Tuesday, October 16, 2012

What I learned during Gym Night

This weekend we tried something interesting. The youth really wanted to have a gym night this year, but normally we don't do one because one of the children's programs during the same time is Sports Camp. We managed to sort that out in an odd way: I got the 8-10 year olds from Sports Camp up in the Attic (we called it "age switching night") and the youth were able to use the gym for the evening.

First off, kids kind of scare me. They're cute, and individually there are plenty of kids I think are great, but a group of 40 kids on a Friday night is rather intimidating! Thankfully, the night went REALLY well! The youth really appreciated getting gym access, and I actually had fun with a group of little munchkins! In the youth room, we played some of the same games that I play with the teens and it went better than I was expecting.

There were two things that really encouraged me on Friday: first, that I got to meet two new teens who may not have come if we didn't have an event that appealed to them (thank you Kathy and Christine for working this out... it was definitely worthwhile!) and second, I got to meet my future youth kids. Like I said, I'm not the biggest fan of large groups of kids, but they were a really fun bunch and it's exciting to know that in a few short years they'll be in the Attic for real! Although by the time they're in youth, we might have outgrown the room....

That being said, there were a few practical things I learned about myself through this experience:

  • Always use a mic with little kids, or risk sacrificing my voice... I learned this the hard way.
  • Drinking 4 cups of coffee in preparation for the energy of children actually was a good idea... except when a kid said I talked like Alvin and the Chipmunks (one less cup would have sufficed)
  • Playing any game with kids for more than 10 minutes is too long. Who would have known? I have never appreciated the 20 minute attention span of teenagers more!
  • I definitely made the right decision when I checked off the "Secondary" box in my application for teaching school! By the end of the night I was ready for bed :)

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