I will stop talking about this eventually. REALLY. I feel like part of my life has revolved around this for a few weeks.. but it will return to normal and then we can start looking forward to next year!
I cannot blog with words effective enough to express how I have enjoyed this program and the people involved...
THERE is NOT one adult volunteer or child, or intern or leader... NOT ONE who is not amazing! They walk up to you and with complete confidence HAND SHAKE, EYE CONTACT and INTRODUCTION... they remember your name. I love it. It is SO the opposite of the world!
On the first morning we got to camp and dropped off the girls things.. the camp was great, small and private. Everything was very well organized and because GOD knows.... Kaitlin got placed (without Sara) into a cabin with A WOMAN I know from another home school group! ISN'T that amazing. I have not recognized a SINGLE other person.. but Kaitlin is in this one woman's cabin. (((sigh))).
We met at the capital after lunch on Monday and the girls walked in looking all professional! SO mature and grown up.. I don't even KNOW what age people assume Kate is.. not 14!!
They started off with one of those BINGO games where you go around and have people sign a box with something they have done or experienced.. I stood at the back and just watched Kate. She strode in, and started! No hesitancy. No fear. No anxiety. She smiled, she shook hands, she moved around and spoke to most people in the room.. regardless of age, sex or position. UN SOCIALIZED MY FOOT!
We left for a while and came back before the parents meeting.. I was there just in time to see her stand up with a question for "the senator in the well" -- the person up speaking about a bill. She posed her question confidently! :0)
At the parents meeting, we met the HEAD coordinator, the Texas coordinator, the head over the interns (absolutely impressive young man!) and other adults involved
... everyone was SO kind. I felt absolutely at ease! We spent a few minutes in prayer having JUST heard about Boston. So sad....
It was a sweet time.. learning the hearts of these leaders!
We joined the girls at the camp for dinner.. I had signed up to help (wow 4 hours in the kitchen, my back was killing me!) But it was with 5 other ladies, two volunteers for Teen Pact and three simply moms helping.. all wonderful to be around. I am not always a person who "LIKES" a lot of people.. but these ladies were precious!
Tuesday morning I was up there at 5:45 in the morning... ready to prep and serve.. twp of these amazing ladies (one who no longer even has a child in the program but just loves the program that much!) were already hard at work! We served till 7:30 when the buses left for the capitol..
again the ladies look so professional!
and then we cleaned up and prepped for dinner... 3 hours later I left! I had a great time though.. it is like at a conference when you get all REFRESHED. That is how I felt after talking to these woman-- all whom have children older than mine, a number of the graduated home schooled.. just breeds confidence! One of the ladies is a missionary along with her husband and two daughters in Brazil.... her husband works translating the Bible into the languages of a few of the indigenous native tribe of the Amazon! They live there at least three months of the year. IN THE AMAZON. Deep in the Amazon.. a plane gets them there.. they take all their food in with them and live in a house with no sides to it and only a generator (which doesn't always work.) WOW. She is likely the MOST humble person I have ever met.
We went up on Wednesday and caught Kate just as they were beginning a new session and breaking out into their committees... She was walking along... a huge group of people.. some Teen Pact and others simply doing their business.. and I thought she fit in with the rat race perfectly!
Thursday was her last day of class and they had a time to "show" parents what they had learned in a mock legislative session... in one of the Capitol's hearing rooms!
Here is Kaitlin waiting to ask a questions in regards to a bill..
They were giving their "certificate" certifying that they completed the class... this class is the equivalent of a 1/3 of a government credit. It is considered an AP class so even though Kaitlin is in 8th grade, I get to count it towards her high school credit!!!
Here is all the staff... They would not tell anyone their ages all week long. After spending ANY time with these people I assumed they were young 20's to mid 20's.. THEY were 16-18 years old!
I could NOT believe it. Really. It was amazing!
She had a great time.. learned lots.. Is ready for next year and would love to hit an alumni event-- all in other states, mind you!
She was particularly interested in the camp that focuses on the judicial branch!
This is one of the leaders that she really "meshed" with this week.
AND here are all the girls from her cabin!!
and her intern in her room-- who led devotionals...
It was an amazing week!