I woke early this morning and started working on my paper and once everyone was up and ready we took Krysten to a gas station down the road where her car had broken down the day before. It had kinda been a running joke that everyone was celebrating her car breaking down because it meant they got to spend more time with her. In reality, everyone was concerned and one of the friends of Common Ground lent his truck and trailer to one of the members of Common Ground and they loaded her car up on the trailer and took it to a friend to get fixed. Joey and I then headed back to the "Brighthouse" where the interns had a short meeting in preparation for day camp for the kids and we headed across the street to get ready.
I was told there could be anywhere from 15-30 kids and I guess it was a slow day because there were only about 15 that showed up. They started the day with lunch and then they started various projects such as drawing with sidewalk chalk, playing with a parachute, doing puzzles and other small projects. Then, around 2:00 a volunteer came and worked with the kids to make scrapbooks. A few of the kids didn't want to but once they started working on the scrapbooks they loved it.
Around 3:15 they took a short snack break and then again broke up into groups. This time they put on one of the greatest movies of all time, The Lion King, and another lady came in to teach the children crocheting. There were a few hiccups along the way, which is expected with children, but for the most part it was a good day. These children are the future of the neighborhood and by having a summer camp like this the children know that they are loved and will hopefully grow up to love one another and return the help to the neighborhood that they have received. I was talking with Gus who is one of the interns and he reflected on his own childhood and said that although his mother may not have thought she succeeded as a mother and thought that she should have placed more structure in his life, Gus looks back fondly upon his childhood and he has grown to be a wonderful guy who is full of love and wants to give back to his neighbor. This same idea can be applied to the summer camp. Although there may have been some rocky times, overall these children will look back on their summer and know that they were loved.
Looking back and reflecting on my short stay here I have learned a lot about Common Ground. I have witnessed how they address confrontation, how they run a board of directors meeting, how they sabbath, how they build each other up, and how they work with the children and homeless in the area. I hope to keep some contact with those here at Common Ground so that we can continue to learn from each other.