Ambassadors Celeste Pilegard (left) and Cassidy Smith show off their newly acquired sledgehammer skills at Make a Difference Day.

Hey guys!

We had a great time at Storyland for Make a Difference Day! Who knew demolishing things could be so much fun? Cassidy and I joined about 35 volunteers, including students, faculty, and alumni, to get our hands dirty breaking down the Alice In Wonderland maze to make room for a new exhibit and painting a new fence for the area. We spent the day wielding sledgehammers and paintbrushes—a first for many volunteers! Cassidy and I had never done anything like swinging a sledgehammer before, so it was a great experience to get to roll up our sleeves and really push our limits. Plus, we feel like we’ve gained some new skills!

As the day went on everyone got so much more done than we could have imagined, and we even got to meet some cool new people. A mother-son alumni team, an international student from Germany, and a lot of volunteers from Jumpstart, the Asian Social Work Student Organization, and the Smittcamp Family Honors College all came to help out. It was great hearing what inspired each of the volunteers to spend their day helping out as we worked together to literally break down walls. One of our favorite quotes of the day came from Anne, the German student who said that she wanted to take part in service while she was here because she feels like its “part of the culture here.” That was really exciting to hear! At the end of the day we were all exhausted and covered in dust but happy to see all that everyone had accomplished. It was especially cool for those of us that grew up visiting Storyland to get to revisit some of our favorite exhibits. (And I’m not going to lie, Celeste and I really enjoyed the Hansel and Gretel portion of Storyland! Some of us may or may not have gotten a little carried away with the playground equipment…) We can’t wait to see the Mother Goose in California exhibit completed!

Still sore (but with killer arms),

Ambassadors Celeste and Cassidy


PS: Check back soon for more pictures!