Could you walk away from technology for a week? Have your phone and computer taken away with no away of using it. A week away from television. Well I am about to experience that as I turn off my computer tomorrow night and turn off my cell phone Sunday morning as I begin a week volunteering as a camp counselor for abused children in foster care from Illinois. The camp location is in Wisconsin and the kids will come by bus to the camp with all the camp counselors holding up signs welcoming them. Each camp counselor is paired up with one or two campers that they work with all week. The week is basically focused around giving these kids an opportunity to have the time of their life because these kids have not had it easy. From looking back at my own childhood my years at summer camp were right up there with the best memories and it just so happens that I attended a camp at the same location this camp is being held when I was 8 years old and I have fond memories of that. I learned today that my camper is also 8 years old. We have been trained for behavior problems as many of these kids do come with them. There is so much that goes on throughout the week at camp for these kids by creating new memories and making new friends. There is also a day during camp where the kids all celebrate their birthday. It is one big birthday party because for many kids in foster care who have come from homes where they were abused and neglected, birthdays were often forgotten. So this is a way to celebrate with them. Throughout the week there are people on staff just to take photos and the kids on their final night are given a photo album of their entire week of camp. So often these kids don’t have photos of themselves and this is an opportunity to hold onto these memories and treasure them for years to come. Girls are of course paired up with female counselors and boys are paired up with male counselors. The camp counselors sleep in the cabins with the kids.
I just opened an email of what a typical day at camp will be for us. It is a jam packed day where you need to come with a lot of energy and plenty of rest the night before.
6am-7am wake up and dress for the day
7:15-7:45am exercise with coaches (I was surprised to see this. I wonder how getting a bunch of 6-12 year olds up and moving this early to exercise is going to work. I will be good at motivating them.)
8:45-9:25am Breakfast club (not sure what this is but will soon find out)
9:30-10:00am games with coaches
10:00–11:30 activities center
11:30-11:45 bathroom break
12:30-1:15pm cabin time
1:15-2:45pm girls swim/ boys activities
2:30-3:00 snacks at beach
2:45-4:15pm boys swim/ girls activities
4:15-4:30pm bathroom break
4:30-5:15pm Journeys with Joseph (Christian organization if your wondering)
6:00-6:30pm bathroom break
6:30-8pm campfire/fun night activities different nights of the week
8:00-9pm prepare for bed
9:00-10:30pm- Counselors meet in lodge to relax while (aunts, uncles, grandparents as they call them step in to babysit in cabins to give counselors some down time after a busy day.)
I am really looking forward to this opportunity to make a difference in these kids lives. I am going into this with a lot on my mind and am really looking forward to having my time and energy consumed in making a difference in these kids lives. I have been told by counselors that have done this in years past there is lots of tears on that final day saying goodbye to these kids you have grown close to over the week.
The week ends with all staff returning back to our church in Illinois and having a dinner celebration together to celebrate the successful week with the kids and talk about the experiences we had.
So I ask you could you walk away from technology for an entire week? I actually think it will be a fun experiment. I know I couldn’t do it unless I was put in the environment I am being put in. I couldn’t just turn my computer and phone off on my own for a week and expect myself not to turn it on. Maybe give it a try. For all you facebook addicts out there try not logging on for a week and see if you can do it. If not maybe it is time for a 12 step program for facebook anonymous. For all you lurkers out there who just cannot go a day without checking my blog try and go a week without checking it. Haha! Okay well that is an easy one to do since I won’t be updating for over a week you will know not to check it but I know many of you will still come just because you have made it apart of your daily routine to check my blog. Who knows maybe I cannot make the week and might just surprise you with a midweek update….kidding! That won’t be happening I won’t have access to a computer but don’t be too disappointed it is not like I spill everything here anyways. I’m good at keeping secrets!
Before I sign off for awhile I got a call today from the United States Department of Education informing me that I have been selected to speak at this years United States Department of Education Conference in Washington D.C. in August on Erin’s law. I am really excited and looking forward to it and one step closer to getting President Obama’s attention on this issue. Who knows I might just work my magic and get him to attend the conference. I am good at accomplishing what I set out to do. Even if it is not always the smartest thing for me to be accomplishing.
See you back here the week of June 20th.
Keep these kids in your prayers throughout the week. Check out the website Royal Family Kids Camp. This is the name of the camp.