Nine students from Clarke County High School in Berryville visited the Abbey this Saturday, 10 March. Along with their teacher, Mrs. Stephanie McClain, these members of the Honor Society gathered for an orientation and pitched in to assist the monks with recycling.
As the girls gathered between 8:30 and 9:00 AM, the early arrivals met in Cool Spring House and viewed the Civil War relics and Native American artifacts on display in the upstairs east room. This Saturday some of the guys from the High School who would have come were beginning classes to prepare them for their SAT’s.
The orientation included a brief description of the monastic live lived here and why the community is dedicated to ecological sustainability. A brief description of the work needed to be done followed and then the students rolled up their sleeves and proceeded to work.
Over the years computer monitors, printers, keyboards, mice and other electronics have accumulated. As men will often do, this and that was put aside because it could be taken apart and…But, of course, it was no longer compatible with newer models and who has the time to take apart and rebuild?The morning’s recycling focused on this electronic equipment. Predictably, the girls displayed real organizational skills and exemplified the principle, “Recycle, reuse, reduce”. They knew what phones could go back to ATT or who might tinker with the old Christmas lights and what would go to the recycling center. Without wasting a minute, the materials were moved out to the cloister and loaded onto a pickup truck.
Fr. James observed, “Guys have great energy were a huge help two years ago, with our paper recycling; but being guys, tend to dump things in a heap. By contrast, today the girls packed the truck as neat and compact as a Chinese puzzle, maximizing the available space.” The girls soon had boxes of cables and what-not packed into another vehicle and their transportation organized. After a snack in the novitiate classroom, they were off to the recycling center.
A big thanks from the monks to the students and Mrs. McClain. We hope to continue working together into the future.