We’re All Buddies at Our Core

Julianne Berry-Stoelzle and Kate Kueter

For the past 6 years City High’s Best Buddies have been going to Wilson’s Apple Orchard in the fall. The event gives the buddies a chance to interact with their community and be outdoors.

“People become different people when they come to best buddies, they come out their shells,” Alexa Fredericks ‘19 said.

Fredericks is on the leadership team for City High Best Buddies. She has gone to the Wilson’s Orchard event three times and has fond memories of all the people who come.  

“It’s my favorite event every year,” Fredericks ´19 said, “The buddies get to come outdoors and get to explore. They love the tractors, the apples and it is just a lot of fun.”

On Sunday, pairs and groups of buddies were walking around Wilson’s Orchard enjoying the fresh air, picking apples or just getting to know each other better.

“My favorite thing is the tractor rides,” Fredericks said, “A couple years ago me and my buddy Anna went on the tractor and her favorite part was going through the creek.”

During the event, the buddies can go into the orchard and pick apples, ride the tractor, or stay at the picnic table and color. The event had activities for people with all levels of disabilities.

“When you have a new buddy, it is a really great opportunity to get to know them,” Rachael Volkman ‘19 said.

This is Volkman’s  third year as a part of Best Buddies but her first year with her new buddy, Ryan Bertling ’20. She values the time she has been able to spend bonding with her buddy by walking through the orchard and trying some apple slushies.

“I really like getting to meet all these new people that I would not have met otherwise,” Volkman said. “It is really awesome to have all these cool friends that you just hangout with once a month.”

Laura Schwab is the supervisor of Best Buddies. She plans the events and makes sure everything runs smoothly. The event is important to her because it allows the buddies to have a community presence outside of the school.

“This event is a great opportunity for us to go into the community and not just have an event here at school,” Schwab said. “We want to have people, who are not just part of City High, see what best buddies is about.”