Friday, August 23, 2013

Photos from the Habitat for Humanity of the Lehigh Valley site on Thursday on their Facebook page-

First-year student Tori '17 offered the following reflection on the final day of service with Habitat for Humanity of the Lehigh Valley.
On our last day, August 22, of The 1742 Experience, my team “MO,CO” volunteered for Habitat of Humanity. Habitat for Humanity is an international organization that builds houses for the less fortunate, in other words people who are having difficulties affording to pay mortgage bills and other finances. They built houses for some families in Africa that currently reside in Bethlehem.

At first, for me I was a bit nervous because I have no experience in that field of building and construction, but the people there really helped me and my other teammates to get accustomed fast and taught us a lot about the basic facts of construction and I had so much fun.

At the end of the day I learnt so much about building, how to hammer a nail and other construction stuff that I will definitely use later on. Despite it was raining that day it didn’t stop the progress we made.
Celebration Dinner Photos
Team MO,CO

Team Avengers

2013 Student Leadership Team

Post submitted by first-year student, Curtis '17.

            Today Team Avengers took off on their last adventure for The 1742 experience. It began with a rainy and very humid morning breakfast at 7:15 sharp to be followed by a stroll on the bus to Calypso Elementary School. Here, like earlier in the week, the Avengers had to implement the 7 steps to success in this school as well, but in a different way. A bulletin board was to be erected so that the entire public could see it. After burning edges of yellow paper, far too much glitter glue and sequins and mathematics by our very one Gautam '17, the Avengers had made a giant 3D treasure map of the 7 Steps to success for all to enjoy. Afterward, with garbage bags over their bodies to protect them from the rain, they walked to Trinity Episcopal Church to work in the soup kitchen where anywhere from 100 to 150 people are served lunch within an hour’s time. They organized, unpacked and served food for these people with many smiles.  They even were able to try the very meal they were serving to their customers- it was very good, of course. After leaving the soup kitchen with a realization of appreciation for the necessities they may take for granted, they had embarked to the Bethlehem Area Public Library Main Branch where they would clean many toys, organize books, take old tags off books and begin making ghost and bat cut outs for the upcoming months activities at the library. Some of them even followed the librarian into the allergy ridden basement to dust and tidy up items down there. After all was done, they had finally finished the day’s tasks. Though it was the last day of service for the community, it was filled to the brim with projects for the Avengers to conquer. 
First-Year Students participated in a scavenger hunt around campus and on Main St. on Wednesday night. One team ran found an item on the list with President Grigsby's newly adopted greyhound--find a pedestrian, bonus points if they have a pet!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Students at the Habitat for Humanity of the Lehigh Valley Women's Build Today

The following post is from Taylor '17, first-year program participant.

In our nightly meeting Tuesday night, our team leaders said we would be working with elderly people and young children (both of which I do not have experience with) at the local YMCA on Wednesday morning. When they said that I was very nervous and kept thinking “What do I do with little kids? ” “What do I talk to people about who are four times my age?” “What if…? What if…? What if…?” but once I walked through the YMCA doors and got talking to ninety two year old Mary in her pink knitted sweater, I definitely calmed down.  She came and sat down next to me and starting talking and told me about her life, everything from her attending Moravian College many years ago, her nursing job at St Luke’s Hospital and even her daughter’s exciting trip to Rwanda fifteen years ago! After we talked for about an hour we went upstairs for the senior exercise class, which was a combination of jazzercise, lifting and just moving around! Seeing Mary and her friends getting into it made me, as well as other members of The 1742 Experience, smile, laugh and even get more into it ourselves!  After their class, as we were saying goodbye, Mary said “Good luck with your major and come back to visit!” and gave me a hug as if I were her actual granddaughter, which was so sweet of her.
In the afternoon after we ate our bagged lunches, we played with children (ages of seven to nine).  We went outside and played many games including relay races, ships and sailors, and rock tree bridge but also went swimming inside. I’ve never seen anyone with as much energy as these young kids had, never getting tired, even when chasing us on the grass and dunking us under water! Getting out of the pool and ready to leave all the little kids came up to us and gave us hugs wanting us to stay longer, which was a marvelous feeling.
            With this experience being my real first time interacting with elderly people and younger kids I can honestly say that I enjoyed it and will definitely volunteer again! It was great to see the look on peoples faces, whether if it was from an ninety two year old woman telling me about her family, or a seven year old boy telling me about his favorite baseball team, just learning about new people felt amazing and I can’t wait to volunteer in the community again in the near future. 
The post below is from team leader, Jenn '14.
On Tuesday, Team MOCO (Team B) spent the morning planning an activity for the following day's service at Moravian Village, a retirement community in Bethlehem.  We worked together to plan a skit for the senior citizens that focused on the stereotypes of our generation.  We focused on the following stereotypes:  the reality tv wannabe, the nerd, the Southern Gentry, the hipster, the cheerleader/valley girl, and the jock.  We decided to focus the skit around the idea of a talk show, so we had two co-hosts, and an audience.  

Following that, we did a couple of team builders and ice breakers to pass the time before we enjoyed our lunch.  We worked together to form and undo a human knot.  The team worked really hard for about twenty minutes before we all decided that we were not going to be able to undo the knot.  After we unattached our hands, we realized that it was because we were in two groups and were literally tangled!

