When I woke up during the last day of our first-year student orientation, a.k.a. the Knights in Action Day. I got a message from my small group leader to wear shorts, sunscreen, and closed-toe shoes. Our group was headed to Yew Dell Botanical Gardens, an area about twenty or thirty minutes away from Bellarmine. We picked up donuts at Knights Hall and headed onto the bus to get to our destination.
We were with another group, leading to about thirty people helping the gardens. When we showed up, they gave us a small tour of the entrance and helped us understand why they partnered with Bellarmine. They are a small not-for-profit organization
and have very few volunteers. Because of this, they need some assistance with some more of the time-consuming tasks. Our groups split into two, and we began heading to two separate areas.
Equipped with gloves and the correct gardening equipment, we got an explanation from one of the workers that we would be helping cut bamboo, and weeds that had gotten trapped in the gates shipments came through. Although the gate could open, the worker
said it was a struggle each time and since it was not seen by the public, was put on a “to-do” list for later. My entire class quickly began to help with this, and I got to cut bamboo. Our class spent the next thirty or so minutes
working on the gate. We laughed, sweated, and felt extraordinarily successful after completing the task.
When we finished, we headed over to one of the garden sections and helped pull weeds. The other group joined us and with that, we spent about a solid hour working on this. Although it may seem like a small thing, we were able to make the section we
were working on look brand new! The last thirty minutes was a relaxation time to go around the gardens and explore. It is a beautiful place, and I highly recommend visiting it.
The two-hour service really helped my group bond with each other. Communication was key when we were getting things completed, as we all had to share a workload. We all celebrated the little things and supported each other if we struggled. These things
are important because the group you are paired with during orientation is the group, you’ll be spending time with during the fall semester.
You all share at least one class called “First Year Focus”. This class is used as an extended orientation and just a glimpse at what Bellarmine’s academic curriculum is like. You’ll be engaging in critical thinking conversation,
so this day allows everyone to feel more comfortable and relaxed with each other.
Written by Katelyn Carter '26