By Grace Bachmann

Staff Writer

Make A Difference Day warmed up quickly despite Saturday morning’s chill when a little five-year-old boy grabbed my hand as we hiked the steps to the insect zoo in Talbot Hall for Team Whale’s first activity.

Young Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts peopled campus on Saturday for Make a Difference Day, one of Denison Community Association’s (DCA) biggest events.

DCA leaders guided small teams of Licking County scout troops through a series of activities including the insect zoo, a community service activity in Curtis Dining Hall, and an obstacle course on the Reese-Shackleford Commons.

Erin Worden, a first-year member of DCA and English and international studies double major, said this event focuses on “giving back to the community using the knowledge that we have.”  Make a Difference Day is a chance for Denison students to engage with children and parents from the surrounding area.

Dr. Thomas Schutlz’s Biology of Insects class hosted the insect zoo as a part of its service learning curriculum.  The Men’s Lacrosse team partnered with DCA to facilitate the obstacle course.

Through Make a Difference Day, DCA offers elementary school aged kids early exposure to college life.  They were excited to explore campus and tour a dormitory.

Parents TeLario and LaVanya Watkins, of Blacklick, Ohio, want their daughter and son to understand the importance of college, though they are still young.  TeLario Watkins saw Make a Difference Day as “planting the seed early so that it has lots of time to mature and grow.”

The kids decorated and filled festive bags with treats; DCA will deliver them to local nursing homes.  This small project “spreads the idea of community service,” Worden says.  Community service is the core of DCA’s work.

LaVanya Watkins appreciated the service component: “Last year they made sandwiches for a shelter.”  She thinks these projects teach the children to give back to their community.

The troops ended Make a Difference Day at Kappa Karnival, Kappa Kappa Gamma’s philanthropy event to benefit Reading Is Fundamental.