The fans are blowing throughout the house. It's not even 8 am and the heat is on. Today is going to be a scorcher. Today, I have three guest teens arriving for a couple of days to join Max and I in this bungalow of blazing glory......... two are from Columbia, so I'm not worried about how they can handle this weather. But, the other youngin' is flying in from Iceland tonight! Poor kid won't know what hit him! For the next two and a half days, we will be hosting them and helping them acclimatize to our part of Canada. Look out beaches! Here we come.
There are approximately 20 teens arriving from all over the world to attend a seminar camp run by the local CISV chapter (Children's International Summer Villages). It is the same organization that ran the Village Max attended in Costa Rica last January. But, this one is set up so that the Teens run it on their own. There will be Mentors with them, but all activities, cooking, team building, interactive sessions, rules, scheduling, consensus building, conflict mediation etc etc..........all the components of group dynamics and living together will be led by the group. They will be staying out at a local camp in cabins, on a lake......with all the facilities needed for a good time. However, they won't be entertained, scheduled...... or directly led. The leading is theirs to grab hold of.
Because of the different cultures and languages, it will be challenged to figure out effective communication strategies, and their empathy and emotional literacy skills will be tested. It will be difficult at first..........probably small groups will form based on personality and geographical similarities. But, I guarantee that within a short amount of time, with the guidance of the CISV Leaders, all of whom have had experience with the organization and in group dynamics in some capacity, they will grow and stretch and learn and mature.......... And they will leave with new perspectives, and an understanding that in the greater scheme of things? We are all the same under our skin.......below the surface. Our hearts pump the same. Our hearts feel the same things.
Sure, there will be personality clashes.... it kind of reminds me of Big Brother, but no one is going to get kicked off the campsite! Guaranteed there will be a couple of misfits. Chances are they will have at least one difficult personality in the group that may be suffering through their own homesick issues which may make their behaviour a testing ground for patience. Let's hope there are a few outgoing ones who stir it up, make them laugh, know how to get along with anyone. And I really hope for their sake that the chemistry amongst them all is one that enhances their gifts and cradles their weaknesses.
Originally, I was supposed to have organized this 3 week camp. But, I had to pull out last fall when I realized things were not great on the homefront and I had taken on enough outside of here to thoroughly tax my waning energy and wonky focus. I'm grateful I did now, because I wouldn't have been able to lead it like I wanted to. The timing just wasn't right. This morning though, as I do the last minute things around the house and head out for a BIG grocery shop, and wonder how in the heck I'm going to keep this house cool enough for 5 hot bodies to live comfortably in until Friday (when the heatwave is supposed to die down!) I wish I was heading to the camp with them to watch the drama unfold. And to be a part of it all.
What I will get to observe and be a part of is the before and after.........oh, and a visit in the middle.
Tomorrow is definately a beach day..............which one is up for grabs? I'm voting for Parlee Beach. But, I only have one vote...... so we'll see. In the meantime, time to don my Hostess with the mostess hat, my camp counsellor enthusiasm, and get a move on! I may have to teach them a thing or two about waterslides..... Or, I may be the one observing, standing under the sprinkler cooling off. Either way, I'll be there, learning too. If you're looking for me........... Wish me luck. :)