Kappa Sigma pledges volunteer at local organic farm

By Alexander Harleen ’13
Pledge Class President

 Lifelong improvement is a central tenet of Kappa Sigma, and community service is a key part of that growth. Every member of the fraternity participates in volunteer activities, and no less is expected of the incoming pledges, who are tested by their dedication to both the fraternity and the community. As the latest Kappa Sigma pledge class, we chose to explore the world of organic farming by spending a day helping farmer Doug Wiley at the Larga Vista Ranch.

From left to right working on the ranch are Alex Summerfelt, Jake Sullivan, Doug Wiley, and Alex Harleen. Skyler Trieu also was part of the project.

For most of us, it was the furthest we had been from CC for reasons other than skiing, backpacking, or climbing. Located about 30 minutes east of Pueblo, the Larga Vista Ranch has been family owned and operated since 1917. After making our way down a country road, we found the ranch, and Doug stood waiting with a couple of shovels. Doug’s handshake spoke to the difficulty of his labor; his thickly calloused hand felt like the gnarled branches of an oak.

Our task for the day was simple: build about 15 rows of seedbeds for the Wiley family’s personal garden. But what seemed simple in theory took a day’s worth of effort under the Colorado sun. Each bed was built to a specific width and height, depending on the type of crop that Doug wanted to plant there. Shoveling dirt proved a lot hard than it looks, and by the end of the day each of us had a new appreciation for the work it takes to get food to our table. While I’m sure Doug could have dug the same number of beds in half the time, he really appreciated our help and sent us off with several frozen bratwursts as a thank-you gift. It wasn’t quite “Dirty Jobs,” but we headed back to the car covered in a layer of sweat and dirt.

While I can’t speak for the rest of my pledge brothers, I never expected a commitment to service to be such a large part of the pledge process. Now, as a member of Kappa Sigma, I’m incredibly proud of the community service work of the Beta Omega chapter of Kappa Sigma here at Colorado College. All it took was a day of our time, but by getting off campus and doing some manual labor, we learned a lot about each other and got to help a local organic farmer. And nothing feels better than crawling into bed after a day of hard work.

3 Comments

  1. David Smith says:

    I admire that lifelong improvement and service is a central tenet at Kappa Sigma.

    I think that fraternity stereotypes and sometimes popular media overshadow the wonderful service that these groups can and do offer.

  2. Simon says:

    “I think that fraternity stereotypes and sometimes popular media overshadow the wonderful service that these groups can and do offer.”<—definitely — just ridiculous. Also agree with the above speaker; there's so much food, globally, being wasted constantly just because of these things. If we just ate, instead of gave to cattle, more of the food starvation wouldn't be close to the problem it is.

  3. johnL says:

    Nice to see a frat get involved with the community. Nice article.

Comments are now closed.