Thursday, July 22, 2010

I can conquer VBS!!

Some aspects of life are becoming easier with all of the work I'm doing and working Vacation Bible School is a signpost. Over the years, I have volunteered in mainly 2 different capacities: as a guide who is responsible for taking the children around to their activities for 3 hours and then the other with helping the children with their craft for 4-5 twenty minute sessions. I analyzed the two jobs to the Nth degree because I had a horrible week of VBS 2 years ago as a guide. I hated every moment of it. I became paranoid and despised the craft people because their job was soooo much easier. I wanted to know how they got that job, who did they sleep with??!!! Yes, I was having a really bad week, a little PMS was going on amongst other things.

It just happened to be unfortunate circumstances, where basically I was left alone with 12-15 first graders and I really didn't like being around kids at the time or know how to entertain them or keep them from misbehaving. My co group leader's child became sick, my one youth worker fell ill, and I was left alone with: boys who were acting up, a boy who was inquisitive and disappeared from the group and a mean girl who made the other girls cry. I didn't have the skills or know what to do.
Flash forward two years later, I volunteered to be a guide again(!) yet requested a younger group. I now know to keep them active and engaged, be firm yet loving. I know to play games. I know to call the active child out and sit by them and give them some attention and discipline even if it is Vacation Bible School. I know to ask for help and keep asking if it doesn't come. Some of this has come with experience but some of it has come about because I am more comfortable in my own skin now. I have moved from feeling like a victim to having a voice and using it assertively.

The biggest signpost to me that I am thinking differently is that I realized...I don't HAVE to work VBS. I have volunteered for 6+ years and I can take a break. That thought had NEVER entered my mind. This is thinking out of the box, finally! My list of "supposed to's" is really being evaluated.

VBS went so much more smoothly this year. Everyone was well, I've got a good group of cadets including my own daughter. My co guide is fantastic! The youth workers are helpful. I know better what to do and maybe our bright safety orange shirts keep me alert! It is exhausting work but I am not feeling overwhelmed and desperate. During the week, I got a babysitter and enjoyed some quiet down time because I needed it. I know how better to take care of myself in order to take care of my children and be able to volunteer for VBS and retain my sanity. I can conquer VBS... or not!!

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