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September 2nd, 2013 by Brenna Merrill

Anybody out there? Yes, hi.

Hey friends.

Yes, I am still alive. No, my computer did not survive the summer. But good news – I was finally able to get my blog post drafts off of my netbook (may he rest in peace) and I’m here to share them with you all! So, enjoy the post mini-explosion!

 

Catch-up Post #1

Let me catch you up for a second.

I work three days a week at Girls Inc: two in the office on various projects and one at camp. This marks the fourth week Super Camp has been running. I have had the opportunity to work with camp counselors and girls in both the Peeps group (1st-3rd graders) and Tween (4th-6th graders). Every week there is a different theme with specific projects – such as painting with kool-aid, showing the moon phases with oreos, making icecream in a Ziploc bag, and making “baby caterpillars” as a health snack. Daily activities such as swimming and summer reading also occur.

Today, I went with the Peeps to the Ecotarium. Woo! I was super stoked for the trip, never having been there myself. There were some really cool exhibits – ones I want to go back for and actually read and look at – like the whole section on dinosaurs and the Koala Maze. My day, however, was focused more on watching and counting and re-counting the group of girls that I was with as they climbed through the rabbit hole into the Alice and Wonderland exhibit and while they took repeated turns in a “hurricane” wind tunnel. It was most certainly a long day, especially with the heat (on my walk home from the Y later, the church at the intersection of King and Main Streets said it was 103 – though I think that is an over exaggeration). After snack, the first hour back at Winthrop House was spent playing freeze dance and doing line dances.

My day with the campers taught me three really important things.

  1. While I was watching some of these girls I tried to think back about who I was at a similar age. I know what I thought of myself at the time but I have no idea how the adult me would have viewed the seven year old me. I got to thinking how difficult it must be to be an elementary school teacher – to teach and (ideally) be a critical educator. I have so much respect for the field and for all of those who work to help children, adolescence, and adults believe in themselves.
  2. I am no longer hip. I do not know the boom-snap-clap-snap-shh thing. I was told my dance moves were weird. I even do the ChaChaSlide wrong (though my post-work case studies on my friends suggest that it is more of a regional difference than age based)! I am currently worried for what the rest of my life may bring.
  3. Some people are really gifted in their ability to communicate. As one of our girls went from high energy to detached and sad; another waited for her at the end of the line to check up on her. She asked her what was wrong and allowed her peer to not share if she so chose. Upon being told that she didn’t want to talk about why she was upset, the girl who initiated the conversation said okay and stated that she would still like to sit with her on the bus ride home if that was okay and that she could agree to that later if she’d like. That, right there, is true friendship. That girl is a leader and an example. I wonder if she even knows.

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