Monday, May 19, 2014

day camp/summer/chattanooga trip

Next month, I'm doing a day camp here in Lincoln for work. I've been spending a LOT of time planning it lately, but I'm excited about it. As my boss recommended, I picked a theme that I'm interested in. It's called "Around the World Day Camp." I've split each day into a different area of the world, and each day the girls will learn words in various languages, do a lot of geography, learn dances, try new foods, and so much more. That week is going to be insanely busy for me, but I think it will be so much fun! I enjoy planning it, and I will enjoy delivering it. The last day of camp just HAPPENS to be World Refugee Day. I didn't do that on purpose, but it's perfect timing.

I'm also planning a few other day long programs for the summer. I'm looking forward to the summer schedule. During the school year, all my programs are on the weekend and my week is heavily focused on going to schools and checking in on girls and volunteers. During the summer, most of my work is during the week during the day, and my weekends are free. It's a different feel so far, and I'm SO excited for warmer weather and a varying schedule.

Tonight Kurt and I met with a guy from our church who is doing to do an event on the Lincoln Vital Signs. It's a fascinating report on the status of Lincoln and he wants to do some surveys to follow up on it, and bring people together to perhaps work to bring about some change. He had a small group of us over to run through his ideas for the program and see how long it took. It was a fun time of discussion and he had fake Thin Mints. I'm not entirely sure what will happen with this event and the Vital Signs, but there's a lot of potential.

On Thursday, we are heading down to Chattanooga to meet our twin niece and nephew that just turned 5 months old. I'm VERY excited, especially because I'll get to travel with my sister and 2 year old niece, and we'll all get to spend lots and lots of time together. It will be a whirlwind.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Old glogs and updates

A long time ago, when I was in college, I started a blog on a site called Xanga. I wrote on it religiously. When I went to Korea, I wrote even more. I can't even believe how much I wrote, but I am so glad I did, because all those memories are there for me to read, though my brain hasn't stored them all. Xanga is closing down, but I have all my blog posts in a zipped file and will upload them to a blog, where they will hopefully live for many years to come.

And life. I'm still working at Girl Scouts. I love it! The work is fun, rewarding, and largely un-stressful. Some weeks I don't work 40 hours. Some weeks I do, because I have to work on weekends. A big part of my job is outreach, which I mentioned in a previous post (the 4th and 5th grade group that I was leading until I could find volunteers). I got to know that 4th and 5th grade girls so well over the course of the school year. Individually, I really liked them. As a group, they were a nightmare. They talked over me, didn't listen to me, and overall were cruel and mean to each other. I did spend some time working with them, trying to get them to see the importance of being GOOD friends to each other. They didn't like that, and essentially flatly refused to hear me out. It angered be beyond belief and I was shocked at how much these girls were calloused and disrespectful of me and each other. It was depressing, because I felt like I didn't make any difference and perhaps that they were even worse off. The 4th and 5th graders at both of my elementary schools were the same. It was a very discouraging discovery at the end of the year for me.

As the girls shared their lack of quality female role models at the beginning of the year, they also seem to have learned poor interpersonal skills and conflict resolution skills. I did have quite a bit of success with a middle school group, though. It was a small group of 6-9 girls, but they seemed to soak in some of the bullying-prevention/friendship skills that I was trying to teach. Girl Scouts has a fantastic curriculum that we are trying to teach to girls all over the state. It is so badly needed. That I can see.

The coolest thing I regret not writing about is my trip to the United Nations in March with 4 high school girls. I was chosen in November to lead the trip, and though I took plenty of pictures and tweeted a lot, I didn't write anything. Maybe I will soon, because those memories will fade fast. The week was so breakneck, we were sleep deprived, emotionally exhausted, and I could barely keep up with the pace, I don't know that I could have blogged, but I should have!

Today is Sunday, and Kurt and I biked to Jimmy John's to do the crossword puzzle. It was our first day on the bikes for the season. His was just fixed up and mine just needed a little air in the tires, though it does still do this weird thing where it drops to the lowest gears without me touching them. It was fun to be out on the bikes, it is a nice day, and it was nice not to use our car. I really love the location of our home, so close to downtown and many bike trails.

Which reminds me, I was recently selected to be the chair (?) of our church's Peace & Justice Committee. Kurt and I have been participating since we became members in 2012. I've enjoyed working with the folks on the committee, and though most of them are my parent's age or older, they are truly beautiful people, and we share so many values and beliefs. I was honored that they thought I would be a good fit for it, and I'm interested to see what I can do to help promote peace and justice in our church!

Since it's such a lovely day, I do believe I will get off this computer, which I've been on for too long, and go for a walk.