Wooo! Summer (day) camp (Officially Known by name of Vacation Bible Study) has just started!
Weelll, not really… It’s actually been a day since it started. I meant to blog about it yesterday, and hence avoid another day without blogging, but… I was pretty tuckered out. I mean.. Yeah, I was dead. Today, I got lucky, and came home with a little more energy on my hands, and I’m actually going to blog about it today!
Soo, what exactly do I mean by summer camp? Between one and two years ago, I decided I wanted to join a youth group. This was actually inspired by someone online telling me about some huuuge youth group gathering he was going to. At that stage I was feeling pretty lonely. I had one friend, who I rarely ever saw, so, going to a youth group to make some friends sounded like a good idea.
My mom, being the great mom that she is, did some research for me, and got me involved in two different events. A: First Lutheran youth group, who meet every Wednesday, and… B… First Lutheran Vacation Bible Study (VBS), who meet daily for one week each year during the summer. Now the thing to note is, I’m actually to old to go to VBS. Instead, I actually volunteer as a youth leader, which I find far more interesting and fun anyhow. So, that’s the backstory.
I had a great time last year when I volunteered as a youth for VBS, and I was definitely looking forwards to it again this year Luckily, I managed to score the same set of kids that I did last year (1st-2nd graders) (Thank God, no pun intended. Okay, maybe the pun WAS a little intended… But still), though they’ve all changed a little in their own right. I also got a few new kids, and I think some of the kids from last year are gone.
The first day of VBS actually happened two days ago, with the pre-meeting that they always do for VBS (“They” being some non-youth leaders in from Camp Lutherwood. They literally run the show, as the whole thing is basically an ad for Lutherwood) . The meeting was pretty simple, my youth group friends and I headed downstairs to get some food… (it was on sunday, and the church always does a meal at around that hour) They had a build your own burger bar, and I did up a simple little burger with some mayo, cheese, a patty, and some pickles.. (Right, because you want every detail of what I ate) After that, the NonYouth leaders did their speech on controlling kids, theme of the week, yada yada (And surprisingly nothing safety related), and, so ended the first day.
The second day of VBS was where the fun actually started… This was the day when I actually got to see the kids… We started with another little pre meeting that they do daily before the kids arrive. This consists of the schedule for the day and the daily theme. Once that’s over, the kids start coming in. I have to say, I was rather nervous the first day of this, and the kids really were too; Very very quiet. My group got 6 kids, and my co-leader sadly wasn’t there that day (On the flip, though, I got to re-bond with the kids first! ). While kids arrived, we directed them to the fellowship hall to do singsongs, whatnot. That went well, and broke the tension too. It was around this time the kids started showing their personalities, though ,they were still feeling pretty shy. After the singsongs, we went and did arts and crafts… The first day, the kids walked around and grabbed a few leaves and twigs, and then came in and put them on a piece of paper which was then sealed (covered) with contact paper. The project was dubbed “Nature ornaments” and could be named similarly to name tags. After that… We moved over to do bible study. I usually zone out and stare at some corner during this time. Next up, was LUNCH. This is usually when you get to know they kids, they aren’t being occupied, and get talkative and interactive. Likewise, it really is my favorite part of the day.
First off, we have Lilly, a shy, sweet little girl who likes to simply observe. She’s a little like me in youth group, definitely present, but, very quiet — Present without a strong presence. She occasionally holds my hand for a minute or two, which I very cute and sweet
Next we have… Ronan! Ronan is probably the most hyperactive kid I’ve ever seen. He’s very talkative, and seems to have plenty of stories to tell, and, he is of course always the kid to watch. He goofs off any chance he can get.
After that, comes Pheonix! He’s a bit quiet, though definitely shows his personality when he does talk… HIs favorite line is that his favorite animal “is a monkey, as they can rip people’s faces off”. This is less of a: I like to hurt people, and more of a: I am a boy, and find destructive things cool. Just like we like explosions. The story is actually sad, he knew someone who apparently had a pet monkey that eventually went rouge and did serious damage to the owner’s face.
