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Build America:
Journal 2017

Day 17

Today was our last day at Camp Wawbeek in the Wisconsin Dells and we hit the road early this morning at 8:00 to make the trek to Grand Island, Nebraska. We had a long previous night of working overtime on our projects, the pirate ship and the shed. We completed the pirate ship which was an incredible accomplishment! I'm very proud of our team for their dedication to work overtime to complete this project along with the team that worked their butts off to build the shed in a short period of time. Once we all woke up this Friday morning, we gathered our things and started to pack the vans for our early departure. While we were packing the vans, a bunch of campers from Camp Wawbeek ran up to the recently built pirate ship and started to play on it. That was the most rewarding thing I've ever experienced in my life. Seeing these campers having a blast playing pirates or something related to it on something I had a hand in building is truly amazing. Also knowing the pirate ship will be used for years to come and bring joy to many kids puts the biggest smile on my face.  

The long trip for Grand Island, Nebraska was ahead of us, a nice 10.5 hour car ride. We traveled from Wisconsin through the entire state of Iowa and then about half way through Nebraska to reach our destination of Grand Island. I personally have never been to Nebraska and the way we were greeted as a team at our sponsor dinner was remarkable. I felt like a rockstar arriving for a concert. There were people outside to greet us and to invite us inside for a sensational barbecue dinner. Following dinner, the sponsors took us to a local park that they made safe and accessible for people with disabilities. The park was filled with shoutouts to Pi Kappa Phi and Push America before it changed to the Ability Experience. The park contained a rectangular section that had Push America on it along with our Greek letters on the sidewalk next to a tree that a previous Build America team had planted. The park also had two other trees that had memorial stones that honored a former journey of hope member who sadly passed away and made a huge impact on families in Grand Island. The other memorial stone was for a daughter of one of our fantastic sponsors that made a great connection with Build America and Journey of Hope teams. Seeing these memorial stones really opened my eyes and made me realize the impact our Build America team has on families that have loved one with disabilities. I would like to thank our sponsors from Grand Island for the eye opening impact we make and the wonderful dinner. 

Josh Reichert
Build America Team Member

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