Finally...kids :)

Last week I finally got to see kids! I had been here for a week but spent all my time learning about ici and ministry and last week it all finally began. The kids are still in school (seriously Chicago?) and so I am not in the neighborhood much during the week because they are at school or in after-school programs until late in the evening. On Wednesday and Thursday were my first days of club! Club is a once weekly program for K-2 (Wednesday) and 3-5 (Thursday) where we do free time, bible, crafts, and games. The kids have a great time and I had such a great time hanging out with them. We begin the evening at 5:00 picking up kids at their houses and usually return back at ici around 6. Club kicks off at 6 with a free time. The kids have the option of playing board games, basketball, dodgeball, or video games. They seem to wander around and do a little of each during this time. Once this time has ended the kids all line up on their "team lines" and we go over all the rules. ici has done a great job reinforcing the rules while still making it fun. The kids go into their grade groups and rotate through craft, bible, and games. I think that at club we average about 30 kids a night. It is amazing how much these kids love ici club and the impact it is having on their lives. After those first nights I knew I was going to love ici and these kids. That was most definitely reinforced on Friday when we left for Baraboo, WI.

On Friday at 4 o'clock we all set out in the ici vans to pick up some very excited kids for camping. The vans had been packed and all the leaders were ready and excited. We would be going tent camping in Baraboo, WI for 2 nights with kids ranging from 2nd grade through high school. When we picked up the kids they were so excited! They could not hold back their excitement and many of them had never been camping before. I drove 4 hours in a van with 12 elementary school boys and I was very excited when we got to Baraboo. Once we got there I was so thankful that I learned how to put up the tent because I had to put it up in the dark with my only light being 4 girls running around me with a lantern; thanks girls. One really amazing time was when we took the kids to Devil's State Park to climb the rocks. Some of the kids were terrified and it was awesome to see those kids push through and make it to the top. The kids who really impressed me were those who were scared but not only overcame that fear but also pushed it aside enough to help others. It was a beautiful thing to see, especially of the boys. We spent the rest of the day swimming in a very, very dirty lake. I taught one bible lesson while in Baraboo and it was really hard. I was so incredibly nervous but it ended up being good and I think the kids "got" what I was saying; next time I will do even better! We headed home on Sunday and the kids were sad to be going home but also exhausted and ready to relax. I was thrilled to be done and I was ready to shower! It was such a good trip and now I am even more excited for the summer. Now if only they were out of school... thankfully only 5 more school days.

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