October 5th 2016
As we packed up our tents on our last day at Assateague Island, the wind was whipping from the offshore tropical storm, blowing sand in every direction, and students were getting their gear together to head home. I asked Lemmy to run and grab some things from the van, and he quickly returned. This was Lemmy’s first Trekkers trip, and I had found him to be extremely helpful all week long. Whether it was grabbing gear, helping others set up tents, or just lending a hand to others, he was always ready and willing to go the extra mile. I shared with him my observations and thanked him for all the help and his great attitude. He said to me, “Well that’s because I love it here. I’ve never done anything like this, or been someplace like here before. I’ve never been to a beach like this or had a campfire like we did last night…” at that point I stopped what I was doing. I think I knew what it felt like when they said the Grinch’s heart grew three sizes that day…
“I don’t want to leave,” he said.
Since coming back, Lemmy has offered to go as a student-leader on the 9th grade Assateague trip next week multiple times. For Lemmy, this was his first time at Assateague Island, but it represented many other firsts for him. More than anything, I think it provided Lemmy with one of the first experiences leading others as a servant-leader. His example, his attitude, and his actions spoke so loudly to me, and I believe he will (and already is) speaking loudly to his classmates as to the true nature of a Trekker.
-Kris Schnepf, UrbanTrekkers Program Director