Thursday, March 23, 2017

Dare to Dream Day of Service.

The Shinnyo-en Foundation sponsored a day of clean-up at Bolsa Chica State Beach, better known by the locals as trash alley on March 22, 2017, UN's World Water Day.  200 teens and their faculty sponsors  from around the United States, and many countries around the world attended.

The day was facilitated by the NYLC YAC with an advocacy for our seas breakfast that featured humorous moments and a serious short video of the state of our ocean waters and beaches.  There was also a welcome from a park ranger since the beach we were about to visit is  part of our national parks.  We learned that it takes 50 years for a can to disappear from our beaches and that styrofoam breaks in such small pieces that never really degrades.  The tiny particles are confused as food hurting our birds.  The park ranger also provided some safety guidelines.

The breakfast consisted of a hardy ham sandwich and a variety of drinks.  We were provided with a backpack that contained a bottle of water (we needed to bring the bottle back to the hotel for a service project) and an energy bar.

After breakfast we were divided into groups by the color of our wrist bracelets provided to us at registration.  Our blue group was divided into smaller groups and NYLC YAC teens facilitated a get to know each other deep listening dialog that also empowered us to reflect on the significance of our actions in a personal and global way.

After a very tasty lunch, we had clean-up competitions and reflected the day.  The NYLC YAC facilitator called us to share a Rose (fun moment), a Bud (looking forward), and a Thorn (something that made us think).

At 4:00 pm, the Casady Dare to Dream Team set-up the "It is your turn to serve" showcase at the exhibit hall and Mrs Clay's sister Lyly Bird joined the team for the opening plenary and the celebration. The cost for one day was $60 because of joining the celebration and background checks.  She might come back to be with us more depending on her schedule.

The Opening plenary featured a welcome by the NYLC CEO and an inspirational call to action by the Frederick Douglas Family Foundation.  The Foundation provided participants with a copy of "Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave" at the snacks celebration that follow the plenary where Minnie and Mickey welcome us Disney style.

Photos by Cooper L.

We first went to breakfast, where all the
attendees were. We split up into smaller groups, where
 we met people from Arkansas, Boston, and Texas.
Then,we left the Disneyland hotel to head to the Bolsa
Chica State Beach. 

When we got to there we explored the beach and
started to pick up trash. It was very eye opening to see
 how people have been treating the beach.

 We worked hard picking up as much trash as we could. We even made it a competition to see who could pick up 2 full bags in 30 minutes. Overall the experience was incredible and we all were happy to help the community and learn more about our environment. 

After our long day of work, we reflected upon it. We all shared our rose (our favorite part of the day), Bud (what were looking forward to), and our thorn (Something you were still thinking about). We, then,went back to the hotel to set up our showcase, which will be open on Thursday and Friday. 
After the Day of Service, the Dare to Dream team set-up the showcase in the exhibit room
600 people attended the 28th NYLC Service-Learning Conference.  The number of international participants was equal to the number of  US participants