For lunch, our student coordinator Sam '15 delivered wraps from Johnny's Bagels, a local shop on Main Street.  We enjoyed our lunches in the courtyard in the HUB. 

After lunch, our team travelled to the Kemerer Museum to do some landscaping work.  We were immediately put to work pulling out weeds and helping the make the outside appearance of the museum look fantastic!  We finished up the work they had planned for us, and were even able to start some work out back.  By the time we left, there were close to no weeds!

Around 4:00, Team MOCO went for a walking tour of Bethlehem with a woman from the Historic Bethlehem Society.  We learned a lot about both Bethlehem and Moravian's rich histories and where our school and city's roots came from.  Then we walked to Broad Street to enjoy our dinner at Hello Burrito.  After our exhausting day, we enjoyed a few games back on campus, while bonding with the other team.  

As a team leader, I feel responsible to announce how absolutely incredible my team is to work with.  Everyone works so hard and so diligently, and they don't even stop for breaks.  The members all work so well with one another and are so respectful.  I could not be happier to work with this select group of incoming students, and I am even more excited to see and hear about how they grow as student leaders at Moravian College!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The following post has been submitted by Becky '17, First-Year Program Participant

On Monday August 19th, Team B of The 1742 Experience volunteered at New Bethany Ministries.  We split into two sub-groups.  My group, led by co-team leader Michelle '16, went to the warehouse while the other group, led by co-team leader Jenn '14 , stayed at the kitchen to cook and serve lunch.  We met Fiona, a charming and intriguing woman from Ireland, who gave us instructions for our project in the warehouse.  We demonstrated exquisite teamwork, diligence, and efficiency as we went through all the bags of food and organized them in different crates.  We got the whole job done and had fun doing it.  We also swept the warehouse floor after we finished emptying all the bags and filling all the crates.  We demonstrated resourcefulness by using snow shovels as dustpans.  Stepping back and looking at the end result was exciting and satisfying because we made a significant difference and it looked much better.  The look on Fiona’s face upon her return was extremely rewarding because we could see how astounded and grateful she was.  We then proceeded to load the crates into Al’s van in order to transport the food to the kitchen, which is up the street from the warehouse. 

After we ate lunch, we took over the other group’s job in the kitchen in order to give them a break.  We served seconds to those who were still hungry.  This part of the day was extremely rewarding as well because seeing the happiness and appreciation on their faces was heart-warming.  It truly made my day when they said “thank you” or “bless you.”  While reflecting upon our experiences later, everyone agreed that the peoples’ gratitude and appreciation were very rewarding.  We were definitely very helpful to all the people there, and I think they were to us as well.  They were all happy to have us, and we learned from them as well as gained new experiences, insights, and perspectives.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Special Thanks to Stations Cafe in Bethlehem for their sponsorship of the program. Students from Team "MO,CO" stopped by to express their gratitude to Stations on their way back from their service experience on Monday.

Team "MO,CO" walked to New Bethany Ministries to assist with serving a midday meal and sorting donations int the warehouse. The post below is from Jen '17, one of first-year student program participants.

After splitting into two groups at New Bethany, the group led by Jenn  '13, remained in the kitchen and prepared the food for lunch. With the instruction of a woman named Penny and a professor at Lehigh University, Roy, we cut up and washed all the vegetables for the extra large salad, and were surprised by the unusually large locally grown cucumbers! After prepping the salad, we laid out slices of bread on trays, which was definitely the simplest step. With the instruction of a leader who could not speak, we struggled to prepare the desserts properly, but were proud of how well we communicated with her. As a team, we understood her instructions and fixed our mistake with optimism and diligence. We had some extra time before the meal was scheduled to be served to the patrons of New Bethany and the freshmen bonded and learned more about Moravian College and Bethlehem as a whole from Jenn. Most of us would agree that serving was the most rewarding part of the experience. Everyone was so appreciative of our service and with every “thank you” all we could do was smile and be proud of our good teamwork and cooperation. As cliché as it sounds, it was so rewarding to see people leave with full bellies and smiles on their faces knowing that we contributed to their good day. The two smaller Moravian groups switched places so we could eat, and we got a chance to interact with some of the people there, all of whom were very respectful and grateful. It is truly amazing how the daily workers at the soup kitchen have such great success with having to train new volunteers everyday, but they are clearly very good at what they do and enjoy doing it. This appreciation spread to us and thus, we had a rewarding day. During a reflection of the day, what most of us agreed on as the greatest accomplishment is one of our members, sophomore team leader Michelle '16 signed up to return to the soup kitchen as a volunteer. She enjoyed her time at the soup kitchen and warehouse so much that she wanted to make it part of her weekly routine.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Student Leadership Team - Training

To prepare for our leadership roles in The 1742 Experience, we focused on Kouzes' and Posner's Five Effective Leadership Practices: Model the Way, Inspire a Shared Vision, Challenge the Process, Enable Others to Act, and Encourage the Heart. In order to put these leadership practices to use, the Student Leadership Team and Katie, went to the North Summit Climbing Gym in Wind Gap, PA, where we learned the basics of indoor rock climbing and incorporated the five effective leadership practices.

(Left to right) Sam Blake, Casey Hilferty, Michelle Mason, Nick Roberts, and Jenn Leedom

Friday, August 2, 2013