Cathedral Prep’s annual Outreach Day took place on Friday, May 2. More than 500 students went out into the community to help out our neighbors in need. Every year the student body is split up into group of approximately 20 students with two faculty/staff moderators. The idea is to give back to the community but also to find a deeper meeting that they are working through Jesus.
This year my group decided to take students from Our Lady’s Christian School to the zoo. The plan was to take them around to all the exhibits they wanted to see. When we got there we were given some awesome news, that we would actually be having a special tour later in the day.
After hearing this all the kids were excited to get their day started. We decided to split up into groups of four so everything would not be crowded at all the exhibits. The four little youngsters we were lucky enough to take were four awesome kids. Even when they took off and started running, which meant we had to chase them, they were a great group. We asked the kids each what exactly they wanted to see. One said monkey, then the next said penguin, and another said kangaroos and started hopping like a marsupial! Our last youngster said goats. I asked if she was sure, and she said, “Yes, they are my husbands.” So I guess we couldn’t argue with that!
We headed into the zoo staying weary because there are lions, and tigers, and bears (oh my!) We first stopped at the lions den, which was cool because the lion started pawing at the window, saying hi to all of the kids. Most of the first grade was quite frightened, but that didn’t stop Prep senior Vinny Schohn from getting to know the female lion.
Now that we were out of the Animal house the kids began sprinting to the other side of the zoo yelling “Kanagrooooooooos!” So we had to now run after them before they let the kangaroos loose and caused a city wide panic. When we finally caught up to them they were just entering the pen. We slowly walked in worried that we would get ambushed by the kangaroos, because they are known for their flying jump kick. To our surprise though they were actually a very friendly animal. They enjoyed everything we do, eating, sleeping and hopping around. Then just as we were about to leave there was a kangaroo sitting in front of the gate, ready to pounce at us. Then he just hopped away, so maybe kangaroos really aren’t dangerous.
We were told to meet at the giraffe house. When we got there we were told that we are going to be able to not only see the giraffes from inside but feed them. All of the kids were jumping up and down, but no one was jumping and screaming more than Joe Baltes. When we got inside the giraffes were huge. When the giraffe keeper stuck her hand up the giraffe bent his neck all the way down the gate he was in. Vinny, Joe, and I were feeding the older giraffe, and boy do they have some long tongues. That thing was like a whole other animal.
After that we went to see the other animals including otters, orangoutangs, and geese. After that we sadly had to return to the buses to take back the kids so they could get out and have lunch. Overall it was a fun day. The kids had a great tim. They all said thank you, and were sad to leave, but it really showed everyone that showing that you don’t mind to take some kids to the zoo for a few hours goes a long way.