Over the next few weeks, CBF will feature blog posts from Student.Go interns serving across the country and globe. The first installment is from Anna Holladay. Anna is serving as Assistant Director of CLUE (Children Living the Urban Experience) Camps, a ministry partnership between Metro Baptist Church and Greater Restoration Baptist Church.
CLUE Camp is going great here in NYC! Week one of camp, “iRespect”, went extremely well- the team from Second Baptist Church Little Rock was beyond prepared and gave the kids some serious love and attention. I could tell that each of team members was filled with God’s love and ready to share it with all of the campers! At the end of the day we were sweaty, exhausted, and grateful for the opportunity to teach the children how much God loves them.
I had a conversation with Pastor Bogan of Greater Restoration Baptist Church last Thursday after camp. He was telling me about the neighborhood and said, “You walk right past the Bloods everyday. They’re the ones standing outside of the grocery store in the morning,” he said. “They’ll nod and say hello- they won’t bother you unless you want some of the drugs they have.” Since I am most definitely not interested in purchasing drugs, I’m safe. Besides being the pastor at Greater Restoration Baptist Church in Brookyln, Pastor Bogan is a mediator for the “S.O.S.” (Save Our Streets) program in the neighborhood of Crown Heights where the church is located. The environment that these kids are growing up in could not be more on the opposite end of the spectrum from how I did. Yet they are polite, love to run and play, and laugh when they see silly faces. I can really see these similarities between the children at camp and the children at my home church. The church as a community and support system is important to anyone’s upbringing, but in Crown Heights I think it is vital.
One of the most interesting things I learned in Psychology class is the concept of Self-fulfilling prophecy, which is defined as any positive or negative expectation about circumstances, events, or people that may affect a person’s behavior toward them in a manner that causes those expectations to be fulfilled. Basically, if I think Joe Bob is going to misbehave all the time, he will end up doing just that. Instead of being negative, I explain to children how they could have handled the situation better and encourage them whenever they act out, hoping that the self-fulfilling prophecy will work in a positive way!
Week 2 is well now almost halfway over, and I know all of the campers a lot better than I did last week. I am excited to see the good times, the bad times that can turn into teaching moments, and the all of the relationships that form over the summer.