Nine members of an AmeriCorps group and their leader toured the Neosho National Fish Hatchery on Saturday. These young people are spending three months doing public service work for the Eastern Shawnee Tribe in Seneca.

Nine members of an AmeriCorps group and their leader toured the Neosho National Fish Hatchery on Saturday. These young people are spending three months doing public service work for the Eastern Shawnee Tribe in Seneca.
The group, called Sun6, are committed to spend 10 months in this volunteer program doing a variety of work activities. In addition to their work, each weekend they do a volunteer program or an educational activity; thus their reason for coming to the hatchery.
After a tour of the local hatchery, led by hatchery manager Rod May, they were treated to a pizza lunch and talked about their experience with the tribe.
The biggest project has been widening walking trails on Indian land and digging out trip hazards such as roots and rocks. They are now adding mulch to more than six miles of trails.
Since they arrived, Sun6 have visited an Indian health center in Oklahoma to talk about the AmeriCorps program and see the health care available for Native Americans. They also volunteered at Seneca High School to help with the school's "jump rope for hearts," a program that encourages exercises for hearthealth.
The visit to the fish hatchery is a prelude to their return to volunteer at the Veterans Fishing Derby on March 18. They will be helping cook lunch, helping the elderly or handicapped land fish and bait hooks, untangling fishing lines, cleaning fish or whatever else is needed.
Most of the young people are from metropolitan areas so they were asked how they have found life in Seneca.
One young man said he has enjoyed being in a small town where people are friendly. He said he was pleased to see that people are so connected with each other. Another young person said it was nice getting to work with the entire group out on the walking trails. This group was in a fairly large city in Arizona and worked two to a team. "Working and bonding with our entire group is better," she said.
In Arizona, their efforts were all indoors with four walls surrounding them. They all agreed that being outdoors, in all kinds of weather, has been very nice even though the work has been hard, dirty and sometimes cold.
The young people said they would recommend AmeriCorps to all young people, regardless of background or education. They agreed that their experience was giving them a chance to develop leadership skills, some hands-on projects and an opportunity to travel throughout America.
After their tour of the hatchery, the team is excited to return to work at the Veterans Fishing Derby on March 18.
For the service they have given and will continue to give, Sun6 is this week's good neighbor.