Summer Reflections - Brin
By Brin Young
Our Summer Interns blew us away with their ability to plan, manage, work hard and more importantly connect with and invest in our children and youth. What a blessing they have been to us as staff and to the adults, kids and youth they worked along side. We thought you'd enjoy hearing about what the summer meant to them, so this week we will publish a blog post each day written by each of our interns. Next up, Brin!
So as you probably know, this summer I was an intern at my church. My boss (A.K.A. my mom), asked me to write a paragraph for the church blog about my internship. For me, writing only a paragraph about the last two months is impossible. Those who went on the Mexico trip this year will remember that I filled an entire notebook for that one week! So instead of just one, I wrote a few paragraphs. On the Summerland Baptist Church blog, you'll be able to read about the summer from the other interns views as well so make sure to check it out! Part of being an intern here at SBC means doing all the craziest jobs from cutting out too many activity pages, to playing duck, duck, goose with the kids at drop in. One of the many jokes around here is that the interns are often asked to do the jobs others maybe don't want to do, like sorting the craft closet for the hundredth time. I've led actions at Summer Nights, played everybody's it dodgeball at Middle School drop in, made necklaces and monsters at Elementary drop in, scrubbed white boards, tested markers, organized rooms, created real life versions of video games, built into kids, made friends, discovered new skills, and grew in my faith. That's not all I did of course, but that's a taste. This blog post is obviously to let people know what I did all summer, but also to tell anyone who's thinking about interning next summer how great it is. If you're thinking about interning here, do it! You will not regret it.
I won't lie, being an intern can be exhausting, but it is so rewarding. It's hard to prep all morning, run Elementary drop in, and then come to Summer Nights with endless energy. But hanging out with kids and seeing those big smiles makes all the work worth it. Working as an intern is also amazing because the staff and the other interns take care of you! When we're working too much and putting energy into each event, the staff here at SBC remind us to take care of ourselves. Our lead pastor bought us pizza one day during Summer Nights and that was such a blessing! I've been able to take a little extra time off after long weeks or go take a nap in the middle of the work day if I need to. Every Friday this summer, one of the staff here at SBC have taken the morning to build into us with a devotional. It's been great to learn from them! It means a lot to know they care so deeply about us and our faith journey. Not only have I developed relationships with the staff, I've also become closer to the other interns working here! We've developed friendships, made inside jokes, and had fun together. It's so cool to work with these people everyday. Being an intern gives you a chance to develop friendships and make memories you maybe wouldn't otherwise!
Working with kids can be a humbling experience. Sometimes I think I'm doing really great at my job or I've invented the most fantastic game or craft and then some kid puts me in my place. Note to self: kids like the dumbest games/crafts possible. On the first day of elementary drop in, I prepared a fire breathing dragon craft that I thought was going to be simple, fun, and super cool! When craft time came, the glue didn't work well enough and my craft was a flop. But the kids each turned the craft into something of their own design! They had lots of fun turning their toilet paper rolls into all sorts of interesting creations, but there weren't very many dragons. Other crafts, like making paper chains, I thought were super lame but the kids had the most fun with them! I'm not always the most patient, not always the coolest leader, and I'm definitely not perfect. There's always that one kid that won't like me or won't listen to me, but that's okay! This job teaches great character qualities. It's hard to work with kids and not take on the characteristics of Jesus. This summer we learned the Fruit of the Spirit at Summer Nights, SBC kids, and preschool. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control are all very important when working with kids. Everyday, I'm reminded to be patient. Everyday, I'm reminded to be kind. Everyday, I'm reminded to love. It's really amazing how God uses the kids and the work here to teach important lessons.
I've always been scared of public speaking. Working at a church, you can't avoid it! There are so many opportunities (some where you have no choice) to speak in front of a crowd. Summer Nights is the obvious one. I told the story on the first day of Summer Nights this year and I was terrified! Even though I've done it before, it still felt like a lot of pressure. But as always, once I was up there I had fun! I found out I really like it. I also discovered while interning last summer that I don't mind doing the Children's Feature. It seems like that would be scarier than anything else since it's in front of the parents too but I was surprised by how much I liked it. Besides the heart work and brain work, this job is also a physical workout! I walk or roller blade to work most days, and most games at Sports Camp involve running. It takes a lot of energy to keep up with those Middle Schoolers! Even at regular programs, the games we play can be very active. There are also lots of lifting and organizing jobs to work those muscles. So don't think I'm just sitting at my computer all day! With the running back and forth from the park to the church, set up and take down, and all the active games we play, I'm pretty well in shape!
My favourite age group to work with at the church are the preschoolers and the new kindergarteners. I love hearing their stories, playing with them, and viewing the world from their perspective. The kids that come to my Sunday school class are some of the most fun people I know! I love being being able to see all their smiling faces every Sunday. I'm going to miss the kids graduating into kindergarten! I was able to spend more time with them over the summer in Elementary drop in. There was a few times we played duck, duck, goose together while the bigger kids played more complicated games. The younger kids take more time at the craft station, and get a little confused, but they're still my favourite. I can always learn a lot from those preschoolers! Usually my least favourite age group to work with are the middle schoolers. But this summer, I really enjoyed hanging out with them at Middle School drop in! I especially loved playing dodgeball and dutch blitz. Middle Schoolers may not have the same curious perspective on on life as the preschoolers, but they're fun to hang out with! I had a few great conversations with some of the middle schoolers over the summer and I'm really glad I did.
A few weeks ago, I posted about tribes. One of things that I love about this job is that it's a place I can belong and find my tribe! I'm at the church a lot. Working as an intern full time and going to youth events has taken up a lot of my summer and I'm so glad! I always feel incredibly welcome here at SBC. This is a place where I can belong. A few times during the school year, I felt lonely and lost. On those days, I knew I could go to the church. I could go for lunch with my mom, hang out with the C and F staff who were working that day, or just rest there. The hardest part of the year was when theatre took up all my time and I wasn't able to go to regular youth group. I wasn't connecting with my tribe or going to the place I felt I really belonged. This summer I was able to attend almost every youth event and of course I'm working here most of the week! Spending so much time at the church this summer has been amazing for my heart and soul. I've feel like I belong here, like I have a purpose, and that God was using me for good. Like I said before, there is a great community here at SBC and I totally feel like I'm a part of it. I know I'm loved and supported by the people here and it's hard to feel alone when I'm spending so much time here! I'm very thankful for the opportunity to work here.
Because of all the diverse tasks that are part of being an intern, there are opportunities to use your gifts and also discover gifts you didn't know you had. For example, I'm able to use my gift for teaching (something that I'm passionate about). I also found out that I'm pretty good at everybody's it dodgeball, as long as I don't make too many enemies. I love this job because I am able to use the gifts God gave me. It gives me purpose and that is exciting! I know God is using me for good when I'm working here. I also love being a part of a supporting and loving team! We all get to use the gifts God gave us and work as a team to excel at our job. I'm so thankful for the other interns that worked with me this summer and the memories we made. If you're planning to work next summer, I would strongly encourage you to think about being an intern at Summerland Baptist Church! It's flexible, you're a part of a great team, you can grow in your faith, you use your gifts for God, and you get to hang out with a lot of cool kids all summer. You won't be bored, that's for sure! Luckily, my time working at the church isn't over yet. I am still a regular preschool teacher so I'm sticking around! I'm so excited to continue working here for the year and see where God takes me after that.