Last Day at the Center

I only stayed for an hour today so my tasks only compiled of walking two dogs.  As soon as I walk into the room full of dogs it always breaks my heart because they instantly come running to the door of their cages and are whining and jumping up and scratching the locks.  It is so sad to see.  The first dog I walked today was the same one as yesterday, the little white dog that looked like my mom’s dog.  The second dog was a Border Collie.  She was a sweet little dog but didn’t care much for being petted but rather just pulling me around on the walk.  She was a very anxious dog and happy to be outdoors.

There was no leadership to really be observed again as I was by myself walking the dogs.  Today, when I walked in the lobby there were five workers standing there talking and it was hard for me to even ask to get a signature from them because they had paid no attention to me at all.

I did not engage in any leadership activities.  I took two dogs for a walk, a half-hour each and then I was on my way.

I felt good about the day’s experience, like always.  The hour flew by and it felt good to be all done with my hours.  Looking back, I am glad I chose to do some of my volunteer hours at the Animal Adoption and Rescue Center because those dogs really do need volunteer’s to give them compassion and take them on walks and I am glad I could help fulfill that.

Third day at the Center

Today I went in for a short period to walk a couple of dogs.  I took a cute little white dog on a walk and then a cute little brown and black dog for a walk.

Every time I go in to the Center I just ask for a leash and then I am on my own the rest of the way out.  There was a lady I believe I saw before and she is always really friendly.  Every time I came through the front with a dog she always made a comment about the dog and how cute they were or whatnot.  That was really the only leadership I saw today and it seemed to be enough for me.  As a volunteer the goal of coming in and walking dogs is pretty easy and needs little supervision to complete, so for her to simply make the environment friendly and welcoming makes me want to come back more often.

I did not engage in any leadership activities and there were no opportunities presented either.  I just simply walked the dogs by myself and was on my way.

I always feel good after leaving the Center because I love dogs and seeing them on walks makes me feel good about myself because, even though they are just a dog, their happiness makes me feel happier too.  Also, the first dog I walked was a little white Maltese Terrior mix and it looked just like my mom’s dog at home so that kind of hit home which was really nice.


Our basketball team holds a three weekend camp for kids around the ages of 7 to 12 from the local community.  The girls team only has to attend one weekend and it is always a lot of fun to interact with the kids and see them playing the sport that we love too.

My tasks for this Sunday were to help the kids at my basket.  We are all split up before we start the camp, and there were approximately three to four kids at each basket.  We are there for three hours and cover several different things that need to be explained and then demonstrated.  We went over how to set screens, pivoting, passing, knock-out, and playing some 5-on-5.  At the end of the camp the captains stood in front of the campers and discussed the program of “Live 5”.  Live 5 is a program discussing 5 key characteristics of champions that athletes should abide by: Integrity, Responsibility, Sportsmanship, Servant Leadership, and Respect.

Our assistant coach, Jill, did really well at interacting with the campers in helping to demonstrate drills and encouraging them.  Jill also does a really well job at checking up on us college players and making sure that we were staying up-beat and encouraging also.  I noted some leadership skills lacking by the boys assistant coach, however.  He was very passive on helping and interacting with campers. Jill even asked him after she demonstrated a drill if he wanted to take the next one and he passed on it immediately.  Also even when the campers were split up and everyone was at their baskets, I noticed he wasn’t interacting with any of the campers and more or less just watching from a distance.

I engaged in a lot of leadership activities at this camp.  While at the basket, I took on the task of being the one to lead the screening drill.  This included explaining to the campers how to do the drill, demonstrating the drill, and then coaching and encouraging them through it.  I also demonstrated leadership at the end when discussing the “Live 5” model.  I presented the topic of Servant Leadership; explained to the campers with what servant leadership was and interacted with them with questions on the topic.

I felt great about the day’s experience because it was fun to share the love of playing basketball with these campers that are so young.  I was able to act as a coach for the day too which was really cool because it is always the other way around with me being the player.  The campers were full of energy and I really enjoyed helping them through drills and helping to make them better.

