Reflection on Adirondack Mission Trip

For two of the days on the mission trip we worked at what was called "Kids Club." Kids Club is a wonderful organization that reaches out to children in the community from Kindergarten to 5th grade. Since there were not many kids in the community, however, they made a few exceptions and allowed some younger or older kids be a part of this group. Kids Club was held at a church in the town of Warrensburg. And Warrensburg is a town that is not as privileged as others.

The daily schedule for us at Kids Club was pretty basic. We arrived at the church in which it was held around 10:00 that morning. We were in a group with twelve people; eight of which were youth. Six people were from our church, and six from another. The youth broke up into different station groups. Throughout the day the kids went to stations. Each station had a particular activity to be done. The stations also had to incorporate the lesson of the week, which was "Jesus Loves Us." Creation Station was the craft of the day. There was a Sports/Activity station as well. Another station was reading short kid-friendly bible stories. In between each station, we always sang one or two "transition songs," which the kids loved, so we also had to plan that. Finally, we planned for the day after because the next morning we would be going to a nursing home and assisting the elderly. And when all the planning was complete, we ate our lunch and talked until the kids began to arrive at 12:30.

When they arrived, we played various fun games with them until around 1-1:30. One game they really loved was four square. And of course, they made the rules, so us youth always got out first. After the games we made sandwiches for any of the kids who were hungry and got the opportunity to just sit and talk to them and hear a little about their hobbies, family, school, anything they wanted to talk about. And we also got to share with them a little about ourselves, which was nice. After this, we began to rotate through each of the stations and interact with the kids, which was definitely my favorite part because every single one of them were so much fun to be around, even though at times they may argue or not want to participate in certain activities, they were all just so nice and wanted to be showed that you care, because some of them may not always get that at home. When it was time for them to leave for the day, they would always go around and hug all of us or give us high fives and say goodbye. There were some kids who lived very close to the church, so two or three of us youth would walk them back to their house.

The next morning we got to the nursing home and went around to different rooms and asked certain people if they wanted to come "exercise," which most of them knew exactly what we meant because it's a daily thing for them. Surprisingly, mostly all of them decided to come, even though with some of them it took a lot of convincing. We took everyone who wanted to participate into a fairly large room and had them in their wheel chairs, or chairs in a circle around the outside edges. Two of us youth would go into the middle and pass them a large light-weighted ball that they would in return, pass back to us. This was great because a lot of them would try to bounce it as hard as they could and were so proud of themselves, which was wonderful to see. When they were finished this, they moved on to some weight exercises. Each person was given either a 1 pound or 2 pound weight to hold while doing arm lifts or various simple physical therapy type exercises. After that was finished, they did bowling, which was my favorite part. We set up light bowling- looking pins in front of them and gave them a light ball that resembled a bowling ball to roll at the pins. They each got two tries to knock down all the pins, and most of them could do it in one. Honestly, they were better than me, because I couldn't even get a spare. The bowling was their last exercise for the morning so when that was finished, everyone was offered coffee or hot chocolate. For the remaining time we got to go around and talk to various people one on one, and they were very willing to talk and tell us about themselves and wanted to hear all about us as well. That was really great because some of the things they shared were truly amazing. I know one lady said she had been married 73 years to the same guy who had just passed away in the previous December. Like, that's just crazy. Unfortunately, we had to leave the nursing home and make our way to Kids Club.

It was Thursday at Kids Club, which meant water day. And let me tell you, all of the kids, LOVED water games! When they arrived, we started off the same as the day before, and played little fun games outside, and then we went inside and gave them sandwiches and juice. And after that, it was time for the water games. We did games such as water balloon toss, over under sponges (which was where there were two teams and they formed a line and filled a sponge with water and they would pass it down the line by going over their head and them under their legs. when it got to the end of the line, the last person would squeeze as much water as they could into a small bucket and them run to the front of the line and start over. In the end, whoever had to most water in the bucket, won.) Another game was drip drip drop (which was duck duck goose except the person who was it would drip water on everyone head as they went around) There was other fun games as well, and when all the games were finished, we had a huge water gun fight, which all of the kids loved. Mostly because they were getting all of the youth soaked, but it was okay, because it was super hot outside. When the time was up for the day, once again we said goodbye for the final time and they all gave us big hugs! And i really miss them because they were all so much fun and great.