Thursday, June 29, 2006

More on the Bridge House Brats

I had a chat this afternoon with one of the adults who supervise the Brats. The story of this program is even more amazing than I had thought. The kids (7,8,9 years old) do EVERYTHING! They plan the program, they raise the money, they develop the budget, they buy the equipment, they do all the work. Everything that's painted, is painted by the kids, and the kids bought the paint. All the flags, tables, chairs, umbrellas, awnings, etc that you see in the picture - all bought by the kids, set up and maintained by them.
The kids have a "Brat Shack" which is their headquarters. They meet, they plan, they add new things to the program, all on their own.
Not only is this a fantastic boost for what otherwise would be a dying little town along the banks of the Oswego Canal, it is wonderful experience for the kids. Once a kid spends a summer or two in this program, he or she will likely not be intimidated by anything he or she might be challenged to do.
At least one Bridge House Brat went on to be president of his class in a university, one got to meet the President of the US.
More communities should start programs like this. It really is one of the best volunteer programs I've ever seen. And it's all run by little kids. Go figure.

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