Last Saturday, approximately 80 Scott Bryon & Co. employees bused ourselves over to Hyde Park Elementary School in Waukegan to help clean and fix-up their school playground. It was amazing in many ways; not only did we have the chance to give back to the community, but we also had a chance to work alongside other members of the SBC family that we wouldn’t normally interact with on a day-to-day basis. I’m really fortunate to have the coworkers that I have, you couldn’t ask for a better group to work and hang out with for an afternoon.

Starting with a hearty doughnut breakfast, we loaded up on yellow school bus around 8 am and quickly devolved into kids, laughing and joking while debating the merits of the window lines (how critical is it to not open the windows too far?). It’s amazing how even people who don’t identify as morning people were able to rally for a great cause. After a little hi and hello from the principal (who later came out to move some mulch with us) and a group photo we were off to our designated areas. Removing and redistributing existing mulch, pruning vines and shrubs along the borders, planting new trees, scraping and painting existing play equipment, attaching basketball hoops and assembling picnic tables, and spreading new rubber mulch. I’m exhausted just remembering all the work accomplished. I was introduced to muscles I didn’t even know existed and by how sore they were I can only assume that they are rarely used (I’ve always been an indoor chore kind of girl, you know).

It was exhausting and sweaty work, but it was amazingly fun. I think it’s easy to get caught up in the insanity of the planting season and in our own office dramas of getting designs and proposals out to the clients. Tempers flare and you gradually become more and more annoyed as the season progresses, but then you come together for an event like this and you realize how fortunate you are and you also come to appreciate all the remarkable qualities of your coworkers. It feels good to joke around and enjoy the company of your coworkers, but it feels great to be able to do that while doing something for others.

It was an amazing day and we hope that the children of Hyde Park Elementary School and the community enjoy the using the playground as much as we enjoyed revitalizing it.