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Our guest for lunch this week was Arlene Frank from MAGIC Camp. MAGIC (Mentoring a Girl in Construction) Camp is a program designed to expose girls to the construction trades, to carpentry, electrical and plumbing work, to non-traditional skills, and is designed to empower girls to take on tasks they may not have thought they could accomplish. High-school girls attend MAGIC Camp for one week in the summer at Oakland Community College and build part of a small-frame house, create carpentry, electrical, and plumbing projects, read architectural drawings, operate a crane, backhoe, and forklift and more! The camp is a collaboration of Oakland Community College’s Womencenter and Construction Management programs, in accordance with the camp owners - the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC). Held for the past 4 years at the OCC Orchard Ridge Campus in Farmington Hills, this year, due to – ironically enough – massive construction, the summer camp will be held at the Highland Lakes Campus in Waterford. Arlene Frank is the Womencenter Director at Oakland Community College and the Co-Director of MAGIC Camp.

We had three very special guests for lunch this week: Katherine Martin, Paul Augsburger, Chris Wall. They all work with our After School programming in various capacities. Katherine Martin is a licensed professional counselor who specializes in child and adolescent counseling,  Kathy explained that we are all healthier physically, mentally, socially, and emotionally when we spend time outdoors. She enjoys sharing all the gifts that nature has to offer. Paul Augsburger brings thirty-three years of experience to the Wilderness Wellness Program as a park interpreter, park ranger and park manager. He has a natural ability to connect with others especially students. His passion for the outdoors is quite apparent in how he interacts with those participating in the program. In 1984 he received a M.A. in education and has been teaching most recently for Heavner’s Nature Connection in partnership with Farmington Hills. Chris Wall is a retired school administrator with thirty plus year with Huron Valley Schools. Chris has a teaching background in science.  His passion for the outdoors and for students is one of the many reasons Chris took a position with Heavner’s Nature Connections as an educational consultant. Together, they have been bringing out door programs to our community's After-School Program throughout the year.

Our guest for lunch this week was Big Chuck McBride, a professional dog whisperer (when he talks, dogs listen). Dog whispering is believed to build trust and respect between human and dog. A whispered dog is obedient because the human pack leader asked it to be, and the dog trusts and respects its human pack leader. Dog whispering requires an understanding of dog psychology and language. This concept allows a human pack leader to awaken a dog’s instinct to follow, creating good dog behavior. Dogs are not human; they are animal first, canine second, and breed third. Chuck McBride can help any dog owner become the perfect pack leader in as little as 30 minutes. He creates balanced dogs by training humans. Many Xemplars were wondering if the same techniques can be used for children. He performed a live demonstration on Taby, a Golden Retriver apparently suffering from Attention Deficit Disorder, and possibly an inflated sense of self-worth. The results were quite remarkable.

Our guest for lunch this week was be Dave Kauffman from MI-PET, a unit of Personal Energy Transportation (PET) International. This non-profit organization manufactures Personal Energy Transportation vehicles for disabled people in developing countries. They utilize all volunteer labor (much like the Xemplar Club), and provide the vehicles free-of-charge to the recipients who are at least lower-body disabled, and often upper body disabled as well. Here in Michigan, they have shops in Hadley and Ypsilanti. Dave brought a wonderful slideshow and short movie detailing the project, the beneficiaries, some local volunteers, and one of their vehicles. After lunch, Joanne Smith challenged John Anhut to a PET vehicle race around the block. Farmington Public Safety clicked Joanne at almost 1 MPH.

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