Monday, July 27, 2009

Last Friday's field trip

I went to bed last Thursday night with a sense of foreboding due to the forecast. Friday we'd planned to take the B-SAFE campers to the Blue Hill Observatory and then to Houghton Pond afterward for swimming and a picnic.

As I was awakened Thursday night by the sound of howling winds and torrential downpours I realized my sense of foreboding was unfortuantely not for naught.

For a type A organizer like myself a last minute change of plan like this is -- well, less than ideal at the least.

But on to plan B it was - bowling at Boston Bowl.

Getting 75 kids into rental shoes and connecting them with the right size bowling balls was an interesting feat - but soon enough I saw 15 lanes of kids with big smiles on their faces, some flinging the ball (and occasionally themselves) down the lane at breakneck speed, while the smaller kids would have had time to run and grab a snack after rolling the ball and could have still been back to the lane in time to see it hit (or more accurately, gently nudge) a pin or 2.

Afterward we enjoyed that cure-all tonic known as the pizza lunch. You've never seen 25 cartons of pizza disappear so fast.

With Michael Theobald reporting that Houghton Pond was a pond even where it wasn't supposed to be a pond, it was on to plan C for the afternoon. We dumped all manner of balls, bats, frisbees, rackets etc. onto the parking lot and had at it.

Soon I found myself talking trash with Ranjit and 5 or 6 other kids in an entertaining game of touch football in the parking lot. (We all know Ranjit to be kind and considerate but trust me, football brings out his competitive side!)

As I looked at the faces of these kids throughout the day in the context of my own fretting about plans changed by weather I was reminded that the the point of B-SAFE isn't where you go or what you do - it's simply spending time with a lot of really great kids. For me the most fulfilling aspect of B-SAFE for both the kids and we volunteers are those simple and informal but important and direct personal encounters. I am certain that the kids won't remember or care that the way we spent our day was a plan B due to rain. But I like to believe they'll remember a lot of those personal encounters. I know I will.

Thank you so much to the very large group of enthusiastic and committed volunteers who gave their time to this week of St. Michael's B-SAFE support.

Randy Wambold

Friday, July 24, 2009

Thursday's B-Safe lunch at Church of the Holy Spirit

In your wildest dreams who would've thought mac and cheese could be so complicated! Well, when your serving it up as the main course for 65+ kids, volunteers and adults and need 75+ plates ready to go all at the same time and you've got " too many cooks in the kitchen" complicated it can turn out to be! Fortunately the master chefs took control, everyone else took their lead and the mission was gracefully accomplished! With a slice of confusion and a dash of chaos we did it perfectly! The executive decision in the heat of the moment to run out and get french bread to add to the menu was a tremendous hit. More bread please, more bread please was heard throughout the lunch room. The other huge hit was the peach idea- on the side of their mac and cheese they had celery sticks, tomato slices ( didn't hear much about them ) and one half of a huge peach, wow! delicious, ripe, sweet and fresh. They loved it! Dessert was an assortment of various flavored brownies and cookies baked fresh with lemonade to drink which topped off a perfect meal. These kids are so appreciative! These kids are so adorable, thankful, hungry and happy! Their spirits are definitely in the right place! When Thursday's lunch was all said and done and their tummy's were full we got a thunderously loud, in unison: " Thank you "!!
What a rewarding experience filled with enthusiasm, gratitude,
fellowship and love!
Stay tuned for the adventures of Friday's fieldtrip!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Tuesday, June 21st---Church of the Holy Spirit

A rainy day but the children's faces are all sunshine. They clearly love being here. They are polite and sweet. and I wish I could think of more to do for them. We met earlier in the kitchen of Our Saviour and made ten pans of ziti with tomato sauce, mozzarella, and fresh basil, a wonderful, chaotic group effort, bumping into each other and yelling directions. Sam had a messy twenty minutes grating mozzarella balls, while others stood over huge boiling pots of water and pasta, or tore up basil leaves and talked. The children liked the ziti (it really wasn't bad, if I do say so myself!). We served it to them with celery sticks and for dessert, great brownies baked by Judy Rice, Mary Stubbs and Barb Phinney. Some of the kids wanted seconds on the ziti, and some of them actually wanted more celery! I have never been thanked so enthusiastically for anything I have ever done. The children stood and screamed and waved and clapped. We were all grinning from ear to ear. A beautiful day. Sheila Monks