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My AmeriCorps End of Term Celebration

REPOSTED FROM MY THOUGHTS (hshawjr@blogspot.com/haroldshawjr.com)

Last May I was allowed to “hide” my official job title for a little while and take part in one of my AmeriCorps program’s new member orientation.  See my “I GOT TO TAKE THE AMERICORPS OATH TOADY blog post.  Yesterday was the end of season celebration for this group.  I was invited to attend and really looked forward to it.

I got there and when I walked in someone shouted “Hey – The Old guy is here” and I knew I was welcomed back. There were a few hugs, lots of handshakes and I listened to the stories of the rain, the bugs, the work and more about the rain.  But I also listened to them talk about their personal growth, how they learned to work with others, that they accomplished more than they ever thought they could, how they had cleared their head and how they wouldn’t have traded the experience of working on the trails for anything these last few months.  The biggest thing I heard was that “I made it through to the end”.

Yes I was punched in the arm again by Corey, but not nearly as hard and I got to laugh and talk with quite a few of them.  Then I had the privilege of speaking to everyone, I hope they had some fun with the things I pointed out with them and I was able say thank you to them both professionally and personally, which was the highlight of my week.

Quite honestly I was jealous of the stories, experiences and friendships that they talked about during the course of that morning, it left me wishing that I could have completed the orientation and gone onto the AmeriCorps term of service with them.

I am proud of the AmeriCorps members (almost all who started finished) who completed this term of service.  The only regret that I had was that I didn’t get to actually be a member and finish it with them.  Who knows – maybe someday.

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