Monday, July 27, 2009

Keeping up with appearances.

I imagine myself to be quite capable of keeping up with tweens. I can hike 10 miles, juggle at least a dozen to-do lists at a single time, lay a spread of snacks that are guaranteed to disappear, and affect invisibility while being very much present.

I hit the wall in Clinton, South Carolina.

The tween and I returned yesterday from our five day Extraordinary Adventure at Presbyterian College and I discovered that I was, after all, really, really, REALLY tired. That was thanks to a combination of walking four+ miles a day across the campus, nonstop participation in activities from 7 am to 11 at night, dancing and singing, and trying to sleep in a college dorm bed (without success).

We had a very good time.

  • Phil the Energizer Bunny has no joints. At least that's what we think after watching him lead energizers throughout the week. That's him and another minister, hamming it up during one of the morning openers.
  • Male tweens like to climb things. And throw things. And drum on things. And lose things.
  • Female tweens like to talk. A lot. Really. A lot.
  • Clinton, South Carolina (where Presbyterian College is based) is a very small town. Its downtown closes early on Saturday during the summer.
  • The dining hall staff got very creative with chicken. We had chicken every single day. Fried chicken. Baked chicken. Barbecued chicken. Chicken alfredo. Chicken in honey mustard sauce. Somehow, no one really minded because it was pretty good chicken every time.
  • Even though there were 600+ tweens on campus, the vending company still chose to fill the machines no more than twice a week. So 600+ tweens spent way too much time looking hopefully for that mythical, fully stocked soda machine . . . to no avail.
  • Thanks to careful planning by the retreat planning team, savvy understanding of the tween psyche by every adult in attendance, and a hefty dose of grace, the week was memorable, fun, and definitely worth repeating.
The tween has already planned to return next summer. I'd better start getting into shape immediately.

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