Volunteering with Adventure Club: Thank you Lisa Stokes!

Last Wednesday, we went back to Adventure Club to volunteer with the kiddos. The first time we came by, we didn’t have the appropriate gear to stay warm outside, so this time we came prepared. Bundled in multiple layers, snow boots and puffys on, we felt ready to run around for hours outside with the kids.

We ended up spending nearly three hours outdoors, chasing the kids and having snowball fights, or playing whichever games they wanted us to be a part of. There’s very little rules at Adventure Club, and as volunteers we’re primarily asked not to intervene when conflict arises between the kids or to suggest games during playtime. The coordinators want the kids to be able to entertain themselves in nature without the need to be stimulated or prompted by adults. The creativity that comes to light during this unstructured play time is such a beautiful thing; the kids will roll down sledding hills or build snow shelters and play slow action fight scenes with sticks. We’ve even seen them stand around listening to bird calls, identifying them (correctly!). This time, the girls of Adventure Club found a barrel in the forest. They wanted to pile themselves in and have us shake and roll them around in it. I feel lucky in these moments to be volunteering here with Cooper, as the kids often over predict our ability to lift them up and toss them around for long periods of time. After playing around with the barrel, we ended our afternoon with an hour long snowball fight where the girls teamed up with us against three of the boys, and asked us to make them “the best snowballs” so they could hit the boys.

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We’re having such a fun time volunteering at Adventure Club, and it’s informing a lot of my personal decisions on what career path I want to follow next. Sometimes it’s hard to take a step back and give space to the kids to lead activities and work through conflict, but it’s been an incredible lesson for the both of us to learn how to let go of control and let kids be kids. Having grown up the youngest of three and being one of the youngest cousins, I’m not use to spending time near children. I once heard someone say that they were often made fun of for being the kid to organize everyone else’s play time rather than play themselves. I relate to that statement SO much, but Adventure Club is helping me continue to learn to tap into my playful side and give in to silliness.

We volunteered at Adventure Club last week in honor of Lisa Tadie. Lisa, thank you so much for your generous donation and for the opportunity to volunteer with this incredible organization! We appreciate the love and support, and are looking forward to eating the 48 Clif Bars we were able to purchase with your donation!

We’re still waiting to hear back on information about the new blog site, but once we have it we’ll post the information here. In about two weeks, we’ll be leaving Duluth and slowly making our way out West. Looking forward to sharing our trip with you all!

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