One of the organizations that I am involved in on Campus is a group called PALS. It is similar to a Big Brother/Big Sister mentor program that Luther students can get involved in. Basically, each Luther student is assigned a child from the Decorah community or surrounding area, and about once a month the Luther students and PALS get together to spend time doing all sorts of different things on Campus.
This past Sunday we had our first PALS event of the year. It consisted of the children dressing up in their Halloween costumes, and we spent the afternoon doing a scavenger hunt all over campus. The scavenger hunt included all sorts of different things on Campus like read books in the library, run around the football field, skip across campus, and enjoy Halloween cookies and hot chocolate.
My PAL is a little guy named Zach who is 6 years old. He dressed up like Superman (but wanted to be the Grim Reaper--His mom wouldn't let him dress up like that) for the day and from what I gathered, he enjoyed his experience with me on Sunday. At first it was a little hard to gauge his interests; he didn’t want to color, read books, skip. He claimed that all of them were boring so it was a little bit challenging at times. Eventually I just realized that he just wanted to have fun and hang out with someone and it didn’t really matter what we ended up doing. So we spent time playing tag a little bit and exploring the campus and kind of ignored the scavenger hunt aspect of the day. Some of the things that little kids can really make you laugh and Zach definitely said some very interesting things throughout the afternoon.
There are probably close to 100 Luther students that are involved with the PALS program here on campus, and it is really cool to see us all spending time giving back to the community that we live in. I really think that these kids look forward to hanging out with College aged students.
I am hoping that the next PALS event is just as entertaining as this one was.