Monday, July 7, 2014

Weird Animals

So, here was my mantra:  two little boys, six little girls, three older girls, another adult.  I said it every fifteen minutes,  for three hours a day, over four days.  My job?  Don't lose anybody. 

I was a team leader along with a dozen other adults. Every team had about 12-13 people. Last year we had about five kids, which is entirely manageable for one adult. I couldn't do it with twelve kids, so it was a good thing Lea was helping me. We had a special-needs sweet little girl and her nanny came with her—so two adults. Our other two older kids were more like leaders, huge amount of help with the little kids. We came through it fine. But I was one busy leader.  (Suzie W,  I do not know how you do it.  You have my total regard.)

Little kids have a lot of needs.  One of our little boys was terrified to the point of silence, the first part of the week.  First of the week, he needed to sit beside me the whole time.  It just wasn't safe anyplace else.  He needed massive assurance, mainly that we weren't going to leave him someplace or put him at risk of being bullied.  Somewhere in there, he figured out he could sit on my lap and so he did, for a couple of days.  By the end of the week, he was able to make friends and play with the other kids.  

Then our other little guy just needed love and attention and somebody to talk to, somebody to love.

The kids needed help with their snacks, with their crafts. They couldn't go get a drink of water or go to the bathroom without me, that was due to the fact that we have homeless people in our building sometimes. We didn't know everybody.

It was easy for a child to wander off.  That happened with another group.  The original leader snapped to the fact that one of our boys wasn't where he was supposed to be.  Twenty minutes of pure panic and a big search later.  They found him—with another group.  He just found someplace safe and stayed put.  

So, these photos.  I brought my old Pentax in with me on automatic settings and turned the camera over to the kids.  They took all these photos.  Good, huh?

So, weird animals. That was our theme, and here's how it worked out. Everybody is a little weird in their own special way. Everybody needs love and acceptance, some fun, some music, a snack, and an adult to watch over them, somebody that thinks the kids are God's prize. The kids were utterly at home with that message.


  1. Pretty good photos from your little Pentax. Cute piece.

  2. Great post! And fun photos!
    You've always been so good with kids, especially those who feel a little insecure.