Food Bank-Boys Scouts Food Drive

Saturday morning I volunteered at the Food Bank in Sioux City where there were about 20 people in total helping out.  We were set up in a replica of an assembly line.  One person was bringing in crates of food, then half the people were assorting cans and placing them in front of each little box labeled accordingly to what they were, then the other half (which is where I was) placed the cans in the boxes until they reached 20 lbs. and then hauled them over to people who taped the boxes and put them on separate crates behind the labeled boxes.  Linda, who was the lady in charge, said that they have always organized their food this way because it is efficient and effective.  There was some time in between loads of food, so when we had this time gap we began working on the “Backpack” programs food.  We would just open cardboard boxes, take the fruit containers out of the wrapping, and then place them back into the cardboard boxes to be taped again.  I am assuming they did this just to make it easier on the schools that the fruit cups were being delivered to.

Linda introduced herself as the head of the organization, but once things got started I did not really notice her.  There were several leaders from the Food Bank however, each one in charge of their section.  Edgar was in charge of labeling the boxes and making sure each box was well supplied so the operation would never be backed up.  He was very nice and a hard working.  While we were doing our jobs you could constantly see Edgar running around making sure everything was stocked up and running smoothly; more of a lead by example kind of guy.  There was also another lady named Amy who seemed to be more in charge of the Backpack program.  She directed us with the steps we were supposed to take and which crates to redo and where to put the finished crates at.  She was very kind and had a gentle personality.  She would thoroughly explain what was needed to be done and she had a smile on her face the whole time and also spoke in a soft voice.  She was very approachable.

Before we started our assembly line of assorting the food, Linda had mentioned that if any of the labeled boxes were running low that we were supposed to let Edgar know so he can label them and get them out as soon as possible.  I took on this role.  There were several different labels that were running low and nobody was really paying attention to it.  So when I noticed this, I made sure to keep a close eye on the supply of the boxes and made sure to tell Edgar which boxes were needed to be labeled.  This helped keep things running smoothly.

I really liked volunteering at the Food Bank because there were so many different people volunteering that day.  There were mothers, fathers, students, different ages, and different races of people.  It was a fun experience to work side by side with people that you would normally never have the chance to do so.  To see so many different backgrounds and personalities coming together to complete one task was a very cool thing to be apart of.

Into the Streets

On Wednesday the basketball team and I participated in Into the Streets.  We were assigned to the Sergeant Bluff Elementary School where we got split up and spent our morning in different classrooms.

Our tasks for the day included cutting out a lot of laminated materials that the teacher needed to be done, helping the children on the computers, and my favorite, recess!  It was actually National Health Day also so we went for a mile long walk with the school kids.

The teacher had great leadership skills.  Ms. Ping was not only a great leader for her students, but she also had a student teacher in her classroom that she was setting an example and helping to develop her teaching skills also.  You could tell the second graders love Ms. Ping because whenever she spoke, they listened.  Whenever she helped them, they lit up with smiles.  And Ms. Ping had it in their heads that if they worked hard on their homework they were rewarded with games.  Ms. Ping also seemed to be a good leader to her student teacher.  She would let Samantha, the student teacher, have the classroom to herself and teach the students.  There was a slight mishap with the computers and their plans for that assignment did not goes as scheduled, but they dealt with it calmly and appropriately.  After the children left for recess, Ms. Ping praised Samantha for handling the “bump in the road” very well.  Ms. Ping also chose her times to help Samantha very well because she did not seemed rude, but rather had perfect timing to step in and help.

I engaged in some leadership behaviors when stepping in to help with the computers.  Hanna and I knew what was being done as far as logging into the system so we proceeded to help the students log in and get their learning underway.  Also, at recess we helped get the little kids rounded up when it was time to go in.  It may seem easy, but when these little kids get to clinging on to you like it is a life or death situation, it can be difficult to get them sat down and lined up.

I felt great about the days experience.  It was nice to see Ms. Ping’s leadership skills being applied in a real life situation.  She was also really good at remember mine and Hanna’s name.  I was also impressed with her genuine interest in us.  She was asking us questions about basketball and our majors.  I am very happy that we got put in her class and the kids were awesome to be around.  At one point in recess, the girls suddenly broke out like a flash mob in this song and dance, which was very catching, and that was one of the coolest things to say.  I now have a new song and dance I can impress my own friends and family with, ha!

