Piedmont Community Service Crew and the work done by its members inspires everybody, even the members themselves. Here are a few testimonials from crew members throughout the years:
When I first joined PCSC I was a freshman in high school and it was one of the first clubs that I became part of. Looking back, I am so glad that I chose to join because it has enabled me to help my community and feel the fulfillment one gets only when volunteering. From cooking meals for the elderly to restoring local parks and houses I have had many wonderful experiences thanks to PCSC. Furthermore volunteering has become a highlight in my week, offering a haven of stress free time to chat with my friends and just experience how good it feels to be helpful. Almost every weekend I have the opportunity to do a variety of activities that are all student lead and organized. It is amazing to see my peers put so much effort into helping the community and making someone’s day one smile at a time. I believe that it is thoroughly important for young adults to get away from their schoolwork, sports, jobs, friends, etc. and lend a hand, even if it is only for and hour or two, and experience the benefits of volunteering. That is why PCSC is such and important club and organization. Thanks to people like Ken Li, students like myself, have had the unique opportunity to help out the less fortunate and give back to the beautiful place we have grown up in.
I joined the Piedmont Community Service Crew in November of 2011, my freshman year. I was interested in doing community service, and a few upperclassmen that I knew said that what we then called Venture Crew had more events than other service groups at school. Even though I felt shy and unprepared at the first events I attended, I was truly interested in everything the crew did. I wanted to say yes to every event and get to know all the older members who seemed so responsible and competent. I wanted to try cooking meals and trail maintenance and construction and anything that was new. It was my excitement for events that helped me ease into a leadership role. I was so interested in doing a cooking class for kids at the Lincoln Child Center that it wasn’t too much of a leap to become the event leader. Being an active member of PCSC taught me how to plan, communicate, and work like a leader. After leading a lot of different events, I helped coordinate the meals for our big RTO event in April, and then I ran for the crew officer position of VP Communications. All of this happened in my freshman year, and it significantly changed how I thought about the value of service and how I could serve as a leader. I stayed very involved with the crew throughout high school and even pursued my interest in the Scouting program with leadership training and the Venturing awards. After four years with the crew, I have gained a lot of experience, skills, and values while still enjoying myself. I hope PCSC will continue to do the same for other teens.
I never thought I would be a Boy Scout. But looking back, it was one of the greatest decisions I made. I joined Crew 22 because helping others appealed to me, but I had no idea how much I would learn about myself and community. By making a difference in other people’s lives, I was also developing critical life and social skills that are more applicable in the real world than AP Calculus. I gained leadership experience by leading weekend events and holding Crew officer positions. Moreover, because Venturing is part of Boy Scouts, I became involved with the Boy Scout community and its endless opportunities: recreational and leadership camps, special events, and the Venturing Silver Award, equivalent to a Boy Scout’s Eagle Award. I became as involved as I could, learning a lot about myself and what my involvement as a woman in Scouting meant to others. Whether it was speaking in front of 90 people, planning a meal for 80 people, or gaining confidence as a female in a male-dominated organization, I became comfortable with the uncomfortable. As a college freshman, I am recognizing the incalculable number of lessons I’ve learned from Venturing, as I apply those skills and experiences to interviews, other clubs and everyday life. The great thing about Venturing is that you tailor it to fit your goals. Whether that means a couple events a year, or hundreds of hours, I encourage both guys and girls to take advantage of the opportunities Venturing offers because you’ll be amazed at what you’ll get out of it.
As a Venturer, I was made responsible – for the first time in my life – for coordinating and successfully delivering a meal to a hundred hungry homeless on Thanksgiving Eve. If I had to pick a moment to sum up my years as a Venturer, I would not pick the moment I wrote my first PCSC article for the Piedmont Post, or the moment I walked the stage of the National Youth Leadership Program Graduation ceremony – recognizing for me, a hell’s week of leadership and outdoor training, nor would it be the completion of the Venturing Bronze Award or that final moment of last year’s Rebuilding Together Oakland Project – when all the volunteers had left, and only us Volunteer Coordinators, Youth House Captains, and Adult House Captains remained on site. No. These were all incredible moments that helped me become the proud leader, student, and citizen I am today – but the moment I would pick to sum up my years as a Venturer would be, no doubt, the moment when my dearest friend Elaine and I gave our closing remarks at last year’s PCSC Spring Retreat. Both of us had been a part of PCSC for all four years of our high school career and the thought of graduating and leaving all that behind was heartbreaking. As we reminisced and passed on our officer titles to next year’s student leaders with hugs and giggles, I remember being overwhelmed with a feeling of unwillingness – unwilling to give up my place in the PCSC family, and unwilling to admit that my journey as a Venturer was – in part – over. In our remarks, we gave our vows to always be a part of PCSC and the Venturing community – if not in physical presence, then in spirit. We vowed to embody all the values and principles of a respectable Venturer, and to help our peers grow alongside us. As I looked at all the young faces in the room, I saw my three-years-ago-self sitting timidly at the back; how excited was I for her to discover how much she could do for the world and realize all her passion for doing good. For me, this is what Venturing is about, and why I believe my years as a Venturer has been one of the most positive experiences of my high school years.