Hey everyone! I don’t know if anyone’s noticed but I’ve been M.I.A. for a couple of days. I was volunteering for community service hours for the past week. By the time I got home, I was either conquered by my tiresome eyes or overcome by my sore body.
But I’m back! And I want to talk about my experience…
So every year I volunteer at my church for community service, because I need the hours to graduate. I’ve done this for 2 years, counting this year it’s been 3 years now. Even if I didn’t need hours I would like to think that I would still volunteer. I think helping out in your community is a nice way to get out of your house and help those who need an extra hand in something.
Well from Sunday to Friday the kids come to church to do activities to learn more about God. They go to stations (in different rooms). Each station has something specific to teach them. There is a craft station, a movie station, a games station, an adventure station, and a snack station.
I always worked in the crafts station. I was comfortable there. I just had to teach the kids the craft of the day, which wasn’t so hard.
But this year, my best friend made me become a crew leader. By made I mean she ran away with the laptop while we were both registering to volunteer online.
A crew leader is someone who gets 10 kids or more to take care of, you take them to the different stations and are responsible for them. It’s not just the kids roaming around freelance. There are over 200 kids, so they all have to be split up into crews. I think there were about 22 crews? I’m not actually sure.
I was leader of crew #4!! (I’m all excited for some reason lol)
There were two crew leaders in each crew. I was partnered up with this guy. He was actually pretty cool. He wasn’t one of those “I’m cooler than you” guys. He was really funny and he laughed at my jokes, so there was a plus. He wasn’t a jerk. That helped a lot, considering at the beginning I didn’t really want to be a crew leader. And since my best friend made me be one, my motto was “she better be my partnered crew leader or I’m going back to crafts.” I really, really did not want to be a crew leader.
I was really nervous the first day. I was scared the kids weren’t gonna like me. I was scared they weren’t gonna have fun. I was scared I was going to lose a kid in the chaos of it all. Big idea? I was freakin’ scared.
So, how was the first day you might wonder? Or you might not wonder.. either way I’m going to tell you.
It was a jumble at the beginning. But all in all the first day we got our first three kids. A 9 year old, an 11 year old, and a 5 year old.
Let me tell you, it was very awkward at first. You know the first thing I said to one of my kids? “You ready to have fun?” Oh my gosh who even says that? I’m so lame sometimes.
So we went to our first station and it was where I got to know the kids and the kids got to know us and I got to know my other crew leader and I think you get the point… Everyone just got to know each other. The first day wasn’t that bad. I didn’t lose anyone. They were all fed. They had fun. It was an ok day.
By the end of the week we had about 7 kids to take care of. I was actually happy this past week. I wasn’t tired, well I wasn’t tired with the kids (only at the end of the day). I didn’t really feel like I was parenting the kids. In a way, I felt like I was their friend. Although, I’m not gonna lie, it wasn’t all sunshine. There were some awkward moments. But all in all it was a good experience.
My kids were actually pretty cool. Some were older than the rest. Some kids had a really strong personality, while others still held a carefree mind. I think I learned a lot by spending time with these kids.
I remembered the innocence. It’s so easy for them to be happy. They barely consider happiness. That’s what I admire about kids.
They are influenced by us. They listen to the adults. They have no idea that they’re in such a good place right now.
Their opinions. I loved to hear their opinions. I loved their smiles. I loved their jokes. I loved their logic. It was so refreshing to hear a kids’ view on something.
It was different. While I was with the kids, I forgot all about my life. No I did not forget who I was. I mean I didn’t have to think about the broken pieces of my life. No, I wasn’t on the down side of my roller coaster before this week. But sometimes, my thoughts take over my mind, and I overthink. But, while I was with the kids, I didn’t even think about the bad stuff. Maybe it was because I was too worried caring for the kids… lol. Either way, I could forget about the broken pieces. That was a blessing.
At the beginning, I despised the idea of being a crew leader.
Kids? No thank you.
But now, I don’t know.
Maybe I might want to do this next year..? Maybe I’ll go back to crafts…
I guess I kind of liked being a crew leader.
I would rather volunteer being tired every night, than volunteer not being tired. I never felt tired when I did crafts. I was really shocked this year. I came home with my eyes drooping and my back aching and I was so confused. But I realized, maybe this is what it’s like doing something more, being something more.
Did the kids even know my name when I was working at the crafts station? The leader of the craft station didn’t even know my name. But when I was a crew leader, they knew my name. And I knew theirs. I actually had a sort of connection with the kids.
So… I guess I have to go thank my best friend now?
Call this coincidence or whatever, but I saw this quote today and it very much resembles the point of my experience:
“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”