I think I can speak for everybody on the trip when I say that today was an all around great day. We not only got to learn what Playworks (the organization we will be working with throughout the week, that encourages healthy play) was all about but we finally got to play with the kids! At recess, I personally had a great time interacting with all different kids from a variety of age levels. It was especially rewarding to play games in which everybody was included, which I thought Playworks and the Coach did a great job organizing. It was really refreshing to see the smiles on all of the kids faces. Throughout the day, I was especially surprised how all of the teachers and students embraced us. It definitely made my experience a lot better knowing that the kids were genuinely happy to have us there with them. The kids also added some humor into our day. They referred to once of our trip members as Zac Efron (which I think boosted his ego just a little too much). They were a great group of kids to work with and I hope that by the end of the trip I impact at least one child’s life.
One thing that really resonated with me was the Junior Coaches program. After we played recess for three hours we got to help out with this program. It encourages a selected group of kids to be leaders among their peers, especially in the recess environment. I think this program is so positive for the children’s self esteem. It was very obvious that they were all confident with themselves and their abilities to lead a group. I think it is a great thing to start at such a young age, and I hope it will have a positive impact on their future lives.
Overall, it was great to just be a kid again, and to relive my recess days. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the week brings, but as for now I definitely felt young, wild, and free.