Mountain Day 2022 sends Bobcat volunteers across Avery and Watauga Counties

One of the longest-held traditions at Lees-McRae is the annual Mountain Day of Service, where the students, faculty, and staff of the college step away from their typical daily duties and come together in a day of service to the community. Surrounded by brisk fall air, beautifully vibrant changing leaves, and the ever-present mountains, this year's Mountain Day went off without a hitch.

President Lee King welcomes the student, faculty, and staff volunteers to Mountain Day of Service 2022.

Director of Campus Life Riley Sailor addresses the crowd of Bobcat volunteers at Nebel Green.

Students get ready for a day of volunteering and celebration as groups begin to check-in at Nebel Green.

On Wednesday morning, after a brief check-in and welcome at Nebel Green, the students, faculty, and staff volunteers were sent off to nearly 40 community volunteer stations across Watauga and Avery counties. From roadside cleanup to landscaping to event set-up, the Bobcats lent a helping hand wherever they were needed.

President Lee King spent the morning volunteering alongside a group of students at F.A.R.M. Café in Boone, a restaurant on King St. that operates on a “pay it forward” model. The cafe, whose name stands for “Feed All Regardless of Means,” is able to operate thanks to a 90% volunteer staff.

Students wash dishes at F.A.R.M. Café in Boone.

Students sweep the exterior of the Watauga County Public Library in Boone.

Students doing landscaping work during Mountain Day of Service.

Students work with a representative of Helping Hands wood lot to chop wood.

Other Watauga County volunteer sites included gardening at the Daniel Boone Gardens, chopping wood at Helping Hands wood lot, and landscaping maintenance at the Watauga County Public Library and at Mountain Pathways Montessori School.

Banner Elk and Avery County were also thoroughly covered with volunteers. Groups did roadside cleanups along Tynecastle Highway, Dobbins Road, and Mill Pond Road, and trail maintenance along Duggers Creek Falls Trail with the VIP Program of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

The Arbor Dale Presbyterian Church and the Historic Cranberry School were only two of the seven churches and schools that Bobcat volunteers assisted with grounds work, property cleanup, painting, organization, and more on Mountain Day.

Students volunteered for the Town of Banner Elk to help set up this weekend’s annual Woolly Worm Festival.

Students setting up fencing for the annual Woolly Worm festival outside of the Banner Elk Elementary School.

Students did basic maintenance projects and outdoor cleanup at Holston Presbytery Camp and Retreat Center in Banner Elk.

Some volunteers stuck close to home, completing service projects on the Lees-McRae campus itself. Volunteers at the May Wildlife Rehabilitation Center completed grounds work, painting, and minor repairs, while those at the New Opportunity School for Women sifted through and organized hundreds of donated clothing items.

Not only do these on-campus volunteer projects make this work easier for the faculty and staff who use these facilities each day, but they also allow them to better serve those they help on a daily basis.

In Hayes Auditorium volunteers cleaned and reorganized backstage and equipment areas, as well as repainted the stage from the Theater department’s latest production of “Clue.”

Volunteers gathered in the basement of the Stephenson Center for Appalachia, where they volunteered for the college’s New Opportunity School for Women by sorting through and reorganizing donated clothing.

Following the completion of all the service projects throughout the High Country, volunteers gathered at Wildcat Lake for lunch. With games, an inflatable slide, and laser tag, the Wildcat Lake celebration was the perfect way to wrap up a day of service in the mountains. 

Students play corn hole during the Mountain Day of Service celebration at Wildcat Lake.

Students enjoyed games, laser tag, and a large inflatable slide at the Mountain Day of Service celebration lunch.

Volunteers enjoyed a buffet lunch at Wildcat Lake following their hardwork in the morning. 
By Maya JarrellOctober 13, 2022
Campus LifeCommunity