Carpenter Place looks different than it did a week ago. Things got considerably spruced up by the invasion of about 80 WWC troops. (Forgive my military references, but since Monday was D-Day, and Tuesday started Wichita WorkCamp, I saw a few similarities.) The invasion force was admittedly smaller – 50 teens and 30 adults – but the logistics of scouting, organizing, preparing, supplying, and directing all the “soldiers” was still impressive. (How many paint brushes would you supply for 50 teenagers?)
This year, since WWC had to be planned during full pandemic mania, the force was limited almost completely to Northsiders and the work was all done at Carpenter Place instead of spreading out over the city. Seeing everybody in one place helped me realize how many Northsiders get involved in WWC. Most of them take a week’s vacation and drive many miles to make it a reality. That is no small sacrifice! Plus, it’s not what most people would call a “vacation.” It was hot and humid, and instead of lying by the pool, you just have to keep a gang of teenagers headed toward the same goal. Northsiders are awesome!
Actually, herding the teenagers is pretty easy. It is a rewarding thing to work with a crew of teens for a week. Some of them are used to working and jump right in. Some don’t know which end of a paint brush to hold or have never been taught to work. But nearly all of them want to work and just need a little guidance. Providing that guidance and encouragement is gratifying. Generations are brought together for a week in a common cause – and lots of good comes from that.
Next year, barring any other generational catastrophes, WWC will be back to full force. If all this “work” sounds like fun to you, mark your calendar for next year and talk to Drew Lowrey about where you might fit in.