Alvirne Leos Light the Way at Camp Pride

September 27, 2019

 

by Doug Robinson

“LEO clubs are a youth organization of Lions Clubs International.  The acronym “LEO” stands for Leadership, Experience, and Opportunity.  LEO clubs encourage youths to develop leadership qualities by participating in social service activities,” writes Lionsclubs.org.

At Alvirne High School, dozens of students have committed themselves to be a part of the Lions Club’s vision, “to be a global leader in their community and humanitarian service.”

In the organization’s words, “Lions serve.  It’s that simple, and it has been since we first began in 1917.  Our clubs are places where individuals join together to give their valuable time and effort to improving their communities, and the world.”

Many Leos give witness as to how they too have benefited personally from their community service.  As these Leos enter later life, many continue to serve their communities as a result of their learned experiences.

As the youngest members of Lions Clubs International, “Leos embody the best qualities of our incredible organization.  They are devoted young people who realize the power of action.  Together, Leos and Lions form a powerful partnership — one of mutual respect, where Lions learn from the innovative insights of Leos and where Leos gain access to the proven strategies of those who’ve successfully served the world for decades.”

Alvirne High School recently participated with the annual Lions work day at the Lions’ Camp Pride campground in New Durham.  Camp Pride has been providing a special needs environment since 1989.

Camp Pride facilities are “fully handicapped accessible and include housing building all with full bath facilities, a soccer field, softball field, volleyball courts extensive hiking trails, two protected waterfront areas, a low-level ropes course, a two-story main pavilion for dining and indoor recreational activities, an arts and crafts building, outdoor pavilion sitting area, and full service health center” writes lionscamppride.org.

Students who participated in the Leo Club during 2018 volunteered more than 600 hours of volunteer service to help the camp.  Continuing into 2019, the Leos’ dedication to community service remains unwavering as they collectively traveled to Camp Pride to assist in their “work day” activities.  To say that these students are committed to the serving their community would be a big understatement.

The impact of the Leos at Camp Pride involved the revitalization of the lighthouse, which is located at the waterfront.  Each Leo contributed their individual talents to the project.  Some excelled at the operation of a belt sander, while others were better suited for painting.  Now, standing 14 feet tall, the remodeled lighthouse stands as a welcoming beacon for all who pass.

As with all aging structures, the lighthouse needed some “love and care” as it has matured over the years.  The Leos sanded, primed, and painted the lighthouse so that this landmark could be enjoyed by others for years to come.  Tree limbs were cut to protect the structure from the elements, and special protection was applied to the lighthouse via extra coats of paint.  The windows were trimmed with the Bronco colors.

Unfortunately, one factor that held the LEO’s back from completing their task was that the days grew too short.  The complicated installation of the lighthouse’s solar light, rock garden, as well as the rebuilding of the lighthouse’s foundation would have to wait until April 2020.

With humor and conviction, a sign was painted, “Under Construction.  4/20/2019.”

Come spring, the hard-working Leos will return to Camp Pride and finish what they started.  Part of their mission is to add a special rock garden of individually painted rocks.  These intricate rocks have been inscribed with encouraging words and thought to tell all, with or without challenges, that they are loved, included, and appreciated.

The Lions motto states simply:  “We serve.”  What better way could the Leos exemplify this than by bringing to life the historic lighthouse at Camp Pride.