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Cool Kid

Joel Hilde

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10/01/2010 - By Sherri Roberts

Joel Hilde is an all-around great kid to get to know, but you have to catch him first! It seems he is known everywhere for his speed.

I caught up with Joel at his local AWANA club where his blur of a form can regularly be seen racing competitively on the game circle. But he is not just fast at running. He is also a speedy memorizer and strives to learn increasingly more Scriptures to recite each week. One of his leaders, Pat Tolley said that Joel, "is a good example to others. He pushes others to learn and is highly self-motivated." I asked Joel why he is so driven and he replied matter-of-factly, "You don't learn a lot of [Bible verses] to get prizes and points. You just stick it in your heart and use it as a shield later."

Joel is as swift in the water as he is on land. He is a member of the Casper Dolphins swim team in which he has won eight medals and more ribbons than he knows. "I love to swim. It's my passion," he declares. Joel has been on the team for two years, training year round and currently holds the Kelly Walsh pool record for eight year olds in his favorite event, the breast stroke.

Joel, who is now nine years old and in the fourth grade, is the son of Christie and Darren Hilde. His family loves to spend time together playing basketball, Wii Sports, and board games, with Life being Joel's favorite.

At one time the Hildes also wanted to get outside to ride bikes together. This was a problem because Mrs. Hilde didn't have a bicycle. Joel and his brother, Logan, soon solved this quandary by sacrificing the money the family had saved to go to the carnival. They presented it to their mom and told her to use it for a bike so they could all ride together!

Joel feels like it is important to help those in need, whether it's his mom or someone he has never met. That's why he puts his own Operation Christmas Child box together each year. These shoe box sized packages are filled with items such as tooth brushes, soap, toys, and candy and sent to the neediest children all over the world. Joel says, "I feel like I'm responsible to do my own and donate to those who need more than me."

Joel's care for others extends beyond the human race. He loves animals and wants to be a veterinarian someday in a clinic where he can take care of family pets. In order to accomplish this, he will need to, "work hard, do math, and get a degree." He hopes to get his education at a Veterinary school in Colorado and may pay for this by working part time as a swim coach.

Obviously, there is no slowing Joel down. He has plenty to accomplish. There are more things to learn, more records to set, and more people to help. With the love and support of his family, surely he will do all of these things and more with the quickest of speeds.

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