My youngest daughter, Mica was rushing around this morning, somewhat anxious: “Mary must have texted me 50 times! Are you coming? Here are the kids you’ll be watching. I’ve added one more kid. Do you know any other volunteers? Is she dependable?”
“What age are you watching?” I asked. “Five year-olds.” “Oh. Five year-olds are pretty cool, actually. They will like you and want you to like them. Stay alert, have fun.”
Mary, my oldest daughter, has been working with poor kids for 14 years now through a non-profit she started, People of Destiny. Today they are going on a reward trip to Wild Adventures. Imagine taking a whole bunch of excited kids, who have never gone to a theme park-and you are responsible for all of them. So, yeah, she’s working on every detail because first, you do no harm.
I also ran non-profits serving disadvantaged kids. I had lofty goals written in rational, even scientific terms: To increase their knowledge, skills and abilities…blah, blah, blah. With fifty kids every afternoon, I quickly came to realize that the priority was to keep them safe. They’re small, they’re foolish, they’re excited-and I loved them.
I can imagine the kids at Wild Adventures: “Hey, I dare you to jump the fence and tap that alligator on the tail. Are you chicken?” Some big person needs to point out that chicken is exactly what they feed the alligators. “He cut in line!” “No, I didn’t.” Yes, conflict resolution skills worthy of world-class diplomats will be called for.
Here’s Mary’s facebook post this morning about rain: Oh man, I’m going to have about 30 very disappointed babies if we can’t go to Wild Adventures today!
The price of a good outing is eternal vigilance. That being said, the reward of a good outing is much laughter and memories that last a lifetime. …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
To donate to People of Destiny (aka HisHands) go here. They are listed on Amazon Smile, too.
Update: It did rain and they had a blast anyway.
“We had an awesome time at Wild Adventures yesterday! We had an amazing group of volunteers and a great group of kids. 🙂 So. Much. Fun. Onward to our next summer event- Summer Camp!! $45 (that’s a steal!) will pay for 3 days of awesomeness for our kids (July 19-21 for boys, July 22-24 for girls). We have a total of 21 kids who worked their butts off all year to earn the trip, so please consider sending a deserving kid to camp. 🙂 www.hishandsministry.org/donate.html