Nobles Summer Service Camp: Something for Everyone

These blog entries were posted by the 14 young people from as far away as Hong Kong who are participating in our 10th summer camp dedicated to service for the public good. A post at the end of the week will show the 12 paintings, and 14 torn art panels these wonderful kids will be donating to the Home for Little Wanderers along with pictures of the event where the therapists chose which art they would like to show in their therapy spaces!


This is my first time and experience at an actual service camp. Although my mom signed me up, I have met really cool people and new friends! I have been doing service for a few years now at my school to earn hours for Religion classes and to learn what it is like to do service for others. One thing I have done at service camp is cooking lunch at a place called Hearth, Inc. This is a place where people build apartment type housing for former or at risk to become homeless elders. We made lunch for some elders who were hungry. We made pasta, salad, cut bread, and iced tea. Afterwards, we got to eat some and it was very delicious! We also got to meet some of the elders living in these houses. They all we very nice to us. Then we got to see one of the apartments. They looked very nice for some one to stay here. That is what we did on the first day.

On the second day, we got to go to a place called Cradles to Crayons. This is a place where workers and volunteers come and set up backpacks for the first day of school for kids or families who can’t afford it. We put toys into certain bins where they needed to go, and organized board games. I felt like I did make a difference in these kids lives at school. We also made notes for kids to put in backpacks to give a good feeling for their first day. We said things like “Good Luck” and “You’ll do great!” and things like that. So I guess that my mom was right! I would like service camp! – Brendan Kinch

Being thrilled wasn’t the first thing in mind when my mom signed me up for the service camp. I guess somewhere in there I wanted to help. On the second day of the service camp we arrived to Cradles to Crayons. Cradles to Crayons is a company that lets people donate toys, and old things that looks reusable. There were big buckets of toys we had to sort into groups. The whole time wasn’t about sorting – we fooled around with different toys and played with a lot of them. For the second part we focused on the board games and puzzle section. We had to count the puzzle pieces or build the puzzle. I found that building puzzles was more entertaining, and most of them were less than 100 pieces so it was easy. I enjoyed building the puzzles and playing with the toys, and knowing it would help kids around America made me enjoy it even more. –Anna Yuen

Yesterday (August 7th 2012), I went to Cradles to Crayons with Nobles Service Camp. Cradles to Crayons is an organization that gives toys and clothes to needy children. We helped sort donated toys by putting them in boxes according to the category, like New Toys, Board Games etc. Later we went through the donated puzzles to make sure they had all the pieces and instructions. I also helped write out note cards with a few others. These note cards will be put into the thousands of backpacks that will then be given to the children for school. They said things like quotes, song lyrics and things like “Hope you do well in school!” It was an amazing experience and a fun one! I would recommend this service project to everyone! I know I loved helping out! – Kayley Fiorino

The thing I like the most is painting for Home for Little Wanderers.  After the paintings are done, they will go on the walls for HLW.  The paintings are almost finished and the paintings look really nice.  On Friday, we will show the parents the paintings. – Melody Chiang

This week I went to the Nobles Service Camp. We did many things there – one of them was going to Cradles to Crayons. Cradles to Crayons is a place where people donate things such as clothes, toys, books, etc. We helped sort different toys into different bins. It was kind of sad because they can’t give stuffed animals to the kids, so all the stuffed animals that got donated had to be thrown away. There were three trashcans and one of them was almost full of just stuffed animals. It was too bad because some of the stuffed toys looked in pretty good shape. Another thing we had to do after all the toys had been sorted was to make sure all the puzzles had all their pieces. We had two options, 1. Count all the pieces and 2. Put the puzzles together. A lot of us put the puzzles together. Sometimes it was all for nothing. What I mean is that sometimes you would be making a 100 piece puzzle and when you were almost done, there would be one piece missing. Over all, going to Cradles to Crayons was a fun experience. – Molleigh Kinch

On the first day of Nobles Service Camp, we were taken to Hearth Inc., where elders in danger of or already living in homelessness are taken in and given a home. Preparing lunch, comprised of meatballs and penne pasta, some salad, bread and butter, and a truckload of watermelon and desserts for the residents, we met the kind and genial men and women who had been given shelter there. They thanked us profusely, and after we had finished lunch we were given a tour of one of the uninhabited apartments. I’d say it was a great improvement from the streets or a park bench. Our guide told us that the people who were given refuge there were amazed at the fact that they could take a shower when they wanted, and that they had a space all to themselves. It was truly a good feeling to see the gratefulness of the elders when we brought out their meal, and the general friendliness of the ones who had gotten such an improvement in their lives. This camp, from the first day, has made a profound impression on how I see the world. It is definitely one of my most recommended camps. – Daniel Hahn

So far this week of service camp has had a big impact on my life. I have seen people who have been put through things that they should never have to go through. When there are people in my own town that are being put through homelessness after years of work, I personally feel pretty ashamed. I felt that all my problems were small compared to the aspect of homelessness and other things that all of us take for granted, like where my next meal would come from or where I would be able to sleep. After we went to Hearth. Inc. and I was able to help these people that had nothing, I felt ecstatic, as if I had helped to create a better life for some people. It gave me a sense of achievement and accomplishment. In conclusion, this camp has made me a better person and is definitely something I would recommend. – Willie Meng