Now comes George. Very shy like lily, and responds in grunts. He’s hard to read, but he seems to like me, and has opened up as of late. I actually got a joke from him today. That was great hehe. I’m not sure if it was nice… I couldn’t hear him, so it was hard to tell. But, George strikes me as a nice person, so I figured it can’t have been hurtful, so I laughed, trying to encourage more voice from him
Next, we have Kendle. Kendle is an interesting character. She’s new this year, and has a very vibrant and defined personality. She’s the diva type, and very artistic. She always has an opinion, and loves to voice it. Hehe, she’s actually occasionally told ME what to do, not the other way around. Being one of similar type, I really don’t have a problem with this. I know that it means that person will eventually grow to be someone special, and important. Better to encourage the behavior, and let them learn on their own where it is appropriate, than try to fix it, and end up beating it completely out of them. That’s how it happened for me anyways. People certainly TRIED to beat it out of me, but I was strong willed and resisted. GOOD FOR ME!
Finally, my all time favorite… Orion! Orion REALLY reminds me of myself. He was here last year, and BOY is he great… He’s one of those thinker/inventor types. he comes up with a lot of interesting ideas and observations. I remember, I was always trying to do interesting complex things with my art at school… My art teacher was awesome, she put up with it, though she did send me to detention one time. lol, I cried (Tried not to!) and ran into the principle heading that way. The principle was epic, apparently we even had little conversations. She took sympathy with me and had a little talk with the art teacher, and nothing like it ever happened again. Anyways, orion does the EXACT same thing. He’s always trying to do interesting things with his art. With the nature ornaments, he looked specifically for unique things. For instance, when the kids were told they could only pick dandelions (Didn’t want kids picking random items), he suggested using dandelion LEAVES. At lunch he tries to trick people a little. I reverted to my 7 year old self for a little bit, and tried to trick HIM a little. He got me of course hehe. Then I realized I was behaving a bit 7, and stopped.
Orion, being who he is, is also a bit of a braggart about his many skills (such as being a professional painter). I was back then too. For me, I developed in several stages. First, there was total bossiness. Don’t see that much in orion, but it happens around the same time as stage two, which is being a braggart. I outgrew those, but grew into a knowitall, which is stage 3. I still kind of am. Working on it!
Anyhow, I get the impression that the art director was not very happy with his being a braggart. I get where she comes from, but, well, I think that’s for the PARENT to try to correct, as the parent knows the child best, and can make sure that the child eventually learns. Trying to do it yourself is… Well, unprofessional. Not to mention my theory on letting kids (or gently nudging them to) outgrow it! Well… Everything about this set of nonYouth leaders was, of course, unprofessional… You can probably see where this is going. I’ll just give you a little (Somewhat shortened) quote:
Counselor: “Orion, you seem to have alot of skills!” (At this moment, I thought to myself: Oooh boy, here we go about bragging…)
Orion: “Yeah, I have alot of them”
Counselor: “Tell me about them!”
Orion: “Well, I mean, first I have the normal skills… Things like climbing, and stuff like that”
Counselor:” I have some skills too, like, I’m a certified Ninja!” (A joke they had with the kids)
“You see, alot of people have skills too. They like to keep them secret though. Maybe you shoul” — Cuts herself off (Probably was going to say “Maybe you should too!”)
“I need you to help me find out what other people’s skills are, so go around and try to find as many skills as you can! Find the skills out of three people for me! Can you do that for me?”
Orion: “That’s not really one of my skills.. ”
Counselor: “I need you to make it one of your skills, okay? ”
At this point, I was feeling pretty creeped out by the whole thing. It reminded me of all the sorts of manipulation that *I* used to be made to deal with… I got my little bit of revenge by allowing orion to forget EVERYTHING she said to him, and allowing him to tell me about his skills when it came up. I hate manipulators who try tactics like that. I wish they had just treated me like the adult I thought I was, and told me flat out what I was doing, and why it was wrong. Even if I would think they were crazy. Instead, they had to play mind games with me, and god knows WHAT damage they did (mentally) to me (They always referring to the teachers at Wade Thomas in california. NOT my parents. My parents were awesome, they WEREN’T manipulative creeps!) There may be a reason I can’t remember any of my childhood, and I think those teachers may be a big part of it…
Anyways, I’ve written enough, and it’s getting late. I’ll have to continue tomorrow with my various complaints about the nonYouth leaders, and how the past couple of days went. And, of course, not to mention all the wonderful experiences I’ve had with the kids!
CLIFFHANGER… DUH DUH DUH