Lauren’s Story

Our volunteer day kicked off bright and early as the team loaded into the big white van and headed to Rockford. We arrived at The Equest Center and immediately soaked ourselves in what seemed like pounds of bug spray and sunscreen in preparation of the day to come. The team then headed inside for a tour of the facility and a layout of the Saddle Safari trail. It was the first time visiting for all of us, so it was cool to see everything first hand. We even had a photo op with Honey, the draft horse!

Then it was off to work! We split into two groups and each worked on a separate area of the sensory trail. I was really surprised to see how big it is!  David, Kathy, Cara, Amanda, and Andrea worked on spreading gravel on one section of the trail while Allison, April, Jeff, Mike, and I raked and removed debris and prepped for woodchips on another section. We had a few good laughs watching Mike ride the tractor!

Lunch was delivered at the perfect time. We escaped the heat into air conditioning and mowed down on yummy pizza and breadsticks. It was exactly what we needed!  After the break, we spent the rest of the day working together to lay woodchips on two big sections of the sensory trail – I don’t think any of us have ever seen so many woodchips at one time! I couldn’t believe how much work we had finished by the end of the day. Having the opportunity to see our hard work come to life made the project feel very real. It was truly an inspiring experience. We spent the last few minutes taking group photos by an old silo and then journeyed back to the ‘Ville.

The day was full of hard work, but it went by faster than expected. Let’s just say all that bug spray and sunscreen really paid off!  The whole team agreed it was an awarding day of volunteering that we’d happily repeat.  It was extra special for me, since I’m new at Baudville. Not only did I get a chance to volunteer for an amazing project, but I got to know my co-workers along the way!