“A child educated only at school is an uneducated child” is one of Meagan Maes’ favorite sayings. While brainstorming for an event to insert into the Woodcraft Butterfly Wing 2 schedule, Maj. Maes, as she is known to the girls, reflected back to that saying.
Having worked at Woodcraft Camp for nine summers, Maes saw a lot of similar activities each year. As the B2 wing commander, she wanted to add something new and different. Having grown up in Culver, she began to explore what her girls could do as a service-oriented activity in the community. Visiting the residents at Miller’s Merry Manor, the local nursing home, rose to the top of her list.
The visit consisted of several different activities and plenty of one-on-one interaction with all of the residents. Prior to leaving to meet the residents, each girl received a flower to present to the people they would share a table with. While there, the group played several rounds of bingo and the Butterflies gave the residents manicures.
Maes described the experience as “special” and “emotional” for the campers and residents alike. While it wasn’t a traditional camp activity, the girls took advantage of the opportunity to go above and beyond. Getting the most out of the experience, the girls were engaging and asking the residents plenty of questions. By the end of the visit, Maes said she could tell the residents felt almost “as if their grandchildren had come for a visit.”
Megan Gifford, a Gold “C” Butterfly, mentioned she had done a similar visit for her school choir in her hometown, but had never been to Miller’s Merry Manor. She said “some people didn’t know that they could do something like that, so it was a happy new experience.”
Elizabeth Livaditis, another Gold “C” Butterfly, described the residents’ smiles as “up to the sky,” and called that her favorite part of the experience. She observed how the residents probably do not have too many kids or younger people coming to visit them; so this was a unique experience for both the Woodcrafters and Miller’s residents.
It is definitely one that will be remembered by everyone for a long time.