Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Bethlehem YMCA--Another Perspective on The 1742 Experience

Below are excerpts from an email sent by a staff member of the Bethlehem YMCA regarding The 1742 Experience.

"This week we are blessed to have 10 new freshmen from Moravian who are part of the 1742 Project- a week of community service before the rest of the freshmen arrive. This morning they arrived early, set up the lounge in a cozy fashion, fixed bagels, fruit, coffee, juice, etc." 

"They attended an hour long SilverSneaker exercise class with our seniors and joined with them for a brunch. They all mingled, hung out, talked and shared."

"These last two hours they have been playing with the kindergarten class- all  30 of them! They led a dance party with the kids and had a ball."

"There were smiles all around all day. The seniors loved them and the 5 year olds loved
them. They. Were. Wonderful!! Great kids. They are welcome back any time. Lots of bonding with 90 year olds and 5 year olds!"

 And the connections from Moravian College abound...

"I saw a 90 year old Moravian grad sharing a bagel and fruit and giving a hug to a brand new freshman!"


Student Reflection (Bethlehem YMCA)

Day three of the 1742 Experience was filled with fun and laughter as our group spent the day at the Bethlehem YMCA. In the morning, we spent some of our time preparing food for an upcoming brunch for the Silver Sneakers, a senior citizen group that participates in health and wellness activities. Some of us rearranged the lounge area where we would sit while others sliced bagels and fruit. Later, our whole group went to join in on an exercise class for the Silver Sneakers. However, instead of helping them with their routine, they taught us the work out moves. We were marching in place, stepping from side to side, and having a great time. It was amazing to see everyone in the room smiling and laughing. Soon we left the class and had brunch with the Silver Sneakers. We chatted and mingled with the others in the room and discovered that we were even among a few Moravian alumni.


In the afternoon, we visited a class of kindergarteners. Everyone quickly mingled with the kids and started to join in on the activities that the students were taking part in. Some of us helped the children to color or build towers while others joined in on a dance party to the “Cha-Cha Slide” and Justin Bieber’s “Baby.” Seeing the smiles on the faces of the kindergarteners was a rewarding experience and everyone enjoyed the day at the YMCA.

On our walk back to Moravian's campus, Sasha and Tom stopped us and told us that they had a surprise for us. The surprise was a scavenger hunt that we had to complete. After dividing into two teams, we all started running down Main Street where we had to find and take pictures of various things such as an armada of ducks, a witch’s hat and Christmas carolers. After completing our list, we returned to Sasha and Tom where they told us we had one more task. We were to meet Sam at a mystery location. We were given clues and eventually found her at Stations. The whole group enjoyed a frozen treat there, and then headed back to Moravian to end the day.

A big thanks to Stations Cafe for sponsoring our 1742 Experience t-shirts!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A Day's Work at New Bethany Ministries (Tuesday, August 21)

Student Reflection on Service (New Bethany Ministries)

On Tuesday, August 21st, 2012, the 1742 Experience students spent the entire day at New Bethany Ministries, an organization that provides food and shelter for the less fortunate in Bethlehem.  This day of service was after the day that we helped bring food down from their warehouse and organizing it, so we spent most of our time there cleaning.  We swept outside, organized supplies in the food pantry, and cleaned the apartments of the third and fourth floor from top to bottom.  The most difficult task was cleaning the oven on the fourth floor, which was filled with tons of gunk!  One particularly humorous highlight of the day was when I somehow got myself locked in the staircase room between the 2nd and 3rd floor.  I was hollering and yelling for about 10 minutes until the rest of my teammates finally came and got me out.  We finished the day by weeding the backyard of the ministries and then headed back to campus for dinner.  Later that night we all gathered at the HUB to treat ourselves to a movie.  Afterwards, we discussed the next day's plans for service at the YMCA.  All together, we had another successful day of service at New Bethany Ministries.  Despite the chaotic nature of the day, we still got the job done in the most excellent fashion


Monday, August 20, 2012

Day One

Monday, August 2012-Today was our first day volunteering in the community, and I felt that we accomplished a lot and became closer as a team. Our busy day began with an early start and our first breakfast at Moravian (It was yummy!). After breakfast, we walked to the Bethlehem YMCA to truly begin the 1742 Experience. As we walked, I think we all felt a mixture of emotions; we were excited and nervous to begin our first service project as Moravian students, and we were curious as to how well we would work as a team. When we arrived, we were told that we would be repainting wall designs with different colors. At first, the task seemed daunting, and we scattered to find an individual task to pursue. However, we quickly recognized the importance of working as a team, and we decided to work in groups; some of us placed painting tape on the walls, while others began painting. When it was time to break for lunch, I think we all were impressed with how much we accomplished in so little time. We left the YMCA for the day and after lunch, we walked to New Bethany Ministries. At this point, we split into two groups. Half of us went to the warehouse, and the other half remained in the food pantry to package and organize the food. My group went to the warehouse, where there were three huge bins of food. We quickly grabbed boxes and began removing the food from the bins. Although a few of us nearly fell into the bins trying to reach the food resting at the very bottom, we managed to perform the task efficiently. When we returned to the pantry with the boxes, we had to take each individual item out of  every box and place it on the correct shelf and in the correct spot. Though we were given "a tour" of the pantry's shelves, it was challenging to find the right spot for each item, and I bumped into numerous people while traversing through the narrow aisles. After all the items were organized, we left New Bethany Ministries with a rewarding feeling knowing that we had helped the food bank and made a difference in our new community. Although the first day was a bustling and exhausting one for all of us, we weren't too tired for a movie night after dinner!


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Getting to Know Each Other (Photos)

The team had great results with the human pretzel-knot challenge.

Heading off to for a tour of the campus!