Monday, November 25, 2013

My first time at MOX

After a long week of classes and work, I love to finally de-stress on the weekends by getting off campus either by doing service or going on adventures with my dear UD friends. The Midwestern Outdoor Experience, MOX, was the greatest event I was a part of this semester; one which let me both volunteer and get outdoors. It was an event sponsored by the Five Rivers Metroparks which promoted outdoor recreation. Involved was everything from snowboarding, to yoga, dog competitions, camping and of course kayaking. I attended the event to help teach people to kayaks and to speak at our beloved river mobile.

 I loved the event because I appreciated seeing so many people enjoying the great outdoors and participating in a healthy, active lifestyle. The River Steward Institute focuses on creating awareness about the rivers and the environment to the Dayton area, but this event was so much more than that. 20,000 people attended this event from all the major cities ranging from Cincinnati to Indianapolis and Louisville The fact that so many people with shared interests came together for one event put into perspective how grand our efforts could be and how many people we can reach.

To begin the day I watched happy families fill up kayaks and play-around on the river, as I helped people get in and off the docks and taught first timers the proper kayaking techniques. Sharing a passion of mine with these eager folks was a great start to such a beautiful Saturday.

Then I walked over to our brightly colored River Mobile. Talking at MOX was different than giving tours at schools because I got to talk to adults as well as children. I loved talking to everyone, no matter their age, but while doing so I realized what a difference in knowledge there is. I liked meeting people who really knew a lot about conservation and the dams because we would have deeper conversations. But just as much as I liked those, I also found it rewarding to talk to people who weren’t as informed. I felt like through talking to those who came through the mobile I was giving a voice to the river and water we so heavily rely on.

MOX was a wonderful, fun, and educational event; and to anyone who finds themselves still reading this, I would highly recommend you go out and explore it next year.

See you there

Sunday, November 17, 2013

SunWatch Tour and Service

It was none other than a sunny day at the SunWatch Village. My fellow Stews and I, fresh out of orientation to the program, met and traveled to a unique place right here in the city of Dayton. Still learning what kind of people everyone was this trip really opened up each and everyone’s desire to learn and serve. The beginning portion of our trip consisted of a learning portion. We talked about the rich history at SunWatch consisting of the creation of the small village to its decline. Some unique facts about this village are the uncovering of rocks only native to the Gulf of Mexico and an ancient burial site right on the premise. We than transferred our focus to the serving side. Some picnic tables needed housed for the fast approaching winter months and we were just the right people to do it. We set a record time and built a little muscle doing it! It was such a special experience and definitely something I would like to experience again.

One fellow Stew...

- John Weniger