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How I Spent My Belated "Give 5" Volunteer Day

My respect for nature, teachers and the curious minds of young children grew even deeper when I chaperoned a recent kindergarten field trip to a popular Stockbridge farm.

Though I had planned to participate, I ended up missing Patch's "Give 5 Day" back in September due to something that popped up last-minute. That happens quite a bit in my life.

"Give 5" is Patch’s ongoing volunteering initiative, part of Patch's mission to give back to communities in a variety of ways. Members of Patch staff take part in "Give 5" least five times a year  - hence, the name.

I got a chance to volunteer when I was one of five chaperones on a Woodridge Elementary kindergarten field trip to Southern Belle Farm in Stockbridge earlier this month (I used to volunteer a lot at Woodridge way back when my oldest, who graduates from high school next year, attended).

I love rolling hills and fresh air, so I looked forward to visiting Southern Belle. I also have a great deal of respect for educators, and I got to see many hard at work keeping up with their students -- while still learning and enjoying the farm themselves -- on this very busy field trip (hats off to Southern Belle for having such organized and engaging activities for the hundreds of kids who visited that day).

We chaperones assisted in keeping the kids together, escorting them to the restroom, passing out lunches, and generally serving as an extra set of eyes for more than 20 extremely energetic kids. Between the chilly, windy weather, the full morning of events and the kids' excitement (read: running around) we were spent.

I took note of how the five-year-olds were so eager to participate in activities on the farm. They "ooed and ahhed" at the farm animals that they could touch, they craned their necks to see the cows and fields while on the hay ride, they eagerly selected small souvenir pumpkins.

In an age where technology is readily available and often keeps kids glued to a screen, it was nice to see the children so fascinated with nature. Hopefully they were as tuckered out that night as I was.

Tell us: Where do you like to volunteer your time or talents? Let us know in the comment section below.

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