Tuesday I headed directly from work to another Community for Youth event. This time it was the
pre-launch course. The weekend thing that starts today is the
launch course. Just so you get the connection. On Tuesday we first met in the choir/band room at Sealth H.S.. With built in risers and stuff. I haven't been in a band room like that since 8th grade at King's Junior H.S.. This was more of going over CfY's program. Then they gave us an idea of what will be going on at the launch course. Turns out a lot of the things that weren't covered at the training last week are incorporated into the launch course. There's a few
get to know you kind of activities tonight. Mornings start off with a one mile run, followed by breakfast. No one eats until everyone finishes the run. That's designed actually to create a little bit of breakdown and conflict. There's a ropes course, which will have trust exercises built in to it. Saturday has game playing and various
sharing exercises (for want of a better word). I forget what's on Sunday except that's when we rank who we want and the kids rank who they want. The official matching then happens next week. Anyway, afte going over the launch course schedule, they had us select our own goals for the launch course. Mine was to actually connect with people and talk to them, since i have a huge tendency to stick with people I know and with whom I am comfortable. Second part of that was that we had to pick how we want to be coached on that goal. I.e., if someone sees us not sticking to the goal, how do they tell us. I personally need my ass kicked on things usually. Tell me directly. Sometimes publicly. Subtle hints are not the best way. One of the other mentors (not mentioning who cause that'd be inappropraite) has an issue with over-analyzing things and want us to coach him by telling him to chill when he starts asking too many questions. To give another idea on what kinds of goals the mentors will have for this. Since we won't remember all that, CfY wrote it all down and will place that in the mentors' lounge during the launch course.
After all that, we met the kids in the lunch room. There are the Steps Up kids who have been through a year or two of CfY mentorship programs before. They are the helpers. Not exactly the hall monitors, though I think they will have to do some of that as part of their role. There were a few parents there, though most of the kids there didn't have parents at this event. And the kids themselves of course attended. It started right after school, so the kids didn't need to be driven there; they just went from school to event with no parental driving. First it was food. I was near last of the mentors to enter the room, so most tables were full when I came entered. I grabbed my pizza and headed to one table that had one kid at it. Looked like kids were clustering pretty bad and this guy was sitting alone. He turned out to be fairly quiet. Because of the clustering, the next table had something like 5 kids and 2 mentors. Mine had 4 mentors and 1 kid. We chatted with him a bit, but I hope it didn't seem like the inquisition to have four adults trying to talk with him.
After food was an assembly like program. The program director for CfY gave a spiel. He's basically a motivational speaker. That thought occurred to me after last week. But instead of his powers being used for evil, they are being used for good, explaining what will be going on. He had all the Steps Up kids tell who they were and what they had gotten out of the CfY program. Then he had us mentors stand up and introduce ourselves in front of the room. And last it was the kids who introduced themselves, why they wanted to participate (get grades up, meet people, etc.) and what their favorite activity is. After all the introductions they had a big giant game of
cross the room. Sort of a
break the ice kind of game I guess. Basically people just shout out something that they have/haven't done, and everyone who's done that crosses the room to the other side, those who haven't stay where they are. Things like if you've ever cheated on a significant other, or stolen something, or been to Australia, or witnessed racism.
After everything was over, I got to drive one kid whom whose parents hadn't been able to come. I missed the exit (he lives on pill hill) so I ended up driving out of the way to get him home. His parents called twice while we were on the way, to make sure he was okay. He was a talkative guy.
And that's all for now.