This is my favorite time of the year in Arizona. I like to call it our reward for enduring those really hot summer days! Now is the best time to get outdoors. While you’re out there, why not take the kids on a service walk? If you’re not familiar with the term, a service walk is a walk where you do service (clever I know). I took a bunch of Cub Scout boys on a walk around my neighborhood armed with gloves and plastic bags. I was concerned how some of my neighbors would feel having that many little boys in their yards, so we stuck to the sidewalk and public areas. (I did let them loose on my yard.) Not only was picking up trash encouraged, so was weed pulling.
Some of the boys were picking up broken sticks and other plant debris as part of their trash, one of the boys questioned whether that was considered trash – since the birds use it to make their nests. I didn’t have a good answer, but it made for a good conversation.
A funny thing that happened on our service walk was one of my neighbors asked if we were selling cookies. He seemed disappointed when I told him that was the Girl Scouts. He was even more disappointed when he found out we didn’t have any goodies to sell. He appeared pleased when I explained that we were on a service walk, and he gave them permission to pick up trash and pull weeds from his yard.
At first I wasn’t sure if we would make that big of a difference in such a small area that seemed fairly clean. When we arrived back at my house, there was no question about the good we did in a short amount of time. We filled about 4 sacks of garbage. You don’t need a Cub Scout troop to have your own service walk. This would be a great one-on-one activity for you and one of your children, an activity for the whole family, or involve several families from your neighborhood. Not only will you get fresh air and some exercise, you’ll also leave a legacy of serving your community!