Hello River Reflection followers!
My name is Rachel and I am a “Baby Stew” (so I am a sophomore member of the River Stewards). I am an Electrical Engineering major and I am from Eighty Four, Pennsylvania (yes, my town is Eighty Four, which is in the Pittsburgh area in case you were wondering!). Even though I may be just a “Baby” I certainly do not feel out of place, or out of the loop! Let me give you a briefing of what I (and other newbies) have been experiencing as we begin our lifelong journey as Stewards of the river.
During the weekend of August 11th and 12th, while most UD students were just beginning to pack up to move back on campus, we were already moved in and preparing for our River Steward orientation adventures. I know that pictures have been shared, and other Stew’s have made the 17 mile float down the Great Miami, but in case you did not know orientation is A LOT of FUN! It is a really unique experience to come back to a campus you know well and enter into an entirely new community on campus. Essentially, you make a whole new group of friends on top of people that you already know, something that most others on campus do not experience.
Since orientation I have been quite busy with school and activities (activities that most often relate to River Stewards). During an interview I recently had I was asked what extracurricular activity I was most involved in. My response was River Stewards, but my response did not end there. I explained further that you never really stop being a River Steward, no matter where you are or what you are doing. You are always a River Steward - not just by title, but by actions. Since becoming part of this community I have shared my river and Dayton knowledge with many. My roommates and friends are probably sick of hearing about the awesome Valley Buried Aquifer. Don’t fret! They all know that Dayton tap water is very good, and that it is an important resource! Not only have I shared my knowledge with all my friends, I have also shared my knowledge with many non-acquaintances. From people on campus who did not know of the River Steward program, to people not part of the campus community I met while doing service, I have found many ways to talk about River Stewards, or the great things Dayton has to offer, or both. If I have a conversation with someone it is likely that I will find a way to bring up River Stewards, and what I do as a Steward.
I am really enjoying being an engaged member of the community I am a part of here in Dayton. I am excited to continue to meet more awesome people, and to have more incredible experiences. I did not realize how close-knit the River Steward program would be! It is a group of great people that offer help without even blinking an eye. The support, the community, and the experience are all something that I will never want to trade, and I do not think I ever will. So here’s to an exciting and awesome future as a River Steward!