August 17, 2010

Saving the World before Bedtime

A couple of weeks ago, we had a special "jornada" (activity lasting an entire day) with our pre-teen groups. We're following a special series put out by the Catholic Church in Santiago focusing on this age group, which treats each kid as a super hero, called by God to change the world. They seemed to have a good time, but we're noticing that our particular group is becoming more and more teen every day. They're oversleeping, not following through on promises and have a hard time making it to mass at... noon. They often have excuses for missing activities, like they have too much homework, but we have enough experience to know that the simple fact is, sometimes sitting on the couch watching t.v. is much more appealing than walking to the chapel ten minutes away. And then there is the constant "fight factor." Best friends change weekly, as petty quarrels over boys, music tastes or he said that she said that he said become just way too important. Pre-teens are a special breed. We hope to survive until the end of the year.

The two photos above are of a game we like to play. We tie balloons to everyone's ankle and then let them loose to pop or be popped. The last one with an inflated balloon wins. It's a great way to wear them out.

Each kid made a comic strip showing their favorite memories of the group so far.

In this series, the kids are divided into tribes, based on the 12 tribes of Israel. Each tribe has its own symbol, color and personality.

In order to help the kids identify with their tribes, they receive gifts like t-shirts, hats and pins throughout the year. Since we are a very poor parish, we've only got as far as pins. We're hoping to raise some money this year in order to buy t-shirts.

1 comment:

Dan and Meri Diamond said...

Hello guys-

Your work in mission so far seems to have been focused on youth of some sort(pre-teens,teens,young adults,etc). I personally think it is a difficult demographic group to work with and maybe one of the most important ones. I was personally afraid to work with young parishioners until I had the chance while supporting the Parish choir contest for the anniversary this year. It's a different ball game but I found it incredibly challenging and also rewarding at the same time. You will for sure survive until December...and the memories you are making now will be with you and the kids as everyone moves on with their lives. Inevitably, a piece of your hearts will remain there for ever. It sounds sad but it is actually a mutual blessing that comes with the job. Love, Meri