Service learning term is a group project designed to get Big Picture students out in the community to learn about a relevant topic through community service. Students are split up into groups and then present at the end. This term I was a part of the Vulnerable Pollinators group. Our main goal was to learn more about bees, why they are disappearing, what people are doing to help and what we can do as well. We spent most of our time at two farms focusing on regenerative agriculture, but we also spent some time at the Intervale in Burlington.
My favorite part about this project by far was the work we did at Wild Roots farm. John Turner is very connected to the earth and the work that he is doing and he was eager to teach us about it as well. He showed us hands on exactly how the work we were doing applied directly to the bees and how it all came full circle. I wish we had had more time there because I felt like our entire group genuinely had fun doing community service there.
I did not enjoy the times that we went to the Farm Between as much however. While it was great to get out of the school and help out around the farm, I feel as if I did not learn as much. John Turner was very clear about why we working on what we were working on, but John Hayden was not. While I know there was a point to what we were doing at the Farm Between I would have been more engaged had we spent an equal amount of time learning.
I feel like our group really bonded during this project, not only because we were all fully involved and interested in the subject matter, but because we went into it with an open mind. For a lot of us it was our first SLT ever, and I feel as if we all got a lot out of the experience and found our own place within the group.
I learned the most this term when we were shown how what we were doing was relevant to the topic we were working on. It helped me keep my motivation up and my interest sparked. Though for the majority of the term I felt like this was very prevalent, but there were many moments when I noticed that my motivation and the groups work ethic was dwindling.