Betsy Tietjen approves Carson Bowden (24)'s "Senior Reflection". Now complete!
Senior Reflection

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Service Reflection
Senior Reflection

Carson Bowden 

Theology 12 

Mrs. Connelly

4/4/24

Service Reflection


Throughout my four years at Gilmour Academy, I had the opportunity to help out at the hockey summer camps during my freshman year summer. I also had the opportunity during my junior summer to help out at the Cleveland Foodbank. I would say that these experiences have shaped me into the person that I am today, and have also made me a better person. I would not be who I am today without what I have learned and experienced during my time helping others.

How I think Gilmour's service impacted me personally I would say it showed me how to become more engaged in my community and help people who wanted to learn more about the sport that I love to play. Service also helped me develop more love for the game because it showed me sort of where I started as a hockey player and where I am now. Some of the kids at the camp barely knew how to play hockey let alone skate so I thought that helping them out and teaching them some things that could improve their skating skills. When helping at the Cleveland foodbank one day I got to help people shop and although they were going through a hard time they still had a smile on their faces and were the kindest people I had ever met. This showed me that money is not everything, but being kind and loving towards others even if you do not know them is the most important thing. It showed me also how fortunate I am to have all the material possessions that I have, and to not take things for granted because others cannot do or have some of the things that I have.

This program showed me the difference between charity and justice by saying anyone can play sports if they want to no matter their race or gender. Although people are different from us, that doesn't mean that their potential to be skilled at something should be lowered. I have not only learned that from just counseling but I have also learned that from playing against people and realizing how talented they are. There was a lot of fighting during the camp as well so as a counselor you had to figure out what was going on and tell whoever was involved that they could not do that and explain why because some of them did not know what they did wrong. It was not all talking about hockey, it was bringing them together and teaching them some life skills that they had not known before. Helping at the Cleveland foodbank showed me how many people struggle financially and are just overlooked and people do not want to help them out because they dress differently or are not as clean as them. I learned that it is all about who they are as a person inside not outside. This experience taught and showed me the impact that you can make on people just by helping them out even though it may seem like a little thing, they may appreciate it way more than you think they do.

I remember one specific moment that will stick with me forever and it was one day we went on the ice and there was a girl who was unable to skate and could barely stand up on the ice. So my friends and I decided to pull her aside and teach her ways to skate so she could get the hang of skating. We taught her the mechanics of skating. I say this because I was in her shoes at one point and being looked at by a bunch of kids who can skate and then they see you it is embarrassing so I felt the need to bring her in and help her. This service I feel helped bring out who I am and that is a person who recognizes when someone needs help and no matter what the situation is I will help. That was not who I was in the prior years. I would see someone need help and be too scared of what people think and not help that person. 

I would say that this changed my understanding of service because I found it as just something to do that would not be fun, but I realized that it was fun to help people and make them feel good about themselves. I loved going home knowing that I helped people and helped them improve their skills that day. I also volunteered at the Cleveland Foodbank and being able to help people taught me the true meaning of service. It is not just doing it to get hours, but it taught me that when you see people in need then you should act and do the best you can to help them. 

To conclude I would say again and again that if I did not do the service today I would not be as grateful and appreciative for what I have and how much my parents have sacrificed for me to make me the person that I am today. I found the service that I did at the beginning to be a hassle. I will not lie, but as I got into it and started doing things I started to get engaged and enjoy it. If service was not required at school I have no clue what kind of person I would be today. I found the service helpful in bringing out who I am and not worrying about what others think about me.


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Hockey Camp Counseling
96.0 hrs Service Hours

My experience was quite an interesting experience with kids arguing and other counselors having to break it up or just, in general, helping kids. I loved the aspect of teaching kids how to lay the sport I love playing. I think they also enjoy playing it but not as much and with this experience, I think that it made them love hockey way more being able to hang out with friends.

Are the service hours you completed COMPETENCE HOURS (learning about social justice issues) or COURAGE HOURS (direct or indirect service to others)?

COURAGE

Which Gilmour charism (Divine Providence, Forgiveness, Hope, Hospitality, Inclusiveness, Option for the Poor, The Cross, Zeal) did you best live out through your service experience? Please explain.

Inclusiveness. I used inclusiveness because I made sure to the best of my ability to make sure everybody was having a good time and if they looked lonely I went over to them and started a conversation with them. I also tied anyone skates that needed their skates tied which was a lot of kids. I never said no to them unless it was something I had to say not too like them asking if they could swim the pool because they have never seen a pool at a school this was a very fun and interesting experience.

Would you try this service experience again? Why or why not?

Yes, I am planning on going back next summer to help out the kids and Coach Veach. I found this a fun way to meet kids that could possibly be going to our school next year or years later. This was a good way to bond and this helped my deal with kids easier because I had no patience and the kids helped me be more patient with them and even other people.

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Carson Bowden (24) began work on Gilmour Academy's St. Br. André Service Program
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Gates Mills, OH

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