By: Renee Clarke, Work Programs Employer Relations Manager

What do a turkey and a bear have to do with a waterpark?  …They just about sum up the Going Greenheart Tour visitation for  J-1 participants in Wisconsin Dells.

In August, CCI Greenheart staff joined with other sponsors and the WI Dells & Lake Delton J-1 Consortium to sponsor the annual J-1 “Thanksgiving in August” dinner. J-1 participants arrived by bicycle, work shuttle, ride share, and walk to Captain Bob’s Park in Lake Delton. Here, everyone shared the traditional American Thanksgiving foods of turkey, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie. They also shared in moments of reflection and played a little kickball.  This year, in effort to catch more participants who may have otherwise missed the event due to work, the Thanksgiving in August spanned across 2 evenings.  Representatives from the Department of State, employers, local law enforcement, and the other sponsor organizations joined the festivities. Together, everyone pitched in with the local church members, who cooked and served food that was provided by the various sponsor organizations, such as CCI Greenheart.

The fun continued the next day as CCI Greenheart and the Yogi Bear’s Camp Resort in Wisconsin Dells worked to organize a Greenheart Project volunteer event. This project’s aim was to help to preserve and clean-up the roads in Baraboo on Thursday, August 21.

Yogi himself was on site serving a warm launch on the rainy morning….hugs, gloves, and rain gear were given out to over a dozen, eager volunteers from countries such as Jordon, Turkey, and the U.S. Although there was talk of a prize for the oddest item collected, the 2 dozen trash bags were filled [thankfully] with regular trash that careless visitors tossed as they traveled throughout the area.

Wisconsin Dells, “The Waterpark Capital of the World,” together with the greater area [known as “The Dells”] welcomes an estimated 5 million tourists a year.  To assist in providing staff for all this seasonal fun, The Dells hosts hundreds of J-1 participants from all over the world during the summer alone. Many of these participants are looking for ways to contribute back to their host community!

The photos below capture what CCI Greenheart and the Yogi Bear’s Camp Resort hope to be the first, of many, annual Going Greenheart Tour stops in this area.

Go Greenheart!