Thursday, December 12, 2013

"I love singing and spending time with you."

During all three lunches today I passed out the sweatshirts to the Friendship Bracelet Club, aka the Friendship Bracelet Cult as the other teachers like to call it. Luckily I have prep 5th period so I could sit on stage with a couple helpers and check off every name as they came up.

Many of the kids put on their sweatshirts right away, like these 8th grade boys. They're pretty awesome. The beauty of the FBC is that everyone is invited. You don't even have to come to a meeting to be in the club or get a sweatshirt. We've got people all across the midwest wearing the shirts and now over 100 kids in the Junior High are wearing them too.

We had our last Wyld Life Club of the semester tonight at the Devoe's gym. We all rocked jerseys for #thursdayjersday. Cefali and Hayley greeted kids as they arrived and sent them down to the basement where we were already shooting hoops and dancing crazy like KCraig.

Honestly I was exhausted before club started tonight and didn't know how tonight would go. But then these 7th grade girls showed up and I soaked up their energy. Attitudes are contagious aren't they? Whether it's a positive or negative mood, other people will run with it. Tonight the enthusiasm in the room was contagious and multiplied between all of us.

About a month ago a group of us were at the HS to support the cheerleaders when we saw the break dance club practicing. Of course KCraig jumped right in and learned one of their moves. Tonight she and I kept teaching it to groups of girls and all of them actually did it with us. Seriously so awesome.

Wyld Life Break Dancing Crew. What's up. (The pointing pose at the end is very important.)

Wyld Life and Young Life Clubs are always fun but I just had an exceptional amount of fun tonight with these kids. These 7th graders have become my people and I love laughing and being goofy with them now.

Tonight was Audrey's first Wyld Life Club (and Julia's too) and I was so excited to see her when she walked in the door that my jaw dropped. She's going to be in my class next semester and I can't wait to hang out with her every day. Mia and Lulu are incredibly precious and told me that they're "little friends" together.

We love our 8th grade girls and how they're always so fun, quirky and weird. Their second year in Wyld Life, they know the drill and are some of our most enthusiastic kids.

Some of our kids couldn't come tonight because of basketball games, cheer and dance, but we were so excited for the ones that could show up. Maddy got to come at the last minute and I was so excited to see her walk through the door. She is one of the sweetest and most genuine girls I know.

We were having so much fun before club even began and everyone was hyper. I'd say, "Make a pyramid as fast as you can!" and then this would happen...

and more people would see and it turned into this...

Here's the other anomaly of HSE Young Life: all of our kids are awesome. I seriously don't know how that happened. I'm in this season of life where teaching overlaps with Wyld Life which sometimes even overlaps with Tecumseh and it's such a sweet spot to be in. I feel like I'm right where God wants me to be.

I told the girls that we always posed like Alex during CILTs when we would wear our jerseys like this:

And then they copied that pose here:

Then it was actually time to start the organized part of Club. We sang One Direction's "Story of my Life" at the top of our lungs. Sometimes it's a struggle to get everyone to sing along but tonight everyone was, even the boys. We were jumping on the chorus, clapping during the verses. It felt a little like we were at Club at camp.

This week we asked our HS leaders to make videos to introduce two of our games. These things are hilarious. Chad and Jacob are the jersey relay champs in this video. Totally worth checking out. We had 7th v 8th grade jersey relay race-- the girl ran down the floor and then put on the 5 jerseys from her team's bucket. Once she had them all on she had to shoot a basket. Then she could put the jerseys back in the bucket and tag the boy on her team to go next through the same routine. It was down to the wire but the 7th graders won.

Natty B was the star of the Frozen Jersey unraveling video-- this girl is fantastic and so funny. Milly, Maddy and Kate were each given a jersey that had been frozen into a block of ice. They had to beat, whip and pull that jersey until they could put it on correctly. This game is much more difficult than it looks and about thirty seconds in your fingers start freezing.

One of my favorite go to games that I learned at Timber Wolf years ago is called Norwegian Nose Dive. The premise is simple: a combination of body parts is called out and between you and your partner those are the only body parts that can touch the ground.

Everyone play at once and the room is filled with laughter and creative, awkward body positions.

We announced tonight that we'll be going back to Michindoh this summer for Wyld Life Camp. Only a handful of the kids in the room came with us last year because all of the 8th graders are in HS now. Junior High has such a quick turn over that we'll continue to have a huge number of new kids every year--that's exciting and challenging. I'm such a fan of this group and love working with them. I'm pumped for many of them to go experience camp with us this summer.

KCraig gave the Club Talk tonight and shared with us about confession and the freedom of owning up to the truth. She told us about when she tried to get away with skipping outdoor recess in 3rd grade by playing old school computer games and ended up climbing out a window and getting caught. KCraig has always been nuts. But she learned about forgiveness and the value of telling the truth after talking to her mom about what she had done.

Christ invites us to tell him the truth in our own lives and promises to love us no matter what, no exceptions. In Romans 8:28 he says, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." It's a beautiful thing that when we mess up God will use those failures and mistakes for his glory in ways that we couldn't have planned.

I love that we have small groups at the end of each Wyld Life Club. Most of the girls from my 7th grade bible studies come with me and we get to talk about the club talk together. I think they have great questions and ideas. I'm glad we get to engage them in conversation.

Tonight was a break-dancing, song-screaming, ice-melting, friend-hugging, story-telling, jersey-repping, game-playing, group-praying success.

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