I suspect the Weather Channel peeps are feeling like essential workers this summer.
Floods. Tornadoes. Hurricanes. Unprecedented heat waves. Fires.
I’m all for a welcome dose of rain pattering gently on the new metal roof, but this has not been that. In fact, for a huge part of the world, it’s been terrifying. And it’s touched a story that’s lived in my heart for a while.
Since the summer of 1989, to be exact.
I was Camp Nurse and Director2 for the Presbyteries of Orange and New Hope in North Carolina.
On that particular day, the kids – 100 or more of them – were out doing what kids do at Camp. Volley ball games. Sail boats. Arts & Crafts.
And then, as some of my Southern friends would say, “There come a storm”.
A tornado, to be exact.
The staff scrambled to get kids to the closest shelters. For about half of them, that meant the dining hall. My assignment on the emergency plan.
About three quarters of the kids were terrified. The others wanted to watch out the huge glass windows which was, of course, no place to be.
Step one: Get them all sitting in circles on the floor, far from windows. The littlest ones, under tables.
Step two: Prayer. It was, after all, church camp!
Step three: Something to do. We sacrificed some apples and oranges from the kitchen to use as balls for tossing around the circles. (And passed out some of the disgusting pink stuff known as “bug juice” so they’d have something to drink.)
Step four: As they started to calm, songs and stories.
The wind picked up some more. Branches and trees started falling nearby. A lawn chair flew by a window.
We sang louder.
Goin’ on a Squeegee Hunt is especially helpful for such a time! Especially the line that goes, “I’m not afraid!”
If you’re at all like me, the world has felt more than a bit like that stormy day all those years ago.
And most of us have had scared kids we love caught in the middle.
Grammy Camp starts Saturday!
Because there are things we can learn from each other, and realize in ourselves, to help those littles we love so much to ride out the days when there come a storm.
I’d be okay if we skipped the bug juice, but some skills for listening, for taking their fears seriously, and for not shaming or blaming them for being where they are would be a great start!
A medicine basket, if you will, helping to get conscious of what you have to offer in the midst of wherever they are.
And, in order to help them with their fears, we need help with our own!
Bandaids and M&M’s are not enough for these days!
Journaling and painting and sharing in circle work better for the Grandmother-Elder-Teacher- types. Even very brave Grandfathers!
In a moment I’m going to ask you to take action. Even if you’ve done it before and decided that now was not the time.
Now is the time.
And, due to a gift from a generous donor who knows how much this matters, the price has become more affordable.
There’s not much time left to choose. Hobby Parent and I are ready with a plan. A plan to worry less and help more.
Isn’t that what you need???
So, here it comes. Our request…
ps… The resident Studio Angels have their camp t-shirts ready and they’re so hoping you’ll come, too!
pps… The art is my Work-in-Progress for today. (Which is a lot like all of us!) It began a year ago, when Congressman John Lewis passed… the stormy weather in my heart and in our world. Let’s look these storms in the eye and help our kids!