The Good Life: Service Trips Leave a Lasting Impact

Students share how summer service trips are still at the forerunner of their minds.

Clara Pohlman, Social Media Editor

This summer I, along with several other Skutt Catholic students, had the opportunity to serve at an Indian reservation in Wanblee, South Dakota. This experience was unlike anything I ever could have imagined, and left an impact that truly changed the way I perceive the world.

Along with this service venture to SD, students also served at Winnebago Indian Reservation and in Port Au Prince, Haiti. And without a doubt, all attendees agree that their lives will never be the same.

“It was a very humbling experience to be surrounded by such happy kids considering the circumstances they go through,” said junior Greta Purcell. “I met a lot of people that I will remember for the rest of my life,” Purcell continued. She was one of the twenty-some students who served on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

I can say from first-hand experience that seeing kids who are so poverty-stricken is not easy. But luckily, there are many opportunities for kids on these reservations, especially in the summertime, to play together outside of their neighborhoods. This program is called “Kids Club,” and it was created so that kids would have an opportunity to run around and just be kids for just a few hours out of the day. As volunteers on the trip, we were in charge of running Kids Club which mostly consisted of giving piggyback rides and doing crafts. It was evident from the first day of leading the club that all the kids wanted was to be loved and for us to be present with them.

Those Skutt Catholic students that served in Winnebago had a similar service experience. “We helped little kids create new friends and for, relationships with one another,” shared junior Landon Healey. “We also set up a Vacation Bible School church in the middle of a neighborhood and explained who God is to these children,” Healy said. The service on this trip was more hands-on work, which included sorting clothes, building, and cleaning. But the impressions remain the same as those who served in Pine Ridge.

Lastly in the realm of SC service trips is the group who left for 10 days to serve in Port Au Prince, Haiti. “Even though the differences we made were small, the smallest of things can change the lives of others in dramatic ways,” said Senior Caleb Sudback. “It was amazing to see how our school had made an education possible for the kids in that village through our Hope for Haiti efforts,” Sudback said. Being such an intense service opportunity, this trip is one that pushed students beyond their limits to reach out in new ways.

While in Wanblee, the leaders of the trip had a theme for our group as we served throughout the week. That theme was “the good life,” and this really made me think that serving others is living the best life because we are all called to live for others. It is incredibly evident through the testimony of students that even a few days of helping those who are in need can leave an impact that lasts a lifetime. It is a nice challenge to reflect upon our own versions of “the good life” because serving each other is what life is all about.

Clara Pohlman

Clara joined the Flightline in August of 2017. She is a senior this year, involved in speech, show choir, and theatre. Outside of school she loves working as a princess for children's birthday parties. You can email her at [email protected]