When we went to Cradles to Crayons, there were loads of toys, books, clothing, and shoes stacked on shelves nearly all the way up to the ceiling. It was a really big room, but we only spent our time in a small section of the warehouse. There were five carts, piled high with miscellaneous toys, books, clothing, and shoes. There were seven bins called Vehicles/Action/Animal Figures, Infant Toys, New Toys, Play Sets, Make Believe/Dolls, Legos and Blocks, and Puzzles and Board Games. We spent our time organizing the toys into their corresponding bins.  Sadly, we couldn’t donate any of the stuffed animals, because of germs. They went straight into the trash. After about an hour of organizing, there were hardly any toys left in the bins, except for little dolls and animals from play sets. The Games and Puzzles bin was about to explode from way too many games in the bin. We had to take a game and see if all of the pieces/ instructions were there. If there were missing pieces, we had to chuck them into the trash. If they had all of their pieces, we would put a rubber band around it and put it in the bins. There weren’t any chairs in the organizing area, and it felt like such a relief when we sat down and wrote messages to the kids who would be receiving backpacks on the coming Friday. After a few hours, our time at Cradles to Crayons was nearly up, but we still had to do one more thing- take a picture¡. – Emily Meng

The community service camp this year at Nobles was a very rewarding experience. On the first day, we went to Hearth Inc. and cooked for elderly people who were homeless or about to be homeless. They appreciated our cooking a lot and it made me feel good. We ate with them and they shared their life stories. The stories made me feel like the cooking we did meant more than what I originally thought. They really appreciated the meal we cooked with them and the time we spent with them. On the second day, we went to cradles to crayons and sorted toys. We had to make sure the toys worked before we put them into the boxes in which they belonged. It was sad to see that some people put their broken toys into the donations, but it made me feel like the work that we were doing was more important. It was even more rewarding to know that the toys were going to kids that really needed them. The whole experience at the Nobles community was very rewarding. – Daniel Emery

“Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” -Martin Luther King Jr.

A few days ago, if someone had asked me why I wanted to willingly volunteer my time out of my summer vacation to do community service my answer would have been less than convincing. The usual summer is supposed to consist of family trips, beach days, and hanging out with those closest to you, not hours of work that you don’t even get paid for!  It didn’t take me long to figure out that this camp isn’t about yourself. When I signed up I made the decision to volunteer for others, to help them when life seems to be working against them, and to make sure that they get the care that they deserve. It’s the choices we make today that affect our lives in the future and any opportunity to change it for the better should be taken. If anyone asked me today if I wanted to participate in Nobles Service Camp, my answer would be a resounding yes, because the feeling that you get when you know you made a difference in someone’s life is much more gratifying than just the usual summer. – Daria Crawford

We visited Hearth, inc and made lunch to serve to senior citizens who were formerly homeless. After serving their meal, I had the opportunity to sit down with three women, who were so kind and thankful for what Hearth was doing for them. This experience allowed me to really appreciate the small things that can make a big difference, such as a simple meal. One man I remember speaking to was so happy to see children helping out in the community. It was such a warm, safe environment. Hearth, inc. provides these senior citizens, who were once living desperately on the streets, with housing, food, and a safe environment where they are able to live happily. They were such cheerful people and I am so grateful to have met them.

–      Katie Graham

This summer I didn’t really have anything to do so my mom suggested Nobles camp. She told me that it was a service camp and since I enjoy helping people, I decided to go. I was unsure about it at first but it turned out to be really fun! On Monday we drove to Hearth, which is a place where formerly homeless people are provided with safe housing. We cooked lunch and served it to the residents. It was really fun because we were making people happy and sitting down and talking to them. I met some really nice people there! On Tuesday we drove out to Boston to a place called Cradles for Crayons. When we got there it was amazing! We got to see how many toys and books were donated and there were a lot! We sorted the toys into different sections. Just knowing that we went there to help made me feel so happy because I knew that the kids would love all the toys there! Every morning, we go to the Home for Little Wanderers. It is a home for kids that are in tough times or their parents can’t take care of them. We painted pictures for the kids to look at when they were in their therapy rooms. The paintings look great so far and I can’t wait †for the kids to see them! The camp was really fun and if you like helping people then I think you should go here too. – Vivien Beauchemin

I came from Hong Kong for the summer. I was very bored at home so my mom took me to the Nobles Service Camp. Yesterday we went to Cradles to Crayons. Cradles to Crayons is a company where people donate old toys and clothes to give to kids who can’t afford them. It’s a good company. We helped to sort the toys. It was meaningful work for me. Helping people is very meaningful. Two days ago, we also went to Hearth, inc.  We cooked for the homeless seniors. We cooked spaghetti with meatballs. I made iced tea with my friend Linda. These few days were very meaningful and I was glad to do this work.

-   Tiffany Wong

I went Cradles to Crayons and it was incredible. There were shelves stacked high with toys, clothing, puzzles, board games, and a whole lot more. I donated some clothes to the organization because I think that it is good to give things that you don’t need to the less fortunate. Also, my school does clothing drives for Cradles to Crayons, so I already knew a lot about the cause. What we did to help them was sort some toys to put them into bins. The bins were labeled with their corresponding contents. After all of the toys were put into bins, we had to check each puzzle/board game to make sure they each had all of their pieces. Afterwards, I felt really good that I had helped many less fortunate children.

– Holden Corcoran

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