Greeks spend fall break in service
Published: Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, October 16, 2012 00:10
For three members of Phi Kappa Tau fraternity, fall break was not a relaxing vacation at home, but a time to give back to a cause that means so much to them.
The three made the 11-hour drive to Eustis, Fla. to spend their fall break volunteering at Camp Boggy Creek, a getaway for terminally ill children.
“I know most people enjoy relaxing on their breaks, which would be nice, but I also knew I would have a great time helping kids who rarely get the chance to do things that I am able to do whenever I please,” said Eric Duckworth, a junior business management major who has been to the camp three times. “I knew how much fun it would be.”
Camp Boggy Creek, which is a member of the Association of Hole in the Wall Camps, is partially funded through Phi Kappa Tau’s fundraising events throughout the year. The camp is for children ages 7 through 16, and their families do not have to pay to send them.
During the fall break weekend, Duckworth said there were about 100 kids at the camp.
“Seeing how much fun all the kids had is an amazing experience that I would never give up,” Duckworth said. “They are all so thankful for the volunteers because of what we do for them, but they are also giving back to us by showing us that no matter what terrible thing someone encounters to always live life to the fullest.”
Jack Ly, a senior polymer science major and member of Phi Kappa Tau, said experiencing the trip with his fraternity brothers was very rewarding.
“It made the ride there and back more enjoyable, and I felt that I could be more social with the other volunteers and campers,” Ly said. “I considered it my own vacation because I enjoyed it just as much as the campers.”
This was Ly’s second time at the camp, and he said his favorite part was “just having fun with the campers.”
Mark Rubelowsky, a junior architectural engineering major, has been to Camp Boggy Creek before and said the experience was one-of-a-kind.
“I don’t consider it giving up my fall break,” Rubelowsky said. “Going actually made my break better than if I hadn’t gone. I couldn’t be happier with my decision.”
For Rubelowsky, like Ly, volunteering alongside his close friends made it that much more fun.
“Doing just about anything with my brothers makes any experience better,” he said.
“I have no regrets,” Ly said. “I would do it again.”
Duckworth, Ly and Rubelowsky were joined by Phi Taus from other schools including University of Central Florida, University of South Florida and and University of Florida.
Phi Kappa Tau at Southern Miss hosts a drawdown each year to raise money for the camp. The drawdown this year is scheduled for Nov. 16. For more information about the event, contact Eric Duckworth at email@example.com.