joy magnetism: Youth Days 2011

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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Youth Days 2011

Magnet #1118 - LOL @ your library

Love this magnet that my friend gave me, and it's apropos for today, for sure.

I've now worked the Transitions Championship three years in a row now. The one event that scares me the most are our two Youth Days, where we invite a couple thousand kids to spend the day with us, learning the value of healthy sight, through interactive games and clinics.

It scares me, mostly because of Big Al the alligator who lives in a couple of water features on the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook - I'm just afraid that one of the kids will get loose and you know, get eaten by Big Al. No. Seriously.

On the other hand, by the end of the long visits - we've now done five - Youth Days also become the most gratifying for me. Comforting the lost child who's scared her class would leave without her. Hearing kids run around screaming odd facts about eyeballs. Watching kids having a blast - even as they accost our giant eyeballs.

I love seeing the long lines of kids at Bess the Book Bus, run by Jennifer Francis - a woman who chucked it all to start a mobile outreach literacy program for underserved communities, schools and libraries. Corporate sponsors give her the opportunity to ride around in her book bus, stopping to visit, read to the kids and give out one book per child.

It's absolutely my favorite part of Youth Days, watching the kids slowly walk away from the bus, distracted because they're thumbing through their new book, not being able to wait to read it. Mind you, it means they're looking down and not noticing a golf cart barreling right for them, but hey, that's why we have our traffic folks. Heh.

Youth Days are exhausting, and I'm always pleased to hear "the last bus has left and everyone's accounted for," but it's definitely a great day - for the kids, and for us.

Today's highlight for me, though, was this Overhead at Youth Days:

Little girl: "You haaaaaaave to!"
Giant guy chaperone: "I caaaaan't. It's physically impossible."
Little girl: "But you haaaaaaaave to!"
Giant guy chaperone: "I caaaaaan't."
Little girl, stomping feet: "No! Get! Midget-sized! Nowwwwww!"
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