On a weekend morning in April, the Geneva Heroes were out and about just like they are many Saturday mornings, despite temperatures being well below average. The group of HWS students and Geneva middle school students worked to clean up the shoreline at Seneca Lake State Park, picking up all types of debris including bottles, plastic and Styrofoam. In all, they collected more than 20 bags of garbage in two hours.
Geneva Heroes is an eight-week service and leadership program for approximately 20 to 25 middle school students. The group was created and is staffed and run by Hobart and William Smith students who recruit participants from the local middle school and then lead them in teambuilding, leadership and service activities.
For the Seneca Lake cleanup, the Heroes divided themselves into two groups, each starting at one end of the park and working toward the middle. Afterward, they went inside the State Park Center for a snack and an interview with the park manager. As part of the leadership component of the program, students usually meet with a representative from the site that they are serving to learn more about the organization, its mission, leadership and volunteer or service needs.
Upon return to campus, the Geneva Heroes ate a well-deserved lunch at the Intercultural Affairs house and watched Hobart play UMass in lacrosse.
In past years, the Geneva Heroes participated in a day of Project Adventure leadership and teambuilding exercises; assisted in unearthing and righting headstones in historic Washington Street Cemetery; stripped and waxed floors at the Geneva Food Pantry; raked leaves with President Mark Gearan for elderly citizens as part of the public service project during inauguration weekend; cleaned and landscaped at Lakeview Mental Health; cleaned and moved furniture at the Boys and Girls Club, and participated in activities with the residents of Seneca Terrace assisted living center.
Interested volunteers may contact the Center for Community Engagement and Service-Learning (CCESL) at email@example.com or ext. 3825 for more information.