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Bruin Key Club engaged in annual SYRCL Clean Up

Key Club Supervisor Jeffrey Carrow picks up trash alongside Seniors Dylan Sinclair and Trae Nix during this year’s annual Yuba River Clean Up. Photo by Sonora Slater

As per tradition, and to help serve our community, Bear River’s Key Club once again participated in “the world’s largest single volunteer day” by hosting the Yuba River Clean Up last Saturday.

According to Sea Stewards, approximately 14 billion pounds of trash reside in the ocean. To assist in lowering those statistics, South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL), which is Nevada County’s local watershed organization, brings together many people from around the county to help rid trash from the Yuba River. As stated by the official Yuba River website, 700 volunteers gathered for this event and successfully eliminated more than 13,000 pounds of garbage from the Yuba River this last Saturday.

As a junior and second timer participating in this event, Jordan Moore gives her own perspective on what the clean up is all about.

“My definition of the Yuba River Clean Up is just this big get together of people who just want to help out,” she said. “Some people aren’t even in the Key Club, some people are just people that live around the area that just want to come together and make the river a better place for people and animals in the environment. It’s less of a task and more of a hangout and this group effort.”

Looking for an opportunity to help his community, Key Club Supervisor Jeff Carrow has been hosting locations for this event as a site coordinator for seventeen years. He explained what he enjoys most about this experience.

“I think my favorite parts [are] two or three main reasons,” he said. “One is the actual cleaning of the river and the getting trash and discarded bottles and cigarettes from our environment. That feels really good … And I guess secondly, it’s just a really good jump off of community service for students at Bear River. I feel that students that get involved in community service and giving back and helping the environment or their fellow people develop a really strong bond amongst themselves and those they are helping.”

Senior and Vice President of the Key Club Massiel Chavez added why she decided to participate in this event.

“It was super eye-opening,” she said. “… It was nice knowing that we cleaned up the river and that we made it prettier for everyone, including ourselves, to go visit.”

Senior and President of the Key Club Brittney Rogers agreed with Chavez.

“It’s just really nice to know you’re helping the community and you are in such a gorgeous place,” she said. “It’s just always nice to make a pretty place even that much better.”

Moore added why she loved participating in the clean up.

“I participate in this event because not only does it make me feel good … [I’m] making a difference in something that I and everybody in my community can see, but also just hanging out with my friends and the people in Key Club,” she said.

Mr. Carrow explained why he believes events like this are such great opportunities for students.

“I think that students who get involved in one club or one organization or another on campus are historically not only more successful in their academics, they feel better, it feels good inside,” he said. “It adds to your academic resume and college application and it’s just the right thing to do. So, I highly recommend students get involved somewhere, somehow in a community service organization.”

Rogers also summarized how she believed the event went.

“I thought it went awesomely,” she said. “By the end of the day, we had a truck full of trash and we found all kinds of crazy stuff. We went to the barbecue afterwards, which was a lot of fun, and we got to experience a lot of new things that day.”

Having missed last year’s river clean up, Chavez illustrated how happy she was that she decided to attend and help.

“It was super fun,” she said. “Brittney was telling me all about how much fun she had last year, so I’m definitely very happy that I decided to go and help out.”

Not only was the day filled with fun, many of the students found unusual items and decided to have some fun with it. Moore explained what she enjoyed doing with her friends at the event.

“Probably just finding really weird items and imagining what that activity was like,” she said. “It sounds weird, but building narratives with my friends on what those people’s days were like and how these items ended up here [was pretty fun].”

If students would like to get a head start on volunteering, not only does the Yuba River website offer a number of opportunities for community service, Mr. Carrow explained what Key Club’s upcoming school wide activities are going to be about.

“We start getting into the holiday season pretty quickly after fall break and start working towards Operation Christmas Child, that’s the shoe boxes that are filled with school supplies and toiletries for students and children that are in less fortunate situations,” he said. “And then we have Adopt – a – Family, that’s [where] various clubs and teens can pick a family … and buy Christmas presents. And then of course the Key Club produces that annual Bear River Key Club talent show that raises money for local charities and the Joe and Jude Scholarship fund.”

Always after the clean-up, Key Club students gather to appreciate what they have done together for their community. As a final thought, Moore reminisced back on her experiences with the barbeque.

“The two years that I have done the river clean up, I definitely went to the barbecue after,” she said. “It’s just celebrating all the hard work everybody did and it’s just a great opportunity to sit with your friends and hang out. It’s such a good environment – the vibe there is so chill. You can just talk about anything with your friends there. It’s just such an open and accepting environment.”

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Bruin Key Club engaged in annual SYRCL Clean Up