Twice a year, Brigham Young University hosts a Boy Scouts Merit Badge PowWow which offers over 30 merit badge classes. Approximately 3,000 boys register for each session, and BYU students have the opportunity to volunteer as the merit badge counselors. This upcoming PowWow, which will be held on October 19th, will be my fourth. Obviously the service aspect is the most important reason to volunteer, but the free t-shirt is a great perk, not to mention the delectable breakfast complete with muffins, doughnuts, and chocolate milk. Possibly the best breakfasts I eat the entire school year.
Looking for a new and unique way to serve right here on the BYU campus? How does splashing around in the pool and singing Disney music with goggle-eyed kids sound? Well, that’s what you’ll find every Thursday and Friday morning from 11am to 11:45am at the Richards Building pool. Here, student volunteers can come spend some quality time with local special education children in an interactive program called Adaptive Aquatics.
Adaptive Aquatics is a chance for disabled children in nearby schools to swim and receive some much-needed one-on-one time with volunteer BYU students each week. Students can help children develop their cognitive, motor, and social skills. There are also gym activities available for those kids who cannot swim or would rather not. The children come from Alpine, Orem, and other elementary schools throughout Utah County. They each have disabilities ranging from learning and speech impediments to Cerebral Palsy and Down syndrome.
Many BYU students have become involved with the program through Y Serve and report that they love the time they’re able to spend with the kids. According to the directors of the program, an average of 80 students with disabilities and 70 BYU students come to swim each Thursday and Friday. The directors estimate that around 300 or 400 volunteers come throughout the semester.
If this sounds like something you’d love to participate in for just one hour every Thursday or Friday for a semester, email email@example.com with your name and student ID for an Honor Code check. To get a glimpse of what Adaptive Aquatics is like, check out the video below or visit https://yserve.byu.edu/aquatics.