Logan has been volunteering with me since he was 3 or so. We currently volunteer once a week at a cat adoption center and we foster kittens regularly. I'm a backyard habitat steward with NWF, meaning I go to people's houses and help them plan backyard habitats. Logan goes along on all my visits with me and has become a real spokes person for native plants and removing invasive species. It is fun to hear him go off on the evils of invasive plants with adults he has just met. We also sometimes help out the Delaware Nature Society.
Thursday we helped them set up the native plant sale that was this weekend. We volunteered for 3 hours and Logan worked the whole time. We were moving plants into the appropriate spot, this involved a lot of lifting, carrying and pulling of full carts. Logan worked as hard as any of the adults there. They were all really impressed with Logan and how hard he worked without complaining. I hate to admit it I didn't even realize how hard he was working, I knew he wanted to help and I guess I took it for granted that he would do what he could. He loves to help me out at home, especially with gardening stuff, he likes to do heavy physical work.
I think it is wonderful that he is getting the chance to volunteer at such a young age. He really feels like he is making a difference in the world by donating his time. I think it gives him a sense of empowerment. I never volunteered until I was married when I starting volunteering at the zoo. I wish I had volunteered a lot more before then, volunteering is a great way to discover what interests you and the type of work you enjoy doing. I think by doing different volunteer jobs with me Logan will get a good feel for what he'd like to do as an adult.
I hadn't really realized how unusual it is for a kid his age to volunteer until Thursday after all the comments we got. It would be wonderful if all kids got a chance to volunteer at something they enjoy.