end of our time there, we had warmed up and started shedding our hats, jackets and outer layers! We left feeling accomplished but in awe of the work that still needed to be done!
Crisis Nursery of Greater Rochester
Next we traveled across town to the Center for Youth’s Crisis Nursery. The Crisis Nursery is the only program of its kind in New York State. The program is dedicated to providing safe, professional, temporary care to children during family crises. The Nursery is free to families during emergencies, and services are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The center is mostly staffed by volunteers who are on call incase a family needs help. There are also a handful of extremely dedicated full time support staff who oversee the schedule and help to keep the home organized. Our Stomping Ground staff were floored with the love and compassion this place had to offer. We talked with one of the full time staff who gave us a tour of the house and showed us the attic where we were to help sort through recently donated supplies from the holiday season. When they finished answering our questions about the space and how it serves the community, we were all fired up to pitch in however we could help. We ended up finishing the tasks they had set aside for us and took on the challenge of reorganizing the entire attic where they store donated diapers, bed linens, blankets, toys, gently used clothes and shoes. After a few hours, we were thrilled to show the staff what we had done. Terry, one of the long time volunteers, was in tears when she saw the result. After big hugs and well wishes, we piled back into the cars and headed home.
It is hard to explain the pride I have for all of the staff at Camp Stomping Ground. Your un-ending compassion and energy is not only what makes camp the meaningful place that it is during the summer, but what keeps me excited to dream bigger about what is possible throughout the year.