The impact you can make…

I arrived at the surfer’s end of Second Beach at about four-thirty on a beautiful Wednesday night. The weather was perfect. Not too sunny, but also not too cloudy. There was a slight breeze, enough to knock some signs off the table if it weren’t for a few pieces of duct tape.  

As a young summer intern, I was elated to be at my first beach cleanup of the season. Once I saw Dave’s car pull into the parking lot I greeted him and started setting up.

My first task of the night was to tape some signs to one of the two tables we had set up. After setting up the signs, Dave explained to me what my job for the evening would be. He said that I would be dealing with the Coronavirus safety side of the cleanup. I would be greeting people, asking if they already completed the waiver, and then giving them a symptom survey to fill out. 

Although the masks hid the smiles of joyful beach-goers, I could tell everyone who I greeted at the table was excited to make an impact on their community. It was heartwarming to see different families from all over the island come to help our environment. 

After checking everyone in and sending them off to start cleaning, Dave and I stayed at the tables. As people walked by, many seemed interested in what we were doing. Some stopped to talk, promising they’d be back next week. It was great to see how friendly Dave was. He managed to convince everyone he talked to to come back for next week’s cleanup.

Overall, the beach cleanup was a great experience. During the downtime we had, Dave taught me about different cleanups they organize all year round and explained the importance of safe drinking and swimming waters. It was amazing to see the impact just a few people have on our environment. I can’t wait for next week’s cleanup! 

Leann Jenks

High School Intern, Rising Junior

Algonquin Regional High School, Massachusetts