Monthly Archives: July 2016

Simple Blessings

Lori Clotz

Volunteer

I had the honor of volunteering at the Hilliard Free Lunch Summer Camp for Kids recently at two lunch sites (Resurrection Evangelical Lutheran Church and Horizon Elementary). The first day I noticed a young girl by herself and decided to strike up a conversation with her. The conversation led to she and I writing a silly story, trying nine square (why didn’t we have this game in the late 70’s?), and then to her teaching me to hula hoop. I am 49. While the two of us were hula hooping, another young girl joined in beside us. I saw that my friends’ nametag said she was in the 3rd grade while the other girl’s said she was in the 4th grade. I said to them, “you both are so close in age that you could be good friends.” They both just looked at me and sort of smiled. The first day was ending and my 3rd grade friend started to leave, but then turned and came back and hugged me. Blessed, truly blessed!

Friends
I returned the next day to this same site and saw my friend as she passed through the greeting tunnel. I sensed she was bravely trying to branch out on her own so I branched out as well. I met a new friend and walked her through how to use bucket stilts. She caught on quickly and proceeded to balance on the mini buckets. Then another little boy approached us and pointed to the stilts she was using and said to me, “ I want those!” I then said to him, “ Then you say to her, “When you are finished can I use those?” He repeated the question to my stilted friend and she stopped, stepped down onto the floor, and handed the stilts to him right away. He looked at me amazed that he was able to get what he wanted so quickly just by asking nicely. This bustling day of wonderful camp experiences (listening to Chomp being read a loud, choosing a book to take home, hearing a speaker (who I discovered happened to be married my high school classmate), playing games, eating a healthy lunch, and tie dying shirts.) was coming to a close. Then as campers were heading to the buses, God timed the scene just perfect for my view. There in front of me were two special little girls, one in the 3rd grade and one in the 4th grade happily hugging each other goodbye. Blessed, truly blessed!

My third day of camp took me to a different lunch site. I had the pleasure of seeing a Junior Achievement business partner teach entrepreneurship to the campers. He played a game with replica money. He handed “money” to the pretend business owners and accidentally overpaid one young boy. As he walked away, the young boy counted and then looked at me with eyes that said, “what do I do?” I asked him what was wrong. He said he received extra “money.” I said to tell the Junior Achievement speaker because it is good to always be honest. This young boy returned the “money” and the JA speaker gave him praise for being honest. The young boy smiled with pride. Blessed, truly blessed!

 
I learned something new each day while volunteering for SON ministries, but the biggest lesson that kept transcending through the week is “in the simple.” It is the simple things (trying something new, making a friend, being polite, being honest, etc.) that are important to our children and their future. Maybe “in the simple” we will bring about peace in the home, in the neighborhood, imagine…. in the world. Thanks to the host sites, the site leaders, the organizers, the staff, the teen volunteers, the community volunteers, and the bus drivers who are promoting peace by handing down the “simple things” each day. You are a blessing, a true blessing!

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Middle Schoolers: They’re Lovable Too

By Will Sheets

Middle School LeaderIMG_2315

Why engage in the lives of middle school and high school students? Why step into, what is for many, an uncomfortable, awkward and emotional time of life? Because they are worth it. They are moldable. There is a HUGE need.

My name is Will and this year I am serving as the Middle School Leader for the Hilliard Free Lunch Summer Camp for Kids.   My job is to provide exciting and engaging programming for our students who are in 6th grade or older. During the year I teach 7th and 8th grade in Southwestern City Schools.

This is a brand new adventure for us here at SON Ministries. As we enter into our 10th summer of this important community program, we were facing a new problem. Many of the families and respective children we have been serving are growing up. Many of the kids we started with are now entering into middle school and high school. Last summer we began to face the difficulty of trying to fit middle school aged children into a camp with programming designed mainly for children in grades k-5. Many of our older children began to grow bored with the programming for the younger campers and naturally began to act out.

This summer we are creating space just for these older campers! In May I received a message from an 8th grade boy who attended camp last year asking if I was returning to camp this summer. When I told him I was returning and that we were planning activities specifically for our older students he quickly sent a message which simply read, “IT’S ABOUT TIME!!!!!!!!!!!”

So far this summer, we have focused a lot on developing trust and relationships with the older children specifically. One of the first days, as I was communicating some of our rules and expectations I communicated a common theme of our summer camps. God made each of us and loves each of us, so that is enough reason to love and respect one another. What seems like such a simple truth to many of us can be a totally foreign concept to a child entering the world of adolescence, a time when friendships are constantly beginning and ending, a time when great changes are happening and a time of self-discovery. During the first days of camp my goal has been to show these young people that they are truly lovable. If a child doesn’t believe they are lovable how can we expect them to accept that God loves them as well as expect them to love one another?

Would you please join us in praying that we will see meaningful relationships developed with our middle school students?  Would you also pray that these children would take time during their summer breaks to grow in character, love and respect? I am excited about this summer, because in the words of an 8th grade boy, “IT’S ABOUT TIME!!!!!!!”

“Every child deserves a champion – an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection and insists that they become the best that they can possibly be.”  – Rita Pierson

At SON Ministries, PEOPLE are our priority, relationships are our goal.

America’s Best Cookout

By Emma Kruse

Assistant Site Leader

Resurrection Evangelical Lutheran Church Site

ABCThis week was an exciting one, as we had our very first children’s entrepreneurial restaurant! The campers spearhead all of this incredible project. Last week they voted on the name:  “America’s Best Cookout” and voted on a menu that is inspired by backyard BBQs. With help of volunteers, donations, and even some visiting Chefs from Cameron Mitchell Restaurants to help the children in the kitchen,  the restaurant opened for business for the first time on Thursday, June 30.  The kids assigned roles for each other, including kitchen staff, bus boys, hosts, and decorators.

It is so incredible to see how each child felt like they were an important piece to the restaurant and how they all really worked hard to have the restaurant succeed. The kids voted on a delicious menu with BBQ chicken, macaroni, green beans, taco salad and a dessert bar!!!

24 guests were served and to God be the glory!

America’s Best Cookout Restaurant will continue to operate every Thursday in the sunny and spacious lobby of the church.  (Thank you RELC friends!).

Please join us!  You won’t be disappointed!

At SON Ministries, through partnerships (like Cameron Mitchell!) we strive together for the best for our community!

Summer 2016 Is Off to a Great Start!

By Emma Kruse

Assistant Site Leader

Resurrection Evangelical Lutheran Church Site

Our first week of the Hilliard Free Lunch Summer Camp for Kids at the Resurrection Lutheran Church site was a great kick off for summer 2016! We started the week with very high numbers.   And with each day even more families came to register!

Week one activities mostly included “getting to know Water Dayyou” games so all of the children can learn each other’s names – and get to know the staff too!  One of our favorite games  was “4 Corners”- a game where each of the site leaders stand in a corner while one site leader reads out a fact and the children run to whichever site leader they think the fact is about.

The children’s favorite activity was most definitely our first “Water Day” 2016!  Complete with squirt guns and a slip and slide. We heard all about it on the bus ride home. It’s so fun because the AWESOME Teen Interns let the kids get them soaking wet.

The attendance numbers have also been great; we had 123 in one day this week!

God is Good.

At SON Ministries, we bring HOPE to children and families facing poverty, by connecting them to resources, people and a HAND UP.