Southsider Voice correspondent
Two weeks before Thanksgiving, Travis Kensig and his dad, Todd Kensig, spent countless hours on the roof and all over the front yard of the family’s Southside home. The result of this labor of love was 100,000 lights set to music and 200 blow molds on display.
Decking the house in all things Christmas has been a hobby since Travis Kensig’s childhood.
This year, Kensig, 18, placed a donation box near the road, with a plan to raise funds for families who cannot afford to send their Boy Scouts to summer camp.
But the first evening that his holiday spirit lit up the neighborhood, the donation box was stolen.
Of course, he was disappointed.
However, Kensig did not allow the theft to put a damper on his other Christmas plan.
With an arts and music theme, he placed coloring books and crayons, maracas and rhythm sticks in 200 goodie bags for young patients at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health.
Though Kensig created this project to earn Eagle Scout status, the highest rank achievable in Boy Scouts of America, a 7-year-old memory was the inspiration.
When his younger sister Kara, now 15, was 8, she was frightened to have a tonsillectomy at Riley.
“When she came out of surgery the nurses gave her a quilt,” Kensig said. “It always stuck with me, how calming that was to her.”
Since her son entered Scouts as a 6-year-old Cub Scout, he has benefitted in many ways, said Kensig’s mother, Kathy Graham-Kensig.
“Travis has confidence and leadership skills,” she said. “And he loves to help other people, especially children.”
Kensig, a senior at Perry Meridian, has worked as a camp counselor at Ransburg Scout Reservation in Bloomington for the past three summers. After high school graduation he plans to study secondary education and fulfill a longtime dream to teach history.
The festive display of Christmas lights can be viewed from 5:30-10 p.m. nightly at 362 Kindig Road.