Yesterday I spent most of the day working at an indoor track meet at our school. Instead of heading out on the long weekend like many of my shipmates, I decided to stick around and fulfill my Institutional Service (IS) hours requirement. Every cadet is required to fulfill a minimum two IS hours and six community service (CS) hours. It sounds like a lot to ask when cadets are already working so hard to balance out school work, sports, other military requirements, and a social life as well; however, I think that interior service and community service can be fun and rewarding. It’s all about what you make it.
There are tons of opportunities to fill the CS and IS hours requirement, and a lot of them are fun. Also, they are a great opportunity to meet people. Last semester, I completed all of my community service on a one Saturday afternoon, kayaking up and down the Thames River picking up trash from the islands and beeches. The event was called “Adventure Clun River Cleanup.” It was really fun, and some of the people I met that day have become my best friends.
But that’s just one example of community service. Two other marquee community service events that the Coast Guard Academy are doing now are: ongoing Hurricane Sandy relief, and what we call, “Habitat for Humanity” construction. The Habitat for Humanity is an ongoing house build. That’s right. Cadets are out there every weekend working together to build a house. It’s a great project and tons of cadets have gotten involved so far. The Academy is heavily involved in the local New London area, and it’s great to see cadets taking an interest in the community.
If you want to find out more about what the Academy is doing for community service, or if you have any questions about the service requirements, please feel free to email me! Hunter.D.Stowes@uscga.edu.
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