Monday, June 29, 2009

Chipper

Last night, my girls were in bed with the lights out at 9:15pm. I leveled with them. I told them I was human. I was tired of feeling disrespected and unappreciated. It wasn’t a sermon, but a conversation. It went well. I was pleasantly surprised at their response. We brainstormed ways we could all do better and oddly, they have been.
Since this morning, there have been many more ‘please’s and ‘thank you’s. The girls have been much more helpful at serving and cleaning up at meals. They have been fighting less and helping me more. It might last no more than 24 hours, but I felt good about being honest with them and asking them to consider how they were treating campers and staff.
Chipper attitudes and helpful campers made the morning much easier. After my girls were off to their different activities I taught my basketball class.
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this week’s basketball class. Eight campers showed up Monday morning; 7 boys and 1 girl; C.J, S.J, Brandon, B.B, Austin, Ruben, Darnell, and Mikaela.
It is expected at this age for some amount of whining and complaining, but I warned them that if they did, they’d sit out. We did passing, dribbling, ball handling drills, and relay races. Every day they played 4-on-4 and I played referee. Whistling at mostly traveling and double dribble calls, I was usually pretty exhausted at defending my calls after the ‘No I didn’t’s rained down on me.
Today, the last day of basketball class, was a blast. Everyone was excited for class and as I encouraged them to be positive and work together we had a great time. I got to play with them because we were short one player.
While calling out directions and giving high fives to players who missed a shot, but gave a hard effort, I realized, I could do this. This gets me excited. I’ve always, always enjoyed playing sports and I’ve been thrilled to pass that on this week.
S.J plays hard, works hard, and smiles often. Darnell whines a bit, is apparently grieving the death of Michael Jackson, he’s sneaky, and mischievous. Ruben rolls his eyes a bit and thus sits out a bit, but we found common ground today when I pointed him to cut towards the basket for a lay-up and he scored valiantly. Thrilling. Sweet Mikaela smiles and runs her heart out. We played girls against boys today and kicked some booty. Proud.
Seeing the confident looks on their faces and high-fives between players made this week all worth it. They soaked up the game just as much as I did. And afterwards Austin and Brandon said, “Ms. Heather thanks for teaching us. We had fun.” Awww!
As soon as the last camper walked tiredly out of the gymnasium, I sat in front of the large fan and soaked up the moment. Wow.
The weekend will be here soon. Hallelujah. What was Chippewa cabin this week, will head home back to their families. Stories may rain down about their evil counselor who made them go to bed early, clean up after themselves, and learn to solve their own arguments. Yet I am confident that somehow they’ve grown, learned, and felt important, because if so, I’ve done well.

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