On Monday morning, the Seymour cross-country teams changed its routine.
The day started per usual with a lifting session and 6-mile run at 7:30 a.m.
After that, they met up downtown to get working on a new project — with sledgehammers, brooms and bottles of weed killer.
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The boys and girls programs are giving back to the community and started by stopping by the Seymour Museum to help with renovations.
Incoming Seymour High School senior Trent Hohenstreiter hatched the idea with his mother.
“Last summer, I did volunteering at Anchor House with one of my teammates, Hunter Bauserman,” Hohenstreiter said. “It was fun, but I thought it would be more fun if we could get a group of teammates out to do it. I started thinking that we could get the cross-country team out in the community and do service during the summer after practices.
“With it being the city museum, I thought it would be pretty cool. I like the history of the whole town.”
The tentative plan is to help out at the museum every other Monday.
On top of that, the teams have reached out to the Seymour Parks and Recreation Department for more community service work.
Hohenstreiter said they contacted parks director Bob Tabeling, and they’re looking at helping the parks pick weeds, mulch, mow or whatever task needs completed.
“I think it’s important because it brings the team together, and it’s good for the community,” Hohenstreiter said. “We want people coming to Seymour to think everything looks nice. I think we all have good values and know that it’s the right thing to do if we can.”
Incoming senior Claire Loebker agreed with Hohenstreiter, saying the service not only helps the community but the team grow.
“I think it helps the team come together,” she said. “(The community) needs a lot of help, so we thought it would be a good thing to do. I think it brings both the boys and girls teams together. It shows that we care about the community and not just our sports.”
Lenny Hauersperger, a member of the museum’s board, said he hopes more groups come out and help with the renovations.
“It really means a lot,” he said. “They’re learning a lot about community service and are working together. They’re getting a lot more done than I expected. They are really getting after it.
“I think it teaches them a lot about teamwork,” Hauersperger said. “There needs to be leaders in certain groups, and Trent was a big part of why they’re here. I was in a parent meeting and Trent and Kathy (Hohenstreiter, mother) came up with the idea. I don’t know that cross-country has done anything like this in the years I’ve been around them.”
He said they’re looking for more groups to get involved like the cross-country team. Local Boy Scout troops have helped in the past.
Hauersperger said they’re trying to get as much done as possible as quickly as possible.
“Now that a lot of the tearing out has been done, you don’t have as much waste coming out,” he said. “A lot of it is cleaning and painting. We’re trying to get the big room ready for Oktoberfest. We’re having a speaker come in from New York and talk about her book about the Reno brothers gang. We are shooting for 3 p.m. on Saturday (during Oktoberfest) because we will be open then. It will be right after the parade, so we should have a lot of foot traffic.”