Benediction

Found this somewhere on the blogosphere but have completely forgotten where? Feeling bad about not including the proper link so in a catch-all attempt, ht to EVERY single Youth Ministry blogger 🙂
A Franciscan Benediction
May God bless you with discomfort
At easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships
So that you may live deep within your heart.
May God bless you with anger
At injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people,
So that you may work for justice, freedom, and peace
May God bless you with tears
To shed for those who suffer pain, rejection, hunger, and war
So that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and
To turn their pain into joy.
And may God bless you with enough foolishness
To believe that you can make a difference in the world,
So that you can do what others claim cannot be done
to bring justice and kindness to our children and the poor.
Amen

Back at the desk

Aha, I’m back and ready for a full week of blogging and doing the ‘Diocesan Youth Adviser thing!’ Camp was fantastic and I have so many great memories of a fab’ week with an awesome bunch of young people and a wonderful team.
lifegurd smll.jpgIt was very weird for me not being the speaker or main leader but I got a real kick out of leading a group, driving a bus and being the Lifeguard blokey.
Thankfully I only had to use my pro-active Lifeguarding and not any reactive ones. As ever I had fun creating bizarre rules alongside the usual ones,* The one that seems have been the most enjoyed was on Thursday when you weren’t allowed to jump or dive into the pool without shouting “International Rescue!” whilst in the air!
As ever I’m being my usual sappy self and missing the young people enormously!

* No ducking, No Bombing**, No petting, No running!
** Apart from when we ran a bombing competition 🙂

Harry Potter and the Youth Camp

Camp is going well despite the large volume of rain (I was lifeguarding a swim session today and you couldn’t tell that I hadn’t been in the pool) and spending a week with a GREAT bunch of teenagers is so much fun. In between Poolside responsibilities, First Aid type repairs and minibus ferrying I have been investing a bit of time in Harry Potter’s final showdown with ‘he who everyone is familiar with!’ I’ve just finished the book …… and I enjoyed it muchly! I guess I can’t write too much here in case there are those who haven’t finished (or started) it, but with the 7th book done and dusted I guess it’s the end of the Potter era, unless of course this spin-off film ever happens 🙂
snapesona.jpg
ht to Sean for the piccy

Fundraising by Flamingo

I found this via D.Scott.Miller, Genius idea that a group has come up with for fundraising with a shed load of plastic Flamingoes! Basically for $25 you can nominate someones garden to be visited in the dead of night and it to be populated with Flamingoes, BUT for $40 you can buy anti-flamingo insurance. Full story here 🙂

Max Speed 5 knots

flud2.jpgI’ve had a crazy day today. Last day before camp and it’s been raining cats and dogs (that’s an expression for heavy rain for non UK readers) or more like hippo’s and elephants. I left work at around 1pm to get stuff ready for camp tomorrow and drove south in TORRENTIAL visibility limiting rain. The A34 came to a stand still so I peeled off onto a side road and into chaos. Water was pouring down the road I was on. There were cars that had stopped due to water ingression and there were bricks been swept down the road (river) towards us in the queue of cars (the water was flowing straight through two gardens where it had demolished two high brick walls). Fortunately I managed to make it through this section and turned off onto higher ground to try and find a way back into Newbury as the main roads were actually closed due to flooding and landslides. For an hour and a half I experimented with routes from my cycle training routes, frequently driving through water that was dangerously close to the top of my wheels before having to turn round where the road was damaged, partially washed away or the water just too deep. At about 3pm I found a pub in a village called Leckhampstead and decided to weather the storm there BUT the pub insisted they closed at 3pm and although I managed to get a bag of crisps and a coke it was then closing time. I could find no way out of the village that wasn’t flooded and it looked like I would just have to sit it out in the car. Two of the villagers invited me in though for a cup of tea and I waited until the rain subsided. When I set off I was still encountering large stretches of water but the level had dropped by a crucial few inches and I finally made it home at about 5:30!
I HAVE NEVER SEEN CONDITIONS LIKE IT! (Richard sent me the link to these photos)
Thoughts though are with all those who have flooded homes and water damaged cars.

Simpsons and Potter

With the Simpson and Harry Potter very much in the news at the moment. The former because of the film and/or the promotional Homer next to the ancient chalk carving at Cerne Abas (Hilarious) and the latter for the impending book, I thought a quick link to resources would be in order!
1. Harry Potter and the Usefulness thereof
2. The Simpsons and the usefulness thereof
3. The picture of Homer (apologies if you are offended by either the ancient carving or the recently painted accompanying figure), story here
giant homer.jpg

Summer Schedule

Greetings blog buddies (that greeting was written in an ironic local radio stylee) and welcome to Youthblog. I thought I’d better get my head round the summer and work out my response to the question, “To blog or not to blog?”
I reckon blogging will be sporadic but here’s the rough plan:
July 21st – 29th: Away at a Crusader camp doing some lifeguardy and First Aidy type stuff. Possibility of blog posts = 0.4%
July 30th – Aug 3rd: At the office and more than likely to be messing around online. Possibility of blog posts = 96%
Aug 4th – Aug 19th: A little West and Wewaxation with the family. Possibility of blog posts = 5.2% (falling further if I get caught blogging in family time)
Aug 20th – Aug 23rd: Around. POBP= 98%
Aug 24th – 27th: Greenbelt, Yay! May blog, may not BUT chances are I’ll be talking to bloggers and blog readers (does this count?)
Aug 28th ‘Normal’ service resumes!

I will also need your reading schedule (LOL) to see if anyone is actually reading the blatherings of a 40 year old youth worker!
In September I want to try and experiment and have a weekly ‘problem page’ approach to blogging. A ‘Dear Uncle Youthblog’ type gig. I want to see if I can combine the absurd, the humorous and the useful in a way that’s readable.
So all I need now are some Youth work questions (as meaningful or as off-the-wall as you like). Please put your creative hat on and e-mail or post some Dear Uncle Youthblog type stuff!*
Shalom

Make Space ‘Oona King’ Youth Review

The results of the King inquiry make for interesting reading and confirm what us youth workery types tend to say. This is a significant report though involving as it does the voices of so many young people! Have consulted 16,000 teenagers it’s recommendations were:

• A Youth Centre in every community
providing dedicated spaces for young people to meet, as well as access to music, creative arts, sports, classes and specialist intervention and support for teenagers in difficulty. Inspirational and gifted young people’s workers would lead these centres and coordinate activity for young people in the area.
• Support for parents of teenagers including right to request flexible work and intensive involvement and support for parents of troubled teenagers.
• Mobile Intervention Teams to work in areas of high deprivation and unrest – offering teenagers specialist and positive support.
• Action on bullying and a new Victim Support scheme for young people who have been the victims of crime.
• Young Mayors elected in every area to give teenagers representation and a say in their community.
• Free public transport and leisure for all young people under 18 to ensure access for all.

mspace.jpg
The report does a good job at highlighting the limited opportunities young people have for community involvement and for opportunity for activity if they can’t afford it. It also flags up how fearful young people are of crime and violence against them.

Oona King, Chair of the Review said
: “Growing up can be tough and we are simply not doing enough to help the next generation to flourish. On average we spend 17p for each young person per day on youth services and this has to change. Young people need to be a part of our communities and not doing this costs us billions dealing with the consequences of anti-social behaviour, crime and violence and even more in the emotional consequences of a dispossessed generation of teenagers.”
I’m hoping this report will be a real opening in securing funding that gives young people opportunity, involvement and helps them have a meaningful place in their communities. (There is still a huge societal attitude to change though).