I was horrible at friendship bracelets when I was little. I remember seeing older campers and counselors working on them and being amazed at how easily they braided and knotted the little strings to become an intricate pattern. Watching their fingers was like watching magic. I couldn't do it. I made knots in all the places I wasn't supposed to and rarely finished a tornado let alone anything more advanced. Friendship bracelets were so not my thing.
I didn't pick up those bright, skinny, long strings again until my counseling days began. I wanted to be able to trade with my friends and give bracelets to campers and counselors. Somehow it got a lot easier when I got older and suddenly I had no problem with diamonds and double Vs. When I became a teacher right after college and wanted to start a club it only made sense to teach these kids to make bracelets. I wanted to bring a little bit of camp into the classroom. The Friendship Bracelet Club would be a place for every girl--you don't have to be smart or cool or athletic or outgoing or even very good at bracelets. You just have to show up.
FBC is about friendship bracelets but it's about so much more than that. I've been running this club on Thursdays for four years now and I don't look back and remember all the bracelets we've made. I remember laughing with Natalie, Saba and Maggie that whole first year. I remember Rachel freaking out about her hockey crushes. I remember Isa singing and the Mager twins dancing. I remember running through the hallway playing human ladder. I remember getting to know Katy and Rachel as they would pull chairs up to my desk. I remember discovering Mikaela's creativity and Grace's heart. I remember getting to know girls that I never got to have in class like Libby, Emily and Alexa. I remember when I couldn't tell Malena and Cailtin apart for at least a semester. I remember the first couple weeks when the room was so packed with girls you couldn't even see the floor.
National Friendship Bracelet Club Day is a day to celebrate the things that matter. These girls. Having fun. Including everyone. Embracing whimsy. Spending time with friends. Doing something for someone else and expecting nothing in return. Being a good friend. Not the bracelets themselves, but what they symbolize.
Friends from camp and young life have been getting these sweatshirts since the club began and although we can't all be together in person to celebrate, I love that so many of them were rocking their sweatshirts today and spreading that FBC love.
The captions on all of these Instagram pics are my favorites.
Did you know Edward is in the FBC?
Emma was visiting Butler today and walked into Alpha Phi to stay with her friend. She opened the door and across the room saw Abby wearing her FBC sweatshirt. For a second they just stared at each other and then yelled a little bit and got really excited. So fun. Connections are my favorite.
I've been living the FBC dream with Natty B for four years. She's a rockstar.
Taylor Porter had her dog wear an FBC sweatshirt today. We take things to the next level.
In case you can't read Allison's caption here, "There's actually nothing greater in the whole entire WORLD than a freakin amazing friend. Be one. Make one. Stay one." Amen.
Tonight I got to hang out with Sam and Megan for pizza and dorm room planning, social media stalking and Glee analyzing, laughing and just being together. I miss seeing this pair more often.
I can't wait for our Wyld Life Neon Club tomorrow night. A few lucky kids will even win a specially crafted neon YL t-shirt. I'm so excited for Friday.