Sharefest/YDA camp post #2

Here's my second blogpost for the Sharefest Youth Development Academy, July 2009. It is currently happening at Cal State Dominguez Hills.

I have a group of 9 students for the next 2 weeks. I absolutely love it. God is ready to administer His justice. Praying for His time and His Words to be spoken and acted.

Here's the post:

Today was a beautiful one for the Sharefest YDA camp. Campers had the opportunity to hone their creative writing skills followed by a refreshing time in the CSUDH swimming pool.

As I look back on today's time in the pool, I'm reminded of my purpose for working at the YDA Camp this year.

Students found themselves participating in the pool time in a variety of ways. A few students opted out altogether. Some students found themselves dressed and ready to go in the pool, yet never made their way actually into the pool. A few students sat on the pool's edge and dangled their feet in the refreshing water. Still other students played in the shallow end the entire time, bobbing up and down without any fear of drowning or injury. Then, there was the group of students who quickly found their way to the diving boards (one high and one low) and into the deep end... 12 feet to be exact. Throughout the duration of the pool time, counselors were strategically placed in every part of the pool, on the pool's edge, near the bathrooms, and against the wall. There was never a counselor who was by him or herself not interacting with a student. All the while, we were under the watchful eye of Chief Lifeguard-on-Duty, Lee. It seemed that wherever you saw a group of students, there was a counselor nearby.

This scene has shown me why Sharefest YDA exists.

Life, as we experience it, is like a large swimming pool. There are many ways to experience life: the pool's edge, the shallow end, the deep, etc. And in these different life experiences, our students find themselves surrounded by onlookers, peers, and support systems. What I saw today that struck me deeply was that I am at this camp to provide genuine, nurturing support to my students for whatever life experience they have. Some students are sauntering through the shallow end of life; others find themselves in the deep end (whether they chose it or not). It is my job for this short amount of time to support these students in their current life experience while cheering them on to success and possible maturity to the next life experience.

I desire that these students are NEVER left alone to fend for themselves. Rather, each student needs support throughout their entire life to ensure fulfillment and success. Moreover, they may find themselves teaching, coaching, cheering, and supporting the next generation in the same way they have experienced it.

Sharefest/YDA camp

Here's my blog post for the Sharefest/Youth Development Academy currently taking place at Cal State Dominguez Hills through July 2009.

This post was originally posted on Wednesday, July 22, 2009 at:

Can You Feel the Heat?

Another fun-filled day was experienced during the Youth Development Academy today. Thanks to Lee Hancock, Mary Jo, and Paul for coming out to teach us some soccer skills while having a blast in the summer sun. It was a thrill to see students who were reluctant to participate in the soccer games become more and more enthusiastic about the activities as time passed today. One student in particular, Doris, was highlighted near the end of the day as a participant who changed her own attitude from uninvolved to joyful and abandoned as she ran around the soccer field with her fellow YDA students.

Following the rousing soccer games and drills, all session two students took a VIP tour of the Home Depot Center. Students were most enthralled with the privilege to be up close to Galaxy's #23, David Beckham's locker. To actually see his and his teammates gear in place ready for the next match was quite exciting. I tried my best to imagine the adrenaline that so often flows in that locker room just before each match. It must be exciting to know that years of training, discipline, drilling, determination, and possibly instances of failure led up to each team member's current status as a professional soccer player. I imagined my campers, both male and female, one day pushing beyond their 'brick walls' and finding success in a variety of disciplines. I can picture Lesslie as a professional female boxer; I can see Jasmin as a successful women's soccer team member; Jamel will someday grace the ESPN Sportscenter headlines as a NFL star; Morelia will no doubt be a box office success as a big screen actress.

Hopefully, today was a glimpse into the future for each camper with much anticipation for success.