I joined North Ogden City’s Youth Council back in the summer of 2016. It has been a lot of fun to help our city in whatever way we can, from roadside cleanups to setting up banquets. My absolute favorite thing we do, however, is help with the Independence Day activities. We would help with the breakfast, walk in the parade, run various things at the North Ogden Park behind North Ogden Elementary, and help clean up the fireworks the next day.
I remember the first time I did the firework clean up. I was annoyed by the fact that we had to get up so early to clean up a bunch of fireworks out in a giant field (the field near Barker Park). The Youth Council met at Barker Park, got garbage bags, and went to work. Along with my buddies in the council, we drowsily started picking up trash. It was straight forward, nothing crazy or hard about the job, but I was surprised to see that our mayor, Brent Taylor, was with us picking up trash that morning.
This confused me.
I thought that it was strange that the mayor would come and help with clean up, even though he probably had better things to be doing. Later, because of that day cleaning, I realized he, maybe without even knowing, taught us kids what it meant to be a great leader. A leader doesn’t just dictate what needs to be done. Instead, he gets his hands dirty right along with his team. Mayor Taylor was just doing a good deed, but that deed meant a lot more than just picking up some garbage. It changed how I saw leadership and kindness.
The lessons continued that day. After we got done with the clean-up, we had doughnuts and chocolate milk! Then, we all sat around at Barker Park and talked. After a while, I thought it would be fun to play a game with the spare time we had. It’s called Ninja Tag. The idea is just like regular tag, but on a playground where the tagger is blindfolded and everyone else can’t leave the playground. My friends and I had played it a bunch before, so we kind of knew what we were doing.We invited Mayor Taylor to play it with us. And he did. Sure enough, he got on the playground, put a blindfold on, and proceeded to stumble around trying to find us. I remember thinking how silly it was. The Mayor of North Ogden? Playing with a bunch of kids? Knowing how busy of a guy he was, I’m still baffled that he stuck around to play games with us! Because of this story and many others I could tell, I know that he was a great man. He has inspired me to be the best I can be.