Second visit to the Center

My visit to the Center this time was really on my own.  Thursdays must be their busier days because they had all new workers except for the same guy that had helped me before.  When I first walked into the Center they had a lot of customers in the waiting room and it seemed to be a little chaotic so I just grabbed my leash and got out of their hair.

My tasks this week including walking dogs again.  My goal for each visit is to be with one dog for a half-hour at a time; I got to see three of them this week.  It’s so funny how deceiving these dogs are in their cages compared to how they act once they are out.  They seem innocent and scared in their cages, and once they are out they are dragging me along and keep jumping.  You cannot blame them though, I’m sure they have been begging for a moment like this all week.

I was mostly on my own today so it was hard to observe any leaderships behaviors at all.  I guess, right as I walked in I did notice a lady that did seem to be in charge.  She was talking to the customers and explaining how the product works and how to apply the medicine.  This was interesting because everyone seemed to pay attention to her and listen when she talked, that is why I am assuming she may be the manager of some sorts.

I did not really engage in any leadership behaviors this week.  I took the dogs out on my own and handled them on my own, so I engaged in more responsibility than leadership I would say.

I felt good about the days experience because I like dogs in the first place, so if I can give them a little happiness by taking them on walks or letting them run wild in the outdoor fences, I am more than happy to do so.  Everyday is interesting to me because each one of these dogs has their very own personalities and it’s always fun to spend an hour or two around them.

First day at the Center

Saturday morning was my first day of volunteering at the Sioux City Animal Adoption and Rescue Center.  My expectations going into this service learning were circled around cleaning out dog and cat pens and any other dirty work that a volunteer would more than likely not want to do.  I was pleasantly surprised.  It is a very independent volunteer service where all you have to do is grab a leash and take the dogs out for walks.  I thought this was a very simple and useless task until I actually started on my first walk.  Right when you walk into the room full of dog cages they immediately start barking and getting stirred up, begging for you to choose them!  The first dog I took for a walk was a Golden Retriever/Border Collie mix and I immediately fell in love with him.  We went for our walk and he would not show interest in any of the wilderness, but rather gave me constant gazes to make sure I was still beside him.  That’s when I realized what a huge difference it actually is to have volunteers come and take these dogs on walks and erase their sense of loneliness.  After that I took three more dogs on walks and also went in the outdoor kennel.  While I was there a family looked at one of the dogs I had at the time and ended up taking the dog home.  I felt such a relief and excitement for that dog and the family and I had only been around it for maybe ten minutes.  I can understand that that would be a perk of the job for the Center’s employees.  A rare event also happened while I was there;  three Boa-Constrictor’s were brought in that had been seized, as they are illegal in Sioux City.  One guy had owned all three snakes that measured 10 feet, seven feet, and 3 feet.  I absolutely hate snakes, but I had to get a look!  The field transporter refused to handle them, one of the workers could not handle the bigger two snakes, but luckily a frequent volunteer was in the Center and grabbed the snakes and hauled them inside to their cages.  I applaud this man because that is one thing I will never do, hold a snake.

It was hard to notice leadership at the Adoption and Rescue Center just because the volunteering is so “on your own”.  I did have the chance to talk to a younger worker, however, when she was on break outside.  I did not see any of her work activities that she completes, but I could tell she was an informal leader by the way she talked.  She said she had been working there for a year and a half, but had volunteered many years before that.  She spoke about the animals with a lot of passion and hope for them being rescued by some owners.  She knew every single dog and their personalities which shows that she has a lot of dedication to her job, and also to the animals that are trying to get adopted.  I think she is a good example of leading through example.  Her passion and dedication to the animals can rub off on the employees who are with her each day also.

I did not engage in a lot of leadership activities today.  My main goal was to get a feel for the place and get acquainted with the employees.  I wanted to have them trust me and start a good relationship with the employees on my first day there.  I think I did pretty well at this except for I never formally introduced myself and got their names.  I knew right when I left that I should have done that.  Next time.

I felt awesome about the days experience.  I love dogs, so for them to say I can pick any dog I want and take them on walks was the best thing I could have asked for.  The dogs I took on walks were so loving and loaded with energy that each walk was pretty entertaining.  To add to the walks, there was an unexpected arrival of giant killer snakes!  Well that’s what my eyes saw anyways.  It was an exciting day filled with many different animals and I cannot wait to go back again.