The first two weeks of my semester consisted of eating, sleeping and breathing recruitment and looking back I loved every second of it! I did not really know what I was getting myself into when I sent in a speech to be appointed and saw the email that night with just my name next to recruitment chair.
What I got myself into was something far more special and rewarding than I can put into words. Alpha Phi Omega has become a very large part of my life since I pledged in Spring 2013. There of course were ups and downs throughout recruitment, but I cannot help but look back over those two weeks or so and smile!
I think one of my favorite parts of the position was getting to talk about what Alpha Phi Omega is, what exactly it is that we do and why I love it so much. It is not every day that I get to talk to a ton of people and do nothing but talk and talk about APO.
My first official recruitment event was the Honors College Orientation Involvement Fair. I remember showing up and a brother asked me what my elevator speech was. I looked at him and said, I have no idea! What I found was that I did not need an elevator speech because when you love something and are passionate about it, the words come.
Throughout the first few weeks of the semester I held a number of events from info sessions, service events, meet and greets, attended involvement fairs and so on. Brothers came out to everything and were there every step of the process. However, hands down, my favorite part of recruitment were the days leading up to pinning pin, more and more people started confirming that they would be pledging Alpha Phi Omega and everything came together.
Recruitment is in no means about the number of people we can recruit. Recruitment is, however, sharing what Alpha Phi Omega is to the Penn State Community. It is about finding people that want to come out to serve the community. It is about helping find someone find their place. Recruitment is providing people with the opportunity to be friend, be a leader and most importantly that they can be of service.
Scouts Meeting: Easter Style One of the things I look forward to after a rough week of classes is Scouts. This week though, was one I had been eagerly anticipating since it was the Thursday before Easter. Unfortunately I was unable to go home and visit my mom and brother for the weekend and I viewed this meeting as a surrogate holiday. Being a freshman in college is rough because it’s essentially the first of little holidays, celebrations and get togethers with my family that I won’t be able to attend. I never truly realized how many of the events we had until my floor mates would have their family come and visit or they’d go home for the weekend. Even though I couldn’t be with my mom for easter, I knew I was with part of my family here on campus. And I have come to view the scouts as an extension of that family. I enjoyed hiding easter eggs filled with candy for them and I enjoyed even more seeing the excitement that they had when they walked into the room and saw some eggs right away. I now think I understand why my mom goes through so much effort to try and send me something when I cant be at home. It’s not so much the being there or the giving of gifts in some form, but it’s the thought that you are brightening the day of someone who matters to you. Being able to make the scouts smile really made my day and I couldn’t think of a better way to end my Thursdays. Krissy Krause- Krissy
Last Wednesday I had the opportunity to join Elizabeth Ceres, the volunteer and outreach coordinator, from Discovery Space in an after school event held at the Bellefonte Elementary school. Elizabeth and I met at Discovery Space, right off Allen Street, before heading to Bellefonte. I was nervous at first when I realized would be attending this event alone, without any brothers from APO. Because of what turned out to be a fantastic experience, I would like to share this event with all of you. It was a wonderful service experience and one that I think the fraternity should continue in the future. In the car to Bellefonte, Elizabeth briefed me on the event. Discovery Space is a science museum with interactive exhibits and hands-on programs for children including areas such as science, technology, engineering, and math. Elizabeth told me that Discovery Space launched a collaboration with Bellefonte Elementary this past month after the board made a motion to provide more after school opportunities for the elementary students. Many of these students could not otherwise afford this sort of program, but funding from the district has made activities like Discovery Space a reality for these young students. We got there around 2pm and volunteers were divided into different classrooms. Elizabeth and I worked together with Kindergardeners. For two and half hours we ran different activities with them. We gave them a brief 'lecture' about engineering and what engineers do. We then divided the 26 kindergardeners into groups of 2 where they would work on team work exercises together. Each group got 15 dixicups and were asked to build different things based on a set of simple criteria. Criteria included building the most ascetically appealing structure, the tallest tower and building a structure with their eyes closed. We then talked to the students about air travel and planes. Each student was then given a paper with an outline of making the paper airplane. The students then had the opportunity to test fly their planes. We explained to the students why their paper airplanes were able to fly or why in some cases they might not fly. This was the first event that I did with APO where I was able to work with children. I love that APO offers so many unique and diverse service projects. Last semester, a highlight was working with APO at the animal shelter. This semester, it was definitely getting to work with children who without Discovery Space would have no engaging after school activity to participate in. It was also my first event doing with no other brothers along with me. While I was worried at first, this experience gave me more hands on opportunity and allowed me to interact well with Elizabeth and other people involved in the organization. Other larger services events have the advantage of working alongside your brothers doing something we all share a passion for. It really is great to experience both smaller and larger service projects. This event really proved to me just how diverse all the opportunities in APO really are! - Alexa
Today I began my Earth Day 2014 on a sore note. The poor weather made me feel cynical about Mother Nature, despite all that the earth provides for mankind. I even threw my paper bag in a trash can instead of recycling it because I didn’t want to take a few extra steps. Little did I know, my good friend MaKealy would soon teach me a valuable lesson about taking care of the Earth. As I sat in the APO office eating my French fries and Burger King crispy chicken sandwich (only $4.99), she explained that everything we have comes out of the earth. Even that crinkled up paper bag I had just thrown away! The earth has nutrients in it and from that plus a seed, a tree sprouted roots. As the tree got bigger from more nutrients, water, and nitrogen (which comes from the air too), the earth was feeding it. After the tree got big enough, a lumberjack chopped it down using a chainsaw (which also comes from the earth). The lumberjack took the wood to a paper factory, most likely along the north-west coast of North America. The wood was pulverized and transformed into a paper bag. When I threw the paper bag in the trash, I was really throwing a part of a tree in the trash. After MaKealy taught me this Earth Day wisdom, I decided to take a few extra steps to throw my styrofoam cup into the recycling bin. Thank you MaKealy for teaching me a valuable lesson in taking care of the Earth!