This April, we’re celebrating Volunteer Month and highlighting some of our employees who also are making an impact in our community. Today, Meet John, one of our great Sports instructors who volunteers with his Boy Scout Troop.

John has been working for our Y since December 2021, but his family has been members since they moved here when John was just a year old. John was in our Y’s Child Care program for a short time, then participated in swim lessons. His family also would utilize Open Gym times for basketball, or exercise at the Y on Sunday mornings. Now, John likes to use the Wellness Center and participate in our Adult Volleyball program.

John’s mom also works at our Y, and he thought he might like teaching children about sports that interest him. “I enjoy teaching the sports I grew up playing and interacting with the kids,” he said. “My favorite aspect of the job is how flexible my schedule can be and just running around playing sports with the kids.”

Outside of the Y, John has been very involved with volunteer work for his Boy Scout Troop, which he’s been active with since the first grade. For example, last October, John and other Scouts volunteered to work activities at the Frazee House Harvest Festival. He’s also helped clean up the grounds at All Saints’ Episcopal Church, where his Troop meets, and this past summer, on his crew’s adventure to Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico, they participated in a wildlife conservation project.

“Every year, I have been in Scouts, we’ve done many community service projects, from trail conservation to collecting food for the town food pantries to assisting in town celebrations like the Christmas tree lighting where we help run the crafts,” John said. “We give back to the church that allows us to have our meetings by assisting with fall leaf clean up, and have volunteered at many pancake breakfasts, with setup, serving and clean up.”

John recently achieved the rank of Eagle Scout and did a service project, choosing to create planting work stations for the Scotch Plains Community Garden. The work stations he built were fitted to allow those with disabilities to be able to plant. He also has been part of the Order of the Arrow, which is Scouting’s National Honor Society.

“I enjoy volunteering because it gives back to my community and it could also help others who are in need,” he said. “I think it is important to volunteer because it benefits so many. Whether it’s big or small, every little bit can help someone